December 02, 2011

FAF: Creating a Pattern

Have you ever wondered how all those creative pattern writing people create those patterns? Every person's creative process is different, but I thought I'd give you a glimpse of mine.

The inspiration for a pattern can come from anywhere. This particular pattern idea came from a wine bottle cozy I made. It was so cute that I thought it needed to be worn. That was the start of the fingerless mitt pattern that will debut next week.

After getting an idea of what I want it to look like, I then decide which yarn I want to use. I like to write the patterns to feature the yarns we sell so I go diving through the inventory and play with yarn until I feel I have the right one for a project. In this instance I choose a 100% superwash merino in fingering weight (our Klondike base). 

I tend to doodle and write all over papers so the start of the pattern kind of looks like this.

There is a small sketch of what I wanted it to look like when complete and lots of crossed out math on the top as I tried to figure out the number of cast on stitches.

Did you know there's math in knitting? I mean, seriously scary math? I pictured a cute lacy edge to my mitt and finally came up with the perfect one. The problem....the number of stitches for the repeat of the lace pattern was completely different than the repeat for the mitt pattern. There was a lot of math, cursing and scribbling as I finally found a combo I could live with and that worked together.

For the most part, the rest of the mitt was a piece of cake. Why is the beginning always the hardest?

I spent about 2 weeks of evenings writing the pattern and knitting as I went. Occasionally I had to adjust something and once I ended up with a whole section that looked like this. I wasn't happy with it.

After my first pair was finished and the pattern typed up, it went out to the test knitters so they could give it a whorl.

For the most part, the pattern was a complete success. We had a couple of days of discussion on how to improve some instructions and there were a few typos, but overall it was good.

The test knitters gave it their approval and now 2 weeks later it's almost ready to debut. I can't wait! Here's a blog exclusive sneak peak.


  1. I think I would get too frustrated trying to write out what's in my head.
    - ourhometoyours

  2. I've wondered about those pattern writers! I totally believe you about the math. And actually, I was wondering if I couldn't make a larger Lillie's Little Sweater, like a size 4yr. or 6yr.,(36 mo. is the largest size that pattern makes) by just plugging in the same ratio as is used in the smaller sizes. It seems to me like it should work. ?

  3. so cool! i wish i could make those but i dont knit.



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