Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Writing a knitting pattern

In my job I get to look through a lot of patterns. In my spare time I read a lot of patterns while knitting. Occasionally I even write my own patterns. Ergo, I spend a lot of time with my nose in patterns and I enjoy every minute of it, mostly...
A lot of patterns are very professional and nicely presented whereas others can be a nightmare and the only way to get a useful garment is to divert from the pattern. Whether you are a newbie knitter, aspiring designer or professional designer/tech editor, here are some of the things I look for in a pattern.


You need photos and you need good photos. No photos or bad photos does not sell. Make sure you have several photos from different angles, use a friend to model the garment (or take the photos and model the knits yourself), use natural light if possible. Indoor backgrounds can be boring, try going outside and show the knits in use, not just posed. If you don't have access to a model/photographer, hang the garments in trees, over fences, thrown over a statue... A garment lying flat is very informational and can be included, but don't forget to add some nice photos showing the garment in use or in an unexpected place. Close-ups on details are very nice too, did you just make the best looking button band ever? Show it off! We love to see fancy knits!


Looking to be original and Times New Rowan or Arial feel boring? Feel free to try something new but keep to the standard fonts, with serifs for printables (those little 'flags' on top and bottom of t, k, l, m, etc, example Times New Roman), sans serifs for anything intended for screens (for example Arial). And remember, there is nothing wrong with good ol' Times New Roman and Arial, just add photos and nice layout and the pattern will look amazing.
Avoid anything that is hard to read for the text mass. Titles can be in a fancy font but keep to standard  fonts that are easy to read for the pattern text.


Save space, use columns! We all have different preferences when it comes to using paper patterns or on tablet/computer/smartphone, but long text rows are just as tiring and hard to read on any device/paper. Make the rows short and easy to read.
Make sure the whole paragraph gets on the same page, never let a single sentence get lost on another page. The people who wants a printed pattern will be much happier with a pattern on 2 pages than a spaced out pattern on 7. But still, don't go under 10 points in size of the text, use the space wisely but still easy to read.

Check your pattern

It is so annoying when a pattern has mistakes, even typos will set off comments from knitters. Run a test knit of your pattern and/or have a technical editor going through your pattern. What makes sense to you does not necessarily make sense to someone else. Hopefully all mistakes will be caught in a test knit/tech edit and the knitters will be happy!

I hope that you find my tips helpful! Do you have more tips, please leave them in the comments!

Sunday, 23 November 2014

New job!

I've had a slow autumn applying for lots of jobs and not hearing back from any of them and was actually starting to loose a little faith in myself. 3 weeks ago I finally got an interview, and then a follow-up interview and then I was offered the job! All in less than a week.
I started my new job a week after the first interview and have now done 2 weeks. It is so nice to be back in the rhythm and get a change of scenery every day. 

Unfortunately I don't have as much time to knit anymore, but at least I get to spend my days surrounded by yarn, needles and patterns. I am really enjoying my new job and my nice colleagues.

Mr A gave me a gift for getting a job, which arrived with great timing on the day I started the job. Two skeins of merino/silk 80/20 fingering in Metallurgy from Northbound knitting, absolutely gorgeous! I am thinking a shawl and lots of garter stitch, it is going to be fab!

Monday, 10 November 2014


A couple of weeks back I test knitted a shawl pattern for a friend. It's a triangular shawl in fingering weight yarn, knit top-down.
The pattern is reverse stockinette with a leaf pattern that climbs on a trellis. I absolutely love leaf patterns, they're fairly simple to knit and they look amazing. The moment I saw a photo of this shawl it go right on the top of my knitting queue. The pattern however, did not exist yet so I had to wait for a few weeks and then I had the opportunity to test knit the shawl.

Last week Mia Rinde published the final pattern of Espalier and I can tell you it's a gorgeous shawl! I love my shawl and use it a lot.

The pattern is quite straight forward, lace pattern on the right side, relaxing rows back. No tricky techniques, just a little focus on keeping track of where you are in the pattern. I only used stitch markers to mark the centre stitch since the middle sections kept growing and stitch markers to mark the repeats would have to have been moved around a lot. I did one more repeat than the pattern suggested and ended up with a shawl in the perfect size for me. I can wrap it around my shoulders as well as wear it as a scarf. I used up 120 grams of Cascade fingering, most of the test knitters landed somewhere 100-150g of fingering weight.

Sunday, 26 October 2014


Imagine a poncho. Now imagine a shawl. Now imagine they're one and the same garment. It's a Viajante!

Viajante is a genius pattern by Martina Behm. It's a versatile garment that can be worn as a poncho or a shawl in various styles. I knitted my Viajante in 2-ply Shetland wool in graphite grey, I'm not sure about the meterage but the finished garment weighs 270 g.

I have gotten a lot of use out of my Viajante, it's still warm enough to wear it over a sweater and let the jacket stay in the wardrobe.

Sunday, 19 October 2014


Friday afternoon I felt like crafting a little and got out some of my crafting stuff. I had a bracelet to repair and a jar of assorted beads that I got from a friend, perfect time to sort through them a little. Very soon the table exploded of crafts supplies. Mr A just laughed at the mess that just appeared from nowhere.
I get the Mollie Makes magazine and with every issue there's a small crafty gift and I decided to make two of them, one of them was supposed to become a mug cosy in felt. I liked the design but have no use for a mug cosy, so I made a needle book in the same design, I'm really pleased with the result!

I had a small piece of felt left over from this project and some bicycle inner tube which I cut small squares from and fastened together with mother of pearl buttons to create a supereasy but cool bracelet. The earrings in the photo are from last year and are small tassels made from inner tube from a bicycle as well. Such a fun material to work with! I have so many ideas but I need to get more tubes before I can continue. Watch this space for more to come!

Lastly I got out another freebie kit from Mollie Makes and made a cool bracelet from felt and faux leather. I must admit a was a little sceptic when I first saw it, but it looks really awesome, I have every intention on wearing it a lot!

Thursday, 16 October 2014

The Yarn Fairy came for a visit

This week has been a bit low for me, for various reasons, the dark evenings is one.  Yesterday I was even lower with a cold trying to kill me. Lucky me the Yarn Fairy came for a visit and left some yarn for me. Cascade 220 fingering for a shawl and lots of Drops Fabel for socks. I am going to have warm feet this winter!
I also got a Knitpro Thames bag, to keep needles, cables and other notions in. Even a small project would fit in it. It feels a little like an old fashioned doctors' bag, but with all the tools you need for knitting! I can't wait for an excuse to use it! And all the yarn certainly made my day a little better and the cold seems to be going away!

Knitpro bag model Thames

Space for needles, cables, measure tape, stitch markers and more

Cascade 220 fingering and Drops Fabel

Monday, 13 October 2014

Grey Monday

Mondays always seem to be a bit greyer than all the other days, today is not an exception, grey skies and rain. I'm waiting for replies to job applications and my head hurts. At least I have hand knit zebra socks and a couple of knitting podcasts to cheer me up and of course 2 skeins of Wollmeise twin that just made it to my door!