Like most knitwear designers, when I first started I had no idea what I was doing. I don’t have a background in graphic design, so my patterns weren’t the most visually pleasing. But I’ve been learning a lot in the past several months, and I decided to re-release all of my previous designs with a new, consistent, and more organized format. This past week I’ve republished all of my free patterns on Ravelry, and next week I’ll be working on the paid designs.
When I first starting making garment designs, I simply knit garments for myself and write up how I did it. Of course, most people aren’t the same size as me, so in order to make my patterns accessible to more knitters, I learned how to grade patterns. After taking the Initiate Knit Design workshop with Frenchie from Aroha Knits, I decided to check out some of her other resources and I found her free Excelling at Excel course for pattern grading.
I found the tutorial super helpful in setting up spreadsheets to do some of the work for me. The tutorial doesn’t actually explain what grading is or how to do it, just how to use Excel for it. I read a few articles from Knitty and the Craft Yarn Council to figure out what I actually needed to do and what standard sizes I should be working with. I’ve always loved math and puzzles, and grading a garment design is basically one big puzzle with tons of math, trying to get each piece to fit within your gauge, stitch design repeats, and desired size. Of course this process is not without its frustrations, but ultimately I had a great time figuring out how to adapt my patterns for different bodies. I’ve got one pattern ready for re-release and my other garments will be ready soon, so look out for the reformatted and multi-sized versions on Ravelry next week! Follow me on Instagram (@JuliettePecautKnits) to keep up with my latest updates.