Working on my idea of the perfect knitting pattern template, it came to my mind it could be a good idea to deconstruct knitting patterns into their elements and find out what good patterns have in common. Besides properly written instructions, of course. What makes up a knitting pattern? Can there be an universal template for all knitted items? Is there fundamental differences in say, a template for socks and a sweater that counterpoints the possibility for such an all-in-one template?
My thoughts led to the idea of the existence of atoms, like pieces all of them have in common and ones that exist only for certain subtypes, say socks.
One atom could an Abbreviations Atom (all knitting patterns use them, so all should have a section explaining their usage) or a Materials Atom (every pattern should tell you what yarn & needles you should use to achieve the desired shape and size).
So what makes up a good knitting pattern template?
So what do have all knitting patterns in common?
serving as a place to tell about the construction methods, intended wear, personal history and finished size of the item described in the pattern.
How will the finished item look like? We want to know in advance what we are knitting, except for mystery patterns.
When we talk ktbl or p2tog, we would like to know what we are talking about at first hand.
What yarn whould we use, what needle size and do we need any additional materials like stitch markers?
Oh yes, we like to work a swatch first.
Except for written instructions only patterns, there might be charts. In mine, there are always charts. I’m a chart type of person, I like the instant overview this provides – okay, different story!
Obviously, we are talking about knitting patterns, so there should be some sort of instructions at least.
** I use to divide mine up into sections that are typical for the item in question: all of my sock patterns have a section about heels, toes, the foot, …
About the author
Usually, there’s a little “About Me” section in patterns, too.
There’s more, I’m sure
Have I forgotten something? Yes? Feel free to leave a comment and tell me, I’d be happy to hear your suggestions!
Wrapping it all up: which elements a good knitting pattern template should include
Let’s sum up: all the elements we just talked about should be included in a pattern template. But there is more: a good pattern is not just written in a proper way, it also should be visually appealing. That’s when the second question is being asked: how to present this information?
Knitting pattern design: how to present your pattern
Even if your pattern is perfectly written and consists all necessary information, the presentation is still a factor that can make or break your design. The information you are presenting should be readable and visually appealing, if possible. It does not only just look nice and pretty, it also makes it easier for the reader to understand.
So if we come up with a template, it should be pretty, visually clear and – ideally – customizable.
Coming up next
Hopefully, I’ll have a usable knitting pattern template draft by Friday – I’d like to use my Friday Freebies series to redesign at least one pattern per week.
That’s what I’m working on right now. What do you think? Are templates a good idea or just wasted time? I’d love to hear from you!