Hello friends! In this episode of the podcast I talk about diving into the designing world of knitting. I discuss how I started my designing journey and the art of pattern writing. I also talk a little about the new shawl pattern I am in the process of designing.
I can remember early on in my knitting being in awe of pattern designers. I could not wrap my brain around how someone could create a stitch pattern or take an existing stitch pattern and alter it to fit specific shapes. It literally blew my mind. Especially the super intricate lace shawls. I told myself that I would never be able to do anything like that.
But, several years into my knitting life, I found a stitch pattern that I got very comfortable with. Most stitch dictionaries call this slanted blocks or lazy blocks or tilted blocks. It alternate blocks of lace and blocks of garter stitch, depending on where you are at in the pattern repeat the blocks slant left or right. The original pattern was a scarf pattern. I knitted a few of the scarves and then I had a thought that I could knit a little shorter version of the scarf and graft the two ends together to make a shoulder shawl. I grabbed some pretty blue fingering weight yarn and did just that. I decreased the repeats to make it shorter, then I laid it out flat and took one end, twisted it one time and then grafted the ends together to make a mobius.
Then I had another thought…wouldn’t this stitch pattern be great on a cowl?! I had to do some experimenting with stitch counts, eventually I had my Lazy Blocks cowl which I published in my Ravelry shop in 2015.
Then I had ANOTHER thought….wouldn’t it be great to have a pair of fingerless mitts that matched the cowl? Of course it would. Again I grabbed yarn and experimented with stitch counts and came up with my Lexie Mitts pattern, also published in my Ravelry shop.
I completely proved myself wrong, I could design patterns! It felt so good, I felt accomplished. I ended up wanting to design more, to design variety of patterns that use all different techniques and different stitches. I have so many design ideas in my head and only two hands and a limited amount of time during the day that I can devote to pattern design.
One of the other big challenges in pattern design, that I have found, is the process of actually writing out the directions. My mom has always said the hardest part of knitting is reading and understanding the directions. I 100% agree with that. I have knitted some patterns where the instructions were very difficult to follow, and I have knitted some patterns where the instructions were so easy to follow (seriously, if you have not checked out Ambah’s knitting patterns you are missing out!). My goal as a pattern designer is to make sure that my instructions are logical and as easy to follow as possible. I will go over and edit and tweak patterns for weeks before I am ready to publish them. My mom has also been my trusty pattern reviewer to make sure they make sense.
As I move towards more challenging designing, like garments I am slowing myself down and taking my time to make sure that I have clear and complete instructions. Until I started designing my own patterns, I don’t think I really had a full appreciation of what all goes into designing a pattern and publishing it for other people to knit. Especially with cardigans and sweaters. There is so much to take into consideration for those types of patterns. Right now I am in the middle of learning pattern grading, which is the process of taking the stitch counts and measurements of your sample size that you have knitted, applying math to it in order to get stitch counts and measurements for multiple sizes bigger and smaller than your sample size. That is a daunting process, especially for someone who grew up disliking math. But it is a challenge, and I like challenges.
I again mention my pullover sweater design that is in the works. I have the sample size knitted and am taking an online pattern grading course to learn how to properly grade my pattern.
I’ve also been working on my first ever shawl pattern design. It is a triangle mosaic shawl knit from end to end. This pattern calls for 2 complementing fingering weight yarns. I’m still working on the name for this pattern, but I sure am enjoying knitting it right now. If you enjoy mosaic knitting and cannot get enough of slipped stitches then this will be a fun pattern for you!
That pretty much wraps up Episode 2 of the JessKnits Podcast, I really hope you enjoyed this episode. Make sure to follow me on your favorite podcast listening app to be notified of future episodes when they are published. You can find all of my published episodes on Anchor at https://anchor.fm/jessknits .
Until next time; Happy Knitting!
You can find me in the following places:
- Ravlery user name: JessieLynn
- Ravelry Shop: JessKnits
- Podcast : jessknitspodcast
- JessKnits: jess_knits
- Podcast: jessknits podcast
- JessKnits: JessKnits