View Full Version : Making patterns

10-17-2008, 01:25 PM
I have a dream of some day publishing a book of patterns. BUT, I don't have the slightest idea how to make my own patterns. Does anybody have any tips on where to start? Is it sort of a trial and error thing like making your own cooking recipes, or is there a specific mathematics involved? I'd love any sort of feedback! Thanks!

10-17-2008, 02:03 PM
You may want to read other technical books so you have a thorough understanding of construction. There's Knitting from the Top Down by Barbara Walker, and another one (whose name I can't remember) by Maria Righetti. The Elizabeth Zimmerman books would be good to read through too.

10-17-2008, 02:12 PM
and another one (whose name I can't remember) by Maria Righetti.

Are you thinking of Knitting In Plain English, by Maggie Righetti?

10-17-2008, 02:24 PM
Yes, thanks, that's it.

10-17-2008, 03:54 PM
Awesome! This should be fun!

10-18-2008, 12:49 AM
If you're looking to do sweaters, read Righetti's book 'Sweater Design in Plain English.' Learning stitch properties, how knit fabric acts/reacts, drapes, shapes, etc. How the diff fibers behave. In this book, perhaps one of the best pieces of info: learning how to find the proper marriage of yarn and pattern. If you have a background in sewing, many of her insights in this book are even more enlightening as she draws comparisons, contrasts.

10-18-2008, 09:13 AM
Jess, I think it's a combination of trial and error and a basic grasp of the mathematics involved. I would recommend Elizabeth Zimmerman's "Knitting without tears", and to start out with small things. Design a sock, using the basic rules involved (a good recipe is the one that Stephanie Pearl-McPhee gives in Knitting Rules!). Design a baby sweater. Play around with cables (that is really so much easier than it looks!). And read, read, read. Good luck, and keep us posted!

10-18-2008, 10:56 AM
Iris has the right idea. I've come up with a number of my own patterns through the years, and here is one huge suggestion:

Find a very basics-only pattern, say for a pullover sweater. No frills. No unusual styling - just st st, ribbing, regular sleeves and cuffs, round neckline.

Now you can add your own variations - a squared-off neckline; bell sleeves or leg-o'-mutton sleeves, longer or shorter on the waist-ribbing, cables or lacy patterns, etc. Adjust the gauge for larger or smaller needles to accommodate different weights of yarn.

I've done this many different ways for many patterns. Just find a great base that you can make your own styles from. This is great for Fair Isle, cables, bobbles, lace, whatever.

Works for socks, mittens, scarves, hats, sweaters, vests - you name it. And I think if you take someone else's pattern and change it 20%, you can publish it as your own. But I much prefer the generic base-then vary as you will technique.

Hope this helps,