Thursday, 9 June 2016

When is Exclusive Not Exclusive?

When is 'exclusive' not 'exclusive'?

When it is a classic pattern–that's when!

Inside Crochet
Issue 66, June 2015

The pattern in question is the lacy 'spider stitch' top by the Wendy Design Team which was shared in my previous post "More Examples of Crochet Spider Stitch" (December 2015).  I first saw it in Issue 66 of Inside Crochet magazine (June 2015).

(I'm afraid you will need to visit the links to see a closer picture of this top because I don't own the photo's copyright.)

Simply Crochet Issue 35 magazine cover
Simply Crochet
Issue 35, September 2015

This week, I was looking through a back issue of Simply Crochet magazine (Issue 35) from September 2015 and what did I see but the very same pattern but with a different name.  I had to look twice when I read Simply Crochet's text claiming that the pattern was 'exclusive'. As a reader, I interpreted that as being exclusively available to readers of Simply Crochet magazine.  Would you?

exclusive / adjective  8. available through only one channel of marketing.*


In Simply Crochet's Contents page, the pattern description reads:

"An exclusive cotton tee with a hint of sparkle from Wendy."

Then on the pattern page (p. 37): 

"Hook a lacy cotton tee that's perfect for layering
with this exclusive design from Wendy."

How can the pattern be described as 'exclusive' when it had already been published and available for public consumption by Inside Crochet magazine 3–4 months earlier?

I checked that it is definitely the same project. You can see a photo of it in the aforementioned post where I was given permission to share the picture. I thought it would be an interesting exercise to compare how two different magazines treat the same pattern, especially since there are different styles when it comes to writing patterns.

Comparison Table

Inside Crochet
Simply Crochet
66, June 2015
pp. 44-46
35, September 2015
pp. 36-39
Publication Date
May 2015
August 2015
Tailor Made Publishing
Immediate Media Company
Bournemouth, UK
Bristol, UK
Pattern Name
'Pineapple Lace Top'
'Lemon Drizzle' on pattern title page,
'Lovely Lacy Top' in Contents
Pattern Designer
Wendy Design Team
TB Ramsden
Level of Difficulty
3 out of 4 stars
Not classified.
"This tropical tee is perfect for long summer days and lazy beach holidays."
"An exclusive cotton tee with a hint of sparkle from Wendy." (Contents)
"Hook a lacy cotton tee that's perfect for layering with this exclusive design from Wendy." (p. 37)
The sizing table is tacked onto the end of the pattern instructions. It uses S, M, L with measurements in cm and inches.
Yarn requirements listed in table at end of pattern.
Hook sizes are listed in the 'Materials' section at the start but it does not explain the relationship between hooks and sizes.  This is implied later in the 'Tension' guide.
Provides a sizing table on the first page which uses clothing size numbers: 10, 12, 14.
Explains the use of 3 different hook sizes with a simple introductory paragraph and specific note about hooks.
Finished Dimensions
No schematic.
Bust and length measurements listed in a table.
Measurements  for bust and length are listed in a table according to size numbers (10,12,14).
"Work one complete pattern repeat and eight rows" but number of stitches in pattern repeat not specified. The only foundation chain instructions are for the full garment, not a sample.
Not until after the first 8 rows of instruction does the pattern let the reader know that the 8 rows form the pattern repeat but  the pattern asks for a foundation chain of 101 ch. too long for a tension sample.
Three different tension measurements for three different sizes, listed separately according to size.
Stitch multiples for pattern repeat are not mentioned, only the length of the foundation chain (ch101).
"Rows 1-8 form the patt." is not mentioned until after the fact.
Charts, Diagrams, Visual Cues
No diagrams, charts or schematics.
4 photos including front, back, with close-ups of neckline and hem.
Schematic, Sizing Table;
Instructions are colour coded according to size.
4 different photos including front, close-up of shoulder, sleeve and neck bands and pattern stitch. Photos do not include hem.
UK, 'miss', 't-ch'
'top sewing'
Heading: 'Making Up' with two further subheadings 'To Make Up'
UK, uses 'skip' (a US term), 'turning chain',
Heading: 'To Make Up'
Pattern Writing Style
Turning chain is included at the end of a row's instructions.
No brackets used at all.
'Shape Neck' section uses consecutive row numbers beginning at Row 1 in that section.
Instruction to 'turn' appears at the end of a row with turning chain instructions at the start of a row.
Brackets are used.
'Shape Neck' section does not use row numbers: instead uses 'Next Row' 4 times in a row and then numbering returns for Row 7 and Row 8. Instructions are colour coded according to size.

Simply Crochet does what its title says—simplifies the pattern notes with tables that use familiar clothing size numbers to give a rough guide to the finished dimensions.

Inside Crochet crams the pattern into fewer pages by omitting punctuation; e.g. brackets; and using abbreviated terms.

Inside Crochet's row numbering is easier to track because Simply Crochet loses it's row numbering in the 'Shape Neck' section. Instead Simply Crochet uses 'Next Row' but after a series of 'Next Rows' I would easily lose my place. I would need to renumber the pattern before starting which adds another step to the procedure.

The good news is this:

One pattern: multiple sources!

What is your preferred pattern-writing and layout style?

* Definition source: The Macquarie Dictionary Third Edition, Macquarie University NSW Australia 1997.

Pattern Details

Wendy Design Team, Wendy Yarns, Thomas B Ramsden,

Related Posts on Lupey Loops

"More Examples of Crochet Spider Stitch", 22 December 2015: 


  1. Interesting post. I like your comparison chart - so much work! I don't buy knitting magazines - they overwhelm me, but my sister does and when I visit I leaf through them. Exclusive doesn't seem like the right word here - as you pointed out.

    1. Thank you for sharing your opinion, Mary-Anne. I appreciate your thoughts because of your own interest in language and writing. So it's not 'just me' then? ;-)

      As for the exercise: yes, it was a bit of work but my curiosity got the better of me! I hope the comparison chart is helpful.

      My home could easily get overwhelmed with magazines if I could afford to buy all of the issues I like! I limited my budget to 1 magazine a month but which to choose! At first, I purchased a different title each time to get a feel for their styles and contents. When I found myself attracted to the same one repeatedly, I knew that would be worth a subscription for me. I still think it is important to inspect other titles and occasionally purchase something different. There are always surprises to be found and designs and styles are continually evolving. My library is a great way to access magazines that I would otherwise not purchase but I am lucky that my newsagent is patient with my browsing. She knows I will buy something eventually!

  2. Impressive post, certainly makes you wonder about patterns.

    1. Thank you for your compliments, Lorraine, and the appreciation of my efforts. I can't help myself - always the intrepid investigator. That's probably the journalist within.

      I did have other motivations:
      1. If it genuinely was the same pattern in two places, I could add another source for our reference.
      2. I have been asked to create some written patterns for my original designs so it is interesting to see examples of the different ways of doing the same thing.
      3. I also hope this will be useful for others who may be trying to decide which magazine suits them better.

      I find it fascinating to observe emerging new media, their effects on old media and how media are converging or adapting (or not). Even our crochet magazines are not immune to these trends.

      There are certainly many things to wonder about in relation to patterns and publishing. I'm glad I am not the only one interested in such things.

      Have a wonderful day! ;-)

  3. Hi Jodie,

    Well, you are quite the investigator!!! Well done! Strange thing, isn't it? They shouldn't have called it exclusive then!

    It looks like a nice top, I will check it out when I get my hands on my own copy (next visit to England).

    Personally I tend to prefer charts, they are easier for keeping track. It is easy to read over a written description and end up with a mistake!

    I also find that if there is some sort of summary explanation at the beginning, then that helps. (this top is made up of 2 identical pieces, worked from the bottom up, then assembled and ribbing is added... something like that gives me immediately a good idea how the construction goes!) Sadly most of the patterns omit such descriptions.

    Enjoy your weekend!
    Ingrid xx

    1. I agree with you about charts and summaries. Any extra information about a pattern's design, technique or materials is welcome. I keep thinking I have seen that top somewhere many years ago but I am not sure where. It is a nice looking top though. It is interesting to compare notes with each other - I appreciate your honest thoughts.

  4. Well isn't this interesting, I wonder why they choose that word to describe it? I would think it would be exclusive to their magazine but that does not appear to be right. So weird isn't it?

    1. It certainly had me perplexed too. I guess we will never know the reason. The other thing that amused me was that one magazine called it a 'pineapple top' but there were no signs of any traditional 'pineapple' motifs anywhere. Maybe they thought 'spider' lace sounded too creepy! hehehe