On Pattern Writing

My body clock is something I can really count on.  Even on the weekends I’m awake between 6 and 6:30 because that’s the time I get up during the week.  Sleeping in is a thing of the past.  This also makes jet lag something very painful for me.  Today is no exception.  It’s 7:45 in the morning and I’ve already had coffee and read a magazine and have written this blog post in my head in bed.

I was laying in bed musing about my latest knitting project.  I can’t show it to you.  I’m designing my own socks and am planning to submit the pattern and photos to knitty.com and hopefully I’ll be published!  The rules are, you can’t have published anything about your project before it is published on knitty, and this includes your own website, which makes sense.  That would spoil the exclusiveness of the first publication.  So you’ll just have to imagine that I’m designing a pair of socks, and while you are imagining this, please imagine that they are fantastic.

Anyway, yesterday while jogging I was listening to the caston podcast and Brenda said that she just isn’t able to design on the needles.  After thinking about this, I realized that I am able to do this.  My iPhone case was designed on the needles.  And my mystery sock project was also designed on the needles.

After doing a couple of swatches to get the gauge and needle size right, I just cast on what I thought would be the right number of stitches and knit the first sock without a plan, and without writing anything down as I went along.  The sock came out perfect and I don’t need to change a thing.  But that not writing anything down as I went along was kind of stupid.  Now that I’m working on the second sock and HAVE to write everything down in order to write up the pattern for submission, I have to look at the first sock and remember what I did and try to deconstruct it in my head.  So far I have been successful in figuring out what I did, but it makes writing the pattern slower than it needs to be.

This is the first pattern submission I’ve ever done.  Writing patterns I’m discovering is rather tedious.  But at the same time, I think I’m good at it.  I’m probably good at it because I like to READ knitting patterns.  Now, in my morning musings, I’m finding that rather curious.  Why would someone like to read knitting patterns just for the sake of reading them?

When I get a new knitting magazine I like to read the patterns, even if I have no intention of knitting the item.  I’ve had to consciously back away from the computer and Ravelry because I started spending too much time reading patterns and not getting any knitting done.  I have a growing library of knitting books that I like to browse and see how the patterns are written and how things are constructed.

I think that this boils down to the fact that I am a technician at heart.  I learned how to sew my own clothes at a young age and have always been interested in how clothing is constructed.  If I had the time and money I’d take apart the front wheel of my bike to see how the dynamo for the light and the breaks are built into the hub of the wheel (ingenious!).  One of my favorite books that Mom had in the house when I was a teenager was something like “How Things Work”.  I want to deconstruct things and see how they work.  Now that I’m writing down this sock pattern I’m constructing instead of deconstructing and I’m finding it an interesting process.

If my pattern is not accepted by knitty.com I’ll post it here and you can tell me if my pattern writing skills are any good or not.  I’m going for the holiday edition (published in December), so it will still be a while until you see it either here or on knitty.  Stay tuned!

One thought on “On Pattern Writing

  1. Corwin September 27, 2011 / 17:06

    That it was wonderful to read using your posting. I actually enjoyed the couple of minutes i used looking through it and wanted to leave a comment to state that….Cheers

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