Making a Knitting Pattern
I promised I would post a free new pattern that I was planning to make for my Snugglebuggs. Okay, no this is not the pattern. I’m still working on it. However, I do want to talk about a few things everyone should know when making a knitting pattern. A great PDF resource can be found at HJS Studio. I highly recommend it if you ever want to make your own patterns.
Swatch, Swatch, Swatch
I can’t say enough about how important making a swatch, or two, or even three is. It’s so important to try different patterns with different size needles and yarns, to find a fabric with the right feel and drape for your project. This is necessary for gauge and to know how many stitches you will need to cast on.
Measuring your stitch and row gauge before and after blocking is next when making a knitting pattern. The reason we must measure after we block is because different yarns react differently after being washed and dried. Some yarns will become limp and drape differently, others will bloom. So, check to see if you like your swatch after it’s been washed. You may need to change the type of yarn or needles to get the correct fit and gauge you want and need.
You do not need to be an artist for this part, but it helps to have a simple sketch of your pattern shape. A rectangle for a blanket or scarf. A sweater can be a rectangle with some holes where the head and arms should go.
Another great tool to have for making patterns is the website Knit Pro. It turns your favorite pictures into patterns. Knitting Pattern Generator has a downloadable version you can also try. Both generators will also work for crochet & cross stitch patterns.
How big do you want your afghan or baby blanket. What is the circumference of your head size. This is important to know when determining the correct amount of stitches needed when making a knitting pattern. Once you know what your desired width and size is add the final measurements to your sketch. Now a few calculations!
Okay, it’s not that bad I promise. However, it’s very important to measure your gauge correctly. Do Not fudge the numbers in your gauge swatch when making a knitting pattern. It will matter, in the big picture, whether or not your sweater fits properly. Multiply your stitch gauge by the width of the project piece you want to knit to get the required number of stitches to cast on.
Ex. Hat size needs to fit an 18″ circumference size head. Our gauge was 4 stitches to an inch.
Multiply, 18 x 4 = 72 stitches.
Now we need 72 stitches for our hat. But, the stitch pattern we want to use is not divisible evenly into 72 so we can adjust up or down a few stitches. In the case of the hat I would go down to 70 and count on the stretchiness of the hat for it to fit nicely.
Use your stitch gauge to add shaping details. Armhole indentations and neck openings are figured with this same math. Decreasing and increasing accordingly using your gauge and a little math. I will go into this a little more in future articles.
Now for the fun! Cast on and start knitting. Have fun with it. It’s a creative adventure full of trial and error. But, oh so much fun!
For these knitting creations, I use interchangeable circular needles. I very rarely use straight needles. I love the versatility and I always have the size I need right at my fingertips. I never have to run out to the store to grab another set of straight or circular needles because they both are easily available in my kit. They’re easy to carry around with me and for me they are a lot more comfortable. I honestly believe they are the best investment any knitting lover can make.
Patternworks is offering a wonderful interchangeable needle set. Even though I’m an affiliate, I believe any serious knitter should have a kit like this one. I particularly like this one because of the 40″ cord along with the cord connectors. I really could have used these when I made my Pi Shawl. My set does not have the 40″ size. I believe it’s time for an upgrade.
Say hello to Royale! Packaged in a beautiful, Parisian-inspired box with a pearlized finish, this year’s Knitter’s Pride limited-edition interchangeable needle set features the colorful laminated birch wood of their Dreamz needles, combined with the finely pointed nickel-plated brass tips of Karbonz.
Each set includes nine pairs of tips in sizes 4 (3.50mm) through 11 (8.00mm), four color-coded cords to make total needle lengths of 24″ (green cord), 32″ (two orange cords), and 40″ (red cord), and a set of two cord connectors. The cords and connectors are carefully packed in a stylish Paris-themed silk fabric notions pouch with zipper closure.
Parts are compatible with all Knitter’s Pride interchangeable needle and hook sets.
Retail value of $109.99! On Sale for $99.99 at Patternworks.
Hug Your Snugglebugg!