Read good knitting patterns. I can’t repeat this enough because it is most important to writing good patterns. Pay attention to how the pattern is organized. Page 1 should contain the following:
Picture of the piece.
A short information paragraph about the piece. This can include a brief statement about the inspiration for the piece. Point out noteworthy details such as a boatneck, unique details. Include a touch of romance about the piece. In other words sell it. Casual, elegant, modern, classic, comfortable, and flirty are the type of words used when romancing the piece.
Finished Size List the finished chest sizes. Finished means the size of the garment after sewing and blocking. List the measurements in both inches and centimeters. Tell how much ease is worked into the garment.
Yarn List the weight first. Then comes the manufacturer’s name, the name of the yarn (fiber list; yds [meters]/grams); color, amount. For example, the information would be organized and read like this:
DK weight. South West Trading Company, Bamboo (100% bamboo; 250 yds [229m]/100g); Ocean Blue, 3 (4, 5, 6) skeins.
Needles List needle sizes by mm (US Size) straight, circular or double pointed. For circular needles include the length. For example 4mm (US Size 6) 16″ circular needle. Always include the following direction: Adjust needle size as necessary to obtain gauge.
Notions List stitch markers, stitch holders, darning needle or tapestry needle, the number of buttons and their sizes, ribbon it’s width and amount needed, crochet hook and its size, waste yarn, and cable needle. List all the items used in making the piece other than the yarn and knitting needles.
Gauge Also known as Tension. This is an important measurement. It needs to be presented clearly and accurately. Specify the needle size and pattern used in making the 4″ (10 cm) swatch. For example:
25 stitches and 30 rows = 4″ (10 cm) on 4 mm needles in moss stitch after blocking.
I like to add Design Elements to the first page. This is where I list what the knitter will face when taking on my pattern. Under this heading I list such things as: short-rows, lace, seaming, raglan shaping, set-in sleeves, dropped shoulder, saddle shoulder, single crochet, provisional cast on, Kitchener stitch, cables. For a sock I list the type of heel, gusset, and type of heel flap. Any special cast ons or bind offs should be noted.
On the second page list the Abbreviations used in the pattern. Usually this list is alphabetized with the abbreviation in bold type. Put the list in a two column format to keep it all on one page.
I hope this small series on pattern writing has helped. It was not my intent for it to be all inclusive or the last word on pattern writing. The truth is, it just scratches the surface. To understand pattern writing you need to write patterns.
Have a good weekend.