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Archive for August 17th, 2014

One thing that grieves me is seeing people search for a simple answer and have it elude them. In their search they often pay lots of money for information they can get for less. Such is the circumstance with people who want to try designing a knit and think they have to spend a ton of money to acquire the keys to the knitting kingdom of design.

The keys, are the “magical” numbers that govern the proportions of each size. If your a knitter or crocheter, chances are you already own those keys. They are inside every professional knitting pattern you have in the form of books or magazines. They are also in the patterns you have from quality online magazines like Twist Collective or Brooklyn Tweed’s Wool People.

Every pattern by every designer, publishing house or yarn company holds a wealth of information. As a designer-to-be, you want to collect and cull that information. To do this all you need is paper and pencil, or your computer.

Let’s say it’s you’ve designed a sweater. The creative part is done, you have your sketch and it’s time to fill in the numbers.

Out of the patterns all your patterns select 4 to 5 that closely resemble your sweater sketch in silhouette, length, neckline, as well as sleeve lengths and shape. Right now you’re collecting information. On your computer or a piece of paper write one sweater size at the top of the page. Working with one size for now, makes it easier to grade the other sizes. Make six columns if you have five samples, five columns if you have 4 samples. At the top of the columns list either the designer’s name, magazine, or whatever will help you identify the source of your samples. On the last column write your name because this is the column that will hold all the numbers you need for your design.

To create a garment, size and grade it correctly, it helps to deconstruct it first. Part of the keys to the design kingdom is knowing all the individual parts and their measurements and then fitting them back into a whole. On the left hand side of the columns you made add another one that says Measurements. Write down the following: Chest width actual, Chest width finished, back width, front width, waist width, hip width, cross back, armhole depth, cast on to beginning of armhole length, shoulder to hem length, neck width, neck depth, shoulder width, sleeve length, wrist width, upper arm width, back of neck to waist length.

How we collect the numbers next time.

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