Pattern Writing Philosophy
Have you ever published a knitting or crochet pattern. As I’m writing one now, I realize I have a pattern writing philosophy. What’s yours?
QueerJoe’s Pattern Writing Philosophy
It should be noted that my ideas on pattern writing have evolved recently. A number of the guys in the daily Men’s Yarn Crafting Zoom meeting are publishing designs. Their ideas are helping me clarify both my designs and my philosophy of what’s important.
Initially, when I started publishing designs, they were somewhat careless. I’d write up just enough to get the knitter/crocheter the information they needed to make my design. Now, this type of pattern is my first draft. My latest pattern has been modified at least 20 times so far.
I’ve realized that I want a somewhat consistent format for my designs. “Somewhat” because a sweater pattern will look very different than a scarf pattern. But I realized it would be good to have a consistent heading/logo on the pattern. All my patterns should also use the same font. A font that is clear and easy to read.
Here are some of the other items I’m finding important to have:
- Design blurb with a description of what makes the design interesting
- Consistent overview of characteristics of the design:
- Size(s) of finished garment (in both imperial and metric
- Yarn weight and amount used (in both imperial and metric)
- Needle(s) (in both US sizing and metric)
- Gauge – indicating stitch for the gauge and before or after blocking
- Necessary tools
- Video tutorial links for any complicated techniques
- Pattern stitches in both written and chart format
- List of abbreviations
There should also be good photos of the garment. And an aesthetically pleasing layout of text and graphics.
Should it be test-knit? I think this depends. I don’t sell many patterns. If there’s a mistake and a knitter contacts me, I am very responsive and will fix it quickly. With apologies and a refund for the pattern price. I figure if they turn out to be an unwitting test-knitter, they shouldn’t have to pay for the pattern. I don’t put my patterns out for test knitting. Although I do work through my own pattern to make sure it works.
I’ve come to realize there are two reasons designers have for test knitting. To pre-promote their pattern and to make sure it’s correct. Having a handful of completed projects in Ravelry when a pattern is published is usually a good thing. And having a pattern that is error-free is also good.
Is that too much to ask? Apparently it was for my earlier patterns…I may go back and modify some of them now.
Mostly I’ve been focusing on pattern writing and finishing the back section of the Shaker Rib Cardigan.
I’ve got about 2 more inches on the back. I’m thinking I may introduce a contrasting color for the button band and pocket edgings, but I’m not sure yet.
Thoughts on a contrasting colored yarn?