Ever come across a pattern that has 'easy' in the description but you don't personally agree? What would a pattern have to be to be considered 'easy' by all?
Should designers ever use the word 'easy' to describe a pattern or technique?
Easy can cause problems for makers. If you feel that the pattern has been a struggle to get through or that you can't master the techniques used, it can make you feel inadequate.
It can also open the designer up for negative reviews and negative feedback from the maker. If they personally didn't find it easy then it's not going to be a good review for the designer.
Bear in mind that the designer is not responsible for the skill set of the maker. I'm not saying that they should be, either. I'm just provoking some thought on how a maker will perceive the word 'easy' when it is in the title or description of the pattern.
One could argue that if you feel inadequate when making an 'easy' or 'beginner' pattern, maybe you aren't ready for this particular technique? Maybe you have only learned to crochet or knit via videos and don't actually understand patterns and how they are written? Are there other steps that could have been taken before actually casting on and making the item? is there a bit of research needed first? The jump from a dishcloth to a shawl can be a big one.
It's such a difficult situation if you look at it in context, so here's an example.
I release a sock pattern and say that it is suitable for knitters who can knit, purl, increase and decrease. I say that it is 'easy' because the stitches used are widely known and I would expect that anyone looking to make socks knows how to knit. There is nothing complex in the construction. There's no cabling, brioche or crochet cast on's, for example. It's just a knit sock.
The knitter who buys the pattern says that it is difficult because in order to make the socks, they would have to be confident using either double pointed needles or circular needles. This method has been explicitly highlighted in the pattern description before purchase. This is not a pattern explaining how to knit on double pointed or circular needles. The prior knowledge is assumed.
Have I done the wrong thing by saying that the pattern is easy? Or is this open to interpretation and therefore risk?
When we look at the synonyms for easy, we can see how problematic the wording is.
It can mean mindless, uncomplicated, undemanding, non challenging, trouble free, simple, straightforward (to name a few).
In colloquial terms it can mean "piece of cake" or "you could do it with your eyes shut" but what if the maker doesn't think so? Do we change how we describe something that is (mostly) interpreted as simple in case one or two makers don't think so?
While easy, mindless and non challenging are good if the maker is looking for something that they don't have to focus on, should we limit the use of the word 'easy'? What do you think?