I sat down yesterday and just cranked on the Leila pattern, and I'm to the point where it only needs a final proof and some minor edits to the layout before it's done! I even managed to take pictures yesterday, since we actually had a sunny day (aside: being freaked out by how bright it is outside proves just how much rain we've gotten lately, doesn't it!?!?). The almost-final version is with the testers right now and I may just be able to release this baby next week! Woohoo!
As I worked on this pattern I realized that the reason it was giving me so much trouble is because it's a highly symmetrical and visual design. It's the sort of thing that I can knit without instructions by just looking at the work, so I thought it would be easy to write up. But it turns out that designs like this (and unfortunately, like the Luluzinha shawl, too) are really hard to explain in instructions, because when I knit it I made small modifications to make things perfectly symmetric, and writing that out requires a LOT of text. The Leila pattern has every single row written out and has graphs for all the lace patterns (of which there are 6 variations!). Proofing all the words almost killed me, because there were so many small things to keep in mind!
Which brings me to the conclusion I've reached, which is that in the future, I won't be writing out every row. I figure if big publications like Interweave don't write everything out, then I don't need to either. In the past I thought of it as a sort of badge of honor to write out every line in addition to the graphs, but I don't actually like written instructions because they tend to be less accurate that graphs. Personally, I never knit from the words if there are graphs!
What say you? Do you want written-out instructions for something like this shawl, or are charts enough?