When I started designing, I had no idea how patterns are created. Sure, I have knitted from them, I knew the basic structure, also I was aware that each designer has his (her) own style. I followed the path I always take - I checked if there is a book about it. Sure thing, I quickly found one (see it below). I read it and several first patterns were born (shawls).
Then I decided to move from shawls to children garments - new missing piece of info - how do you write pattern for several sizes? How do you select sizes to write about? Where do you take measurements (it was obvious for me from the beginning that it cannot be done by proportional scaling)?
As I’m progressing as a designer and now also as a technical editor, I find more and more useful resources on my way. So I decided to put them all together - for you and for myself too. Feel free to share with your knitting and designing friends.
All of these resources share one common trait - I tried them, found interesting and useful and I continue to use the in my daily knitting, designing and editing life. Some of them are free (like blog posts) and some of them require some financial investment (as books and courses).
Sizing charts and measurements
Eileen Casey collected measurements - Eileen has collected measurements and summarized very useful and comprehensive tables for women, men, babies, and children, and heads! I use her measurements for children and they work wonderfully.
Ysolda’s sizing chart for knitwear designers - very detailed measurement table for women with good size coverage and a description of how those measurements to be taken. Do not forget to read the post itself about the measurements!
Craft Yarn Council Standard measurements - standard measurement tables for babies, children&youth, women, and men, along with ease and length charts, how to take the measurements. Also, you can find here head circumference chart, foot and hand size charts.
The Beginner’s Guide to Writing Knitting Patterns: Learn to Write Patterns Others Can Knit - great book by Kate Atherley on exactly that - how to write your first (and further) pattern. Try to get hands on it in your local library or you can buy it on Amazon or BookDepository.
Sister Mountain blog - Claire has great thread going about pattern writing and design in her blog, check it out!
- Knit Mitts: Your Hand-y Guide to Knitting Mittens & Gloves - by Kate Atherley. It is the only resource I use now for mittens - it has extensive information about fit and construction, as well as great sizing charts for hands - from babies to adults.
- Custom Socks: Knit to Fit Your Feet - by Kate Atherley. Same like mittens, it is only resource I use now. I haven’t read it fully yet but it is definitely worth having in your library if you love knitting socks or planning to desing some.
Pullovers and other garments
Amy Herzog’s Ultimate Sweater Book: The Essential Guide for Adventurous Knitters - I have currently one sweater design and one cardigan design - both not yet released but for both of them I used Amy’s book for reference. Also, I use it all the time for technical edit!
I often also review the patterns from other designers that have similar construction or technical solution I would like to use. For instance, when I started to design round yoke pullover, I went through all round yoke patterns in my Ravelry library, paying special attention to my week points (as grading for bigger sizes), checking and rechecking the increase steps and division across the yoke.
also, Melissa from Knitting the Stash has a great review of her favorite sweater design books. Check it out.