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Designing knitwear patterns - 1 of 2

I’ve heard from so many of you. You’re lost in the sea of where to begin. You want to know how to get started designing and writing patterns. How do you turn your knits into a pattern?

The front of a sweater with a cabled pocket, and several paper dolls showing designs to be made.
... it starts with a sketch.

Designing knitwear (especially sweaters!)

There are four big topics we’re going to cover here. The first two apply to anyone who wants to bring a knit into the world. The second two are for folks who want to do so professionally. Here’s the process:

  1. Coming up with an idea, concept, sketch – the actual DESIGN

  2. Creating a technical product – stitches, rows, instructions – that add up to a garment that fit

  3. Grading your pattern to fit more than one person

  4. Taking an idea from concept to market – the concrete steps of designing

Before we get into it, I want to say a few things.

  1. There’s no one way. This is how I do it, but if you’re creating something you love, that’s the right way for you!

  2. Becoming a professional designer is not the top rung on the ladder of being a knitter. It’s a totally separate sport, and it’s mostly NOT knitting. I absolutely treasure those of you out there making things that are handknit masterpieces that are one of a kind, and that is a very, very important thing to have in of our public community spaces.

Going pro is a responsibility

If you enter the world of professional designing, you’re entering a community where your actions impact the livelihoods of other independent designers. You become an ambassador for the profession, and your actions can have several impacts, such as…

…increasing the trust that knitters have in indie pattern

Knitters deserve clearly-written, well-graded patterns that have been tech edited. When a knitter has this experience, they go on to knit not just more of your patterns but also to buy more patterns from all indie designers – and they’re willing to pay what they’re worth.

…growing the financial stability of other designers