Monday, November 18, 2013

How To Say It: Pattern Writing For Knitters

How To Say It: Pattern Writing For Knitters covers every conceivable detail a pattern writer needs to consider from start to finish. It's important to note that this course does NOT cover how to design a garment - that's another topic for another day. Rather, consider this a master's course for all knitters, whether you are a self-publishing designer or a knitter simply looking to understand why patterns are written the way they are so you can learn the lingo and knit them with greater ease.

I'm not going to lie, this is extremely dry subject matter, but instructor Edie Eckman does her best to make things interesting. Each lesson is extremely thorough as Edie shares her collective experiences throughout the class. Rather than simply saying "this is the right way to do X, Y or Z," she explains why one option might be preferred over another in a given scenario (and also why the opposite may be true in a different situation).

This course could almost be called "Critical Thinking For Designers," because it's clear that she wants everyone to understand each aspect of writing a pattern so that they can make the best choice to suit their own needs, not to mention the needs of their audience - and how to balance those two needs while writing said pattern.
It's important to note that the course is geared more towards writing patterns for garments - the example used throughout the course is a sweater pattern. Sock designers such as myself will still find useful information with regards to general pattern writing, but if you are looking for specifics about sock construction and the like, you'd do well to begin with any of Donna Druchunas' three sock classes. That's not to say that you can't apply many of the principles to whatever you're  designing - socks, hats, toys, what have you - but if you are looking for mathematical formulas, measurements, or other such information specific to anything outside of the realm of garment-making, you may be disappointed.

Personally, I have never designed or published a sweater pattern, so I felt as though I learned a lot from this course, despite that fact that I've been publishing other types of designs for years. I do think that absolute beginners stand to benefit the most from this class - honestly, I wish this had been around years ago when I was first beginning to self-publish! As I mentioned above, you will still need to take the initiative to find information specific to whatever you're designing, but if you know how to google, it shouldn't be a problem (and if you are google-averse, I've collected some of the standardized size charts I've come across here on pinterest, or you can check out the other Craftsy classes focusing on pattern designing here).

Course materials include a stylesheet PDF which you can use to select your preferred options, a sample pattern template, and some excellent resources which includes a list of events and books designers might find useful, plus recommendations for charting software. Even if you have already published several designs as I have, there is still plenty of useful information to take away from this course.

Click here to sign up for How To Say It: Pattern Writing for Knitters with Edie Eckman.

1 comment:

  1. I took this class because I designed a sock and I wanted to write up a pattern for it. I was slightly disappointed that it was so focused on writing sweater patterns, but the first few lessons were still helpful. (And combined with Donna's classes, I feel hopeful that I am going to be able to write up the pattern in a way other knitters will understand!) I loved Edie - she was great! Would definitely take another class from her.