This is a bit different. This isn’t a book for knitters – it’s a book for designers.
What’s it all about?
I’ve written the book that I wish existed before I became a knitter. I’ve created the resource that I wish existed before I became a designer. I’ve built the guide that I wish existed every day of my teaching career. I’ve delivered the manual that the designers I edit wish existed.
The goal of Pattern Writing for Knit Designers is to help designers write good knitting patterns.
When I was first learning to knit, I had some really terrible experiences because I was working with poor instructions; I very nearly gave up the craft. When I was first learning to design, I wrote some pretty terrible patterns; I’m sure that some knitters gave up working from my patterns. When I’m teaching, I see knitters struggle with weak instructions all the time. I find myself coaxing knitters off the “I can’t do this, I’m going to give it up” ledge.
Good pattern writing matters because we want knitters to keep knitting.
It’s easy to say that patterns should be good. But how to make that happen?
Designing and pattern writing are very different skills; being good at one doesn’t make you good at the other. Indeed, the skills needed for both rarely go together. The most skilled and creative designers have immensely imaginative minds and are gifted at spatial and free-form thinking; pattern writing requires order and logic and a detail orientation that doesn’t always come naturally to the creative mind. (Me, I definitely tend towards the order, logic and detail orientation. I’ve got a degree in math and spent many years working in documentations and communications in the software industry.)
This book is a guide to make pattern writing easier for all levels and types of designers.
It includes lots of concrete examples and a full downloadable template that you can use as a basis for your patterns. I discuss the big picture and the minutiae, e.g. the proper use of * to indicate repeats, the whys and wherefores of charts, and the full gory details on garment sizing, grading and measurements.
And don’t just take it from me! I’ve surveyed knitters of all levels on what they like to see in knitting patterns, and they are quoted throughout. I’ve spoken to professional photographers and layout experts on how to make your design and pattern look its best. And I’ve interviewed magazine editors to get tips on how to make your submissions and design proposals their best.
Cool stuff in the book!
- Pattern Structure – what elements should a good pattern have
- Pattern Elements – a detailed look at each element identified
- The Actual Knitting Instructions – using knitting conventions and straightforward presentation to make a widely-understood pattern
- Charts – when and how to make them
- Grading & garment sizing – resources and guidelines
- Formatting and Layout – making a pattern visually user-friendly
- The Process – how to go from test knitting to a final publication
- Selling Online – platforms, processes, and good business practices
- On Copyright – an introduction to these important laws