Thank you so much for talking to me directly. I really wasn't going to mention how this pattern baffled me (and I consider myself an intermediate knitter, and literally have never encountered this much angst). I do read a pattern ahead of time, and after reading through a couple of times I thought I understood what was happening. The problems were numerous, with unclear instructions when I was supposed to believe was to decrease, and at what point was the overall total number of stitches on the needles and what were just the overall decreases. And then there was the basic math - there were several times where the math simply didn't work. I honestly don't want to go back and figure out where the errors are, and frankly I just may take a photo of what I ended up with, based on how I interpreted the instructions.
Now I will say I have never before tried to learn Intarsia (you hear so many scary things), and I certainly will try that again. I have never knitted with such fine yarn, nor a shawl, and I will certainly try those again. I have never come up against such a problem with instructions, and I think the lessons I will take from this is to either reach out for more help than scanning what everyone was saying, and/or quit sooner. I think I was so excited to try a project with a group, and a deadline I pushed through when I should have realized me and this pattern were never going to be friends. Thing is I've knit so many other things, and have learnt enough work-arounds, I really thought we could come together.
Did it make me decide not to continue with AYOT, heck no. I'm looking forward to June 1st, and have my bag of summer yarns sitting beside the couch so I can keep peeking at their lovely colours and textures.
Out of curiosity, was the pattern test knitted by you, the tech editor? See I think by the time you knit it, you understood it.
Thanks again Jen.
PS. Ok, I went back to my scribbles and notes, and found a few places of bad math: a) Rows 21-56: Rep rows 17-20 a further 9 times (56-21=35, 35/9=3.89) so instructions for 35 rows, but (9x4=36) covers 36 rows. Which is correct? ; b) Rows 169-204: Rep rows 157-168 a further 3 times (168-157=11, 11x3=33, 204-169=35. So instructions for 33 rows, but this covers 35. So which is correct, stop after the 33 rows or 35 rows? ; c) Rows 209-232 & Rows 237-300, same problem. Now this may sound silly if your number of stitches of each colour, and the total number of stitches is correct, but because I couldn't figure out when to trust what was written down or what I'm beginning to think is to follow the other instructions of when to decrease whatever color overall (the overarching comments of decrease yarn A every x rows, and ignore the instructions of the repeated rows). You see I blended the two, not knowing which took precedence. Thus I either ran out stitches for various yarns, or had too many stiches of another colour. Yes, I will take a photo so you can see what I ended up doing. That might help you in the future.
Wow, I didn't mean for this to turn into full analysis /confession, but I'm doing this for future knitters. Hope this helps.