I published my first knitting pattern yesterday! It was a very exciting moment to hit publish on Ravelry and list it on Etsy. This was a four month project from start to finish. I always knew that designing was labour intensive but actually going through the process has made me realize that creating patterns really is a labour of love.
Let me first walk you through the design itself and then I want to talk a little bit about the process for those of you who may want to start designing but have no idea where to start.
The Paint the Town Red Shawl is a triangular shawl that is worked from the top down with increases at the edges and the center spine of the shawl. Paint the Town Red starts out with an easy lace section to warm your fingers up and then moves into a more complicated stitch pattern and finally into a border section that is knit perpendicularly to the shawl body.
The first part of my design process was finding the yarn that I wanted to work with. I decided on KnitPicks Gloss Lace in Fiesta. Red is one of my favourite colours and I really wanted to incorporate it into my first design. This one is as much for me as it is for anyone who decides to buy and knit it.
Next I had to find stitch patterns that I thought worked well together. This took some time of knitting swatches until I decided on three stitch patterns. I also decided on the needle size that I felt gave me the fabric that I liked.
Then, I had to fit these stitch patterns into the shawl body. Designing is basically using math and creativity at the same time. I had a set number of stitches that needed to fit into the body of the shawl. I had to figure out how to center it and where the repeats should occur. It’s a lot of work. Of course, I was knitting and figuring out the charts at the same time. In my next design, I would chart the entire shawl out first along with doing the written directions and THEN knit it. I think I would catch more errors myself and enjoy the process more.
Then once it was all knit up and blocked I sent it off to three test knitters and a tech editor. They all had some great ideas about readability of the pattern and it was nice for me to see other people knit my shawl design for the first time.
I may not sell a single copy of the pattern or I may sell a whole bunch. At this point I have no idea. Its like gambling. I put a lot of time and money into it and hopefully other people will enjoy knitting it as much as I did.