Pattern Writing

If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I have recently completed knitting up a new shawl design. The design process itself went by rather quickly. I came up with the idea about a week ago:Untitled

And quickly began working on my design:

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Within a matter of days, the shawl was finished:

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So what happens now? Knitting and designing were the fun parts, but now I am faced with the task of taking my ‘design’ and translating it into a ‘pattern’ that can be read and understood by others. This is a slightly intimidating task. How can I be sure that something which seems straightforward to me will be equally clear to another knitter? Every knitter is unique in their level of experience and in the way that they think about and understand their knitting, and I need to make sure that I am presenting my pattern in a way that can be clearly understood by a broad spectrum of knitters. Thankfully, since I have written up two previous patterns, I now have a template which I can turn to to help get me started in laying out my pattern. Still, I find that this phase of the design process is the one which takes the most discipline on my part to make sure that I keep working steadily and don’t stagnate in the process.

As a prime example: even though I am still working on writing up this pattern, I have already started knitting up a new design. This new design is nothing fancy, just a simple, lacy, summer shawl which I will most likely release as a free pattern. The problem is that given the choice between sitting down and editing the pattern for the shawl I just completed versus sitting down and actually knitting on my new shawl I almost always lean toward the knitting. While this is still work toward a design goal, it does not help me to leave things half finished while I run off to start new projects. I will have to find a way to strike a balance between doing the work that is most fun and doing the work that simply needs to get done in order to turn out fully finished products.

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