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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Five Pattern Writing Rules

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Pattern writing is a topic that I have brushed up on, with my own efforts to design, and a pretty decent rule of thumb is to look at published patterns that you find easy to use. To me there is a decent format.

1) A picture of the finished product that the knitter will achieve if they follow the directions of your pattern. It is important to have a picture that is exactly as your pattern dictates, not a finished object that has differences.

The reason for this is that you will get emails from those of us that can read knitting on a finished object. If you start a border early on the sides of a poncho, but the pattern does not reflect this? It may be a problem.

2) Gauge guide listed. What I mean by this is, how many stitches and row per 4 inches did you achieve to get the shape and design?
This is important because not everyone knits the same way.
3) How much yarn you used, what kind of yarn you used, needle sizes and any other extra items you used to make the item (stitch markers and cable needle, for example).
This is important because some people like to use the exact yarn in a project, they may want to use more yarn. And according to gauge, they may need to change needle sizes.

4) Now I can read both written and charts, but stick with one or the other or both. If you have both written for the body but just a chart for the border, why?
Consistency is so important. Because really, a little effort goes a long way to receiving less emails.
5) Finally, how about item measurements? How big is the finished item.
Though in a great world I would also love the measurements pre-blocked and post-blocked. (I know you know what I mean).
That isn't bad. 5 general rules of items that should be in a pattern. Though I could add that you should have it test-knitted, it is easy to find individuals who are willing to do so on ravelry or on facebook in one of the facebook pages for knitters. A second set of eyes on a pattern is helpful, if you are afraid of being criticized than you are probably in the wrong business (though I totally know that feeling, we still need those second set of eyes, so brace yourself for corrections).