In this post, I’ll detail what you should include in your knitting pattern, as well as a few tips to keep it clear, concise, and accurate for your customers. If you provide them with a quality product, they will be more likely to purchase future patterns.
Give a Brief Description About the Knitting Pattern
To personalize your design, write a little about your pattern. While this section shouldn’t be too long (aim for 100-250 words), a little information about you or the inspiration behind your pattern is an added bonus to many knitters. Many people love to feel connected to a design creator. If you are unsure about what to write about, consider the following questions for inspiration:
Add Important Information About the Knitting Design
List all important information about your design with clear headings that stand out so that future knitters can quickly peruse the data they need. Make sure to add the following:
Listing the yarns you used for the project is important. Even if your clientele chooses to use a different yarn, they can use the information you give them to choose their own fibers. Make sure that you include the following data:
- Name of the company
- Name of the yarn
- Yarn weight – use both the number of the ply and the “term” used for it (if applicable)
- Fiber content
- Color(s) that you used (give the color numbers or their names so that people can search for specific hues if they wish)
- The number of skeins/balls that you used (if you used multiple colors, list the number of skeins you used for each color). If your pattern has multiple sizes (such as a piece of apparel), list the number of skeins used for each size.
|Cobweb, Single, Thread, Zephyr
|Super Fine (1)
|Baby, Light Fingering, Sock
|Super Fine (1)
|Baby, Fingering, Sock
|8 ply or DK (Double-Knit)
|Aran, Worsted, Triple Knit
|Afghan, Fisherman, Worsted
|Chunky, Double-Double Knit
|Super Bulky (6)
As with the yarn, it is important for you to share the needle sizes you used when creating your design. Make sure to stress that the knitter should use a size that will help them knit the correct gauge, but they can experiment with the size you used to start off. Add the following:
- Sizes of needles used
- If you used DPN (double-pointed needles) or circular needles, list the length(s) used.
- List both the mm and US sizes.
|US (United States)
|UK (United Kingdom)/British
Gauge of Knitting Project
Even if the gauge isn’t important to your particular project, I recommend you add it. Some knitters will want to know the finished size of a project even if they aren’t wearing it. It is also a good habit to get into for future patterns. Add the following information so that future knitters know what to strive for:
The size you want them to knit (4 inches/10 cm or 6 inches/15 cm is standard). If you have a longer, intricate pattern, they may need to try it. Give them the measurements of how long it should be when it is done.
Which stitch they should knit (stockinette, garter, a specific stitch pattern from your design). If you have multiple stitches, you may need to ask them to knit multiple gauges.
The needle size they should use. You will need to use the US standard size as well as the metric size so that people will be able to compare it to the needles they have on hand.
If you have more than one stitch pattern in your project, you may want to knit more than one swatch. Detail each one.
Final Measurement of the Knitted Work
Write down the final measurements of the knitted work (after blocking). List the measurement in both inches and centimeters. If the pattern offers multiple sizes, include each size in the parenthesis. If you include photographs of someone wearing the piece, detail which size they wore.
If you took pictures while blocking it (or drew sketches of your original design), include those images with the measurements added. Not only is this useful information, but it will also add beautiful detail to your pattern.
List All Notions Used
Make sure to add any notions you used throughout the project. These may include:
- Stitch holders
- Cable needles
- Stitch markers
Also list anything you add to the project after it is knitted, such as:
- Case handles
Add Any Stitch Abbreviations That You Use
Write out every abbreviation you use in the pattern, as well as an explanation for any unusual (beyond a beginner’s understanding) stitches. For reference, we have included the following chart of common knitting abbreviations:
|begin or beginning
|decrease with bead
|a double decrease
|every other row
|knit into the row below
|knit into front and back of same stitch
|knit 1 stitch through back loop
|knit 2 stitches together
|knit into the row below
|knit into the front and back of the same stitch
|make 1 stitch
|purl into the row below
|purl into the row below
|purl into the front and back of the same stitch
|pass over the next stitch
|pass over the slip stitch
|purl two stitches together
|reverse stockinette stitch
|slip 2 stitches 1 at a time as though you were knitting, then insert your left needle into the front of both stitches and knit them together
|Stockinette stitch: knit one row, purl one row (etc)
|through back loop
|with yarn in back
|with yarn in front
Add Stitch Graphs and/or Pattern Stitches
If you have repetitive patterns within your design, list them at the front of the pattern so that future knitters can reference them easily. First, list the name of the pattern, followed by the pattern itself. Consider creating a graph for people to follow using pattern software. I listed three in my post, How to Design and Sell Knitting Patterns.
Charts and listed patterns are especially useful in designs that include lace, colorwork, or cabled work.
Write Out the Pattern
Here is where you would write out the pattern. I recommend using good formatting (such as bolded headings and a clear, readable font throughout). If there are different sections to your design (such as sleeves on a sweater), organize the pattern accordingly to make things easier on your knitters.
Be specific in your detail. Let your readers know which cast on and bind off methods you used. Explain how you increase or decrease stitches. If they choose to use a different method, that’s fine. Give them the opportunity to follow exactly in your footsteps.
Add more graphs and information as needed, but try to keep things clear and precise. Avoid adding too much detail or over-explaining.
Double-Check the Pattern
When you are finished with the pattern, go over it as though you were a knitter approaching it for the first time. Actively look for errors and correct them. Look through my article, How to Read Knitting Patterns, to be reminded of what it is like for a beginner to see a pattern for the first time.
After you have thoroughly checked the pattern for yourself, submit it to test knitters and a tech editor for further testing. They are likely to notice details that you missed.