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Old 10-17-2008, 01:25 PM   #1
Jessbreath
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Making patterns
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!
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:03 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
and another one (whose name I can't remember) by Maria Righetti.
Are you thinking of Knitting In Plain English, by Maggie Righetti?
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:24 PM   #4
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Yes, thanks, that's it.
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Old 10-17-2008, 03:54 PM   #5
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yay!
Awesome! This should be fun!
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Old 10-18-2008, 12:49 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 10-18-2008, 09:13 AM   #7
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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!
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Old 10-18-2008, 10:56 AM   #8
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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,
Dot
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