She lowered the price, I gleeful hooted to myself over the weekend after Etsy pinged me with a notification about a favorited item. I’d been eyeballing this particular pattern from Olha’s “ILoveCreateStore” for a few months, but, based on face value, was unsure of its quality, so I wasn’t willing to risk $3–or any amount—on potential frustration and disappointment.
I soon learned its quality.
A Bit of Background
I’m not the best knitter…yet. However, I’ve a pretty good grasp of the basics since I started back in November 2019. Additionally, I was born in the States and have been teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language (ESL/EFL) and learning languages for about 16-17 years now—I know my stuff.
A Turban a Day Keeps the Hair at Bay
On the seller’s profile I could see she was based in Kiev, Ukraine. She didn’t have too many patterns or items I was interested in besides her turban pattern, which supposedly came with an additional YouTube tutorial video, but I still danced around purchasing the digital download.
A turban. That’s what I’ve been wanting to make all spring, isn’t something I previously cared about. It’s still not clear to me why I was interested in searching for a good pattern for this, but, yeah, here we are.
I’d come across other patterns of course, but none of them quite had the look I was looking for. I got a lot of thick, curly hair. Olha’s seemed decent enough based on the pictures. I’d found another free pattern on YouTube by Joanne’s Web as well as an additional one—in a language I don’t speak or comprehend: Arabic— too, but I just really liked Olha’s. Perhaps it was the exquisite and frankly bougie look of hers in the photos, or maybe the allure of not having to deal with my hair on days that I’d wear the turban, either way, the dream had been planted.
My First Go
I’d purchased the 100% Peruvian Wool called “Crazy Sexy Wool: Big Bird Yellow” from Wool and the Gang a few months ago. Bright ass yellow’s not my fav, but I figured I could use it to make this turban and, if all goes well, perhaps sell a few handmade ones on Etsy.
Things did not go well.
In fact, they’ve yet to go well.
The pattern has many issues.
Before going over the issues, let me briefly talk about the pattern.
After getting your yarn, deciding on your desired length, and grabbing your 10 mm straight needles, you’re ready to go. But wait, what’s “10 mm” for a US knitter? More on that later.
The pattern also called for an additional needle. However, it didn’t say what size and if that needle needed to be a knitting, circular, straight, or crochet needle.
Also, the pattern claims that it’s for beginner to intermediate level students and that’s not true. I think it’s for intermediate and above because a beginner would be thoroughly confused. I was.
Upon first glance, I could tell this was most likely Google translated. Remember, I’m an ESL/EFL teacher, I read papers from non-native speakers of my first language, English, for a living—I know when things have been Google translated.
This translation wouldn’t have necessarily been terrible if (a) I hadn’t have paid for the pattern and (b) it wasn’t poorly translated.
Unfortunately, it was garbage.
The pattern was difficult to read, lead alone comprehend. I tried my best, though. I even tried to write it in my knitting notebook in my own words to try to make some sense of it.
She wasn’t consistent in how she gave her information. For example, some important details like what size the “other needle” was wasn’t given in the PDF version of the pattern, but was shown and stated in the YouTube video.
Jesus, take the wheel!
You need at least 4 needles in total: 2 to knit with, one to transfer stitches to as you work on the other side, and a crochet needle, which isn’t mentioned at all in the materials section of the PDF. It’s only mentioned in the video.
The pattern isn’t that complicated. After initially casting on and working a set-up/preparatory row, you knit in English rib stitch until you your ready to knit the twist, which had me all the way bent out of shape.
I deciphered all of this from watching the video and trying to comprehend the convoluted pattern.
It didn’t help. Here’s what I think the reasons are.
The pattern, besides being poorly translated, and thus poorly written, seems to be missing something vital. Like, a lack of substance.
I think Olha (or whomever is really behind this account as I’ve no real way to determine if it is indeed someone named “Olha”) miscalculated the circumference needed to make a turban for an adult.
The cast on stitches seemed insufficient (12-16) for the goal we were trying to accomplish.
As I said, more than just the two straight needles were needed. Perhaps I’m being overly nit-picky, but most patterns I’ve come across thus far are inclusive in that they try to provide measurements and needle sizes for all audiences: U.S., U.K., and otherwise. This pattern didn’t.
Nowhere in the pattern does it say that she knits in Continental style, which is fine. But at least in the video it should have been mentioned because it was not clear how to do some of the techniques (especially for the twist) using English style. Freakin’ A!
*closes eyes and massages tense temples*
Again, I’m still learning to knit. English rib stitch didn’t seem too hard, but my work in progress didn’t seem to look correct. It never got the raised cables of a rib stitch and had several criss-crossed yarn wholes, which I found unsightly.
At first I just thought it was my lack of experience and ability to get this thing down. But then I started to wonder if it wasn’t just the pattern.
I found the video to be more helpful than the directions. It was, however, not in English. It wasn’t even in a language I could understand such as French, Spanish, and to some degree, Turkish. It’s in Ukrainian.
Thankfully, there are English subtitles that, for the most part, are good.
She made this more of an unlisted tutorial for students. I think it was well done. It wasn’t very difficult to follow along, but there were some instances that weren’t easy to grasp. The video wasn’t particularly long either. I think it was less than 40 minutes in length, which is good.
I was able to cast on my stitches as well as go knit several rows. But in the end, it just looked wrong to me. So, I’d take it out and try again. I watched other videos, too, but nothing helped.
After restarting the pattern 3-4 different times, and my wool yarn decidedly frayed, I gave up and turned to the free pattern from Joanne’s Web.
All-in-all, this pattern was supposed to bring me joy, happiness, and maybe a bit of relaxation. Instead, it made me confused, frustrated, and frankly, miffed. Was it worth it’s price? It was worth the 40% reduced price, yes.
No, I do not recommend this particular pattern to anyone until it is fixed. I plan to send Olha a message to inform her about all of this whether she wants to update it, or do anything about it in general, or not. It’s better to try instead of stewing. If she does, great. If not, woe to the next victim. I’ll leave an abridged version of this post as a review on her site. To be honest, I did send her a message right after purchasing the item. She responded quickly, in English, and gave me the information I needed.
Currently, I’m making my turban using Joanne’s pattern. It’s going swell. It’s knit in a 3×1 rib stitch, and is easy to follow. The only issue I had was running out of yarn. In my frustration from Olha’s pattern, I’d forgotten that I wasn’t working with a full skein of the Crazy Sexy Wool as I had turned my previous creation into a potholder. It’s lovely and, actually, I needed one as I recently moved into my house and don’t have all of my things yet. That yarn was on sale when I got it last month, but seems to have been discontinued as I was unable to find it on their website. That turban had to be finished, but I was kind of at a loss as I didn’t know where else to get the yarn if not from the maker.
Enter Amazon. They have everything. Amazon had a supposedly authorized seller that had 7 skeins still in stock. I bought two. I hope it’s the same color variation. Oh well if it’s not. At least I’d be finished by then.
I’ll most likely combine a few of the techniques from the two patterns to get my achieved look. I’ve never done that before, but I’m up for the challenge and adventure. Perhaps I’ll revise Olha’s pattern again one day to final try and conquer it.
For now, that battle is best left for another day.
How many of your creations have been reborn as potholders? Lookin’ for a friend here. Lol.