Dan the gnome (brewergnome) wrote in a_twistedstitch,
Dan the gnome

A question about writing patterns

Don't know how many still read here, but...

I was considering writing up the pattern for my "Filigree Skirt" that I designed for my mother, and I had a question for those of you who use patterns (or write them).

How do I do sizing for something like a full length skirt? Can I write a general direction, i.e. "measure from waist to ankle, chain until this length is reached, multiples of 11 are ideal but not required" (possibly with more detail)? Or do I need to break it down into "chain 150 for a skirt of 26 inches" for people to be able to follow it?
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I personally prefer the former style using personal measurements.
Helpful or harmful to add notes such as, "The example skirt used a chain of 161 for a length of 26 inches" to give people a better idea if their gauge is appropriate?
Yes, I like that. Though if there's much variation in hook and yarn, I'm sure the number of stitches will vary widely.

CrochetMe's Sweet Sweater does a template style that involves predermining your gauge and applying that to your body measurement. I tried that and made my best-fitting sweater ever, so now I'm a fan. I.e., "Measure from waist to ankle, multiply by your gauge, and chain that many stitches."
Thanks a bunch! Exactly the input I was looking for. It simplifies some things and complicates others so I figured I'd ask which was preferred.

Now to go type up this monstrosity.
Granted, this is coming from a knitter's perspective, but I think I can assume that there will be a lot of similarities.

There are people who want everything given to them, who don't want to think about a thing in the pattern, and who don't want to do any math. And then there are the people who will fiddle with things on their own, no matter how wonderfully perfect a pattern may seem to most, and who would prefer a pattern formatted with them in mind. So it depends a lot on your intended audience. I think it also depends on whether you're offering it as a free pattern or a pattern for sale. I try to go into a lot more detail in my for-sale patterns, because I want to please as many people as possible, and hope for repeat business for future patterns. This means that I give specific numbers, as well as fairly detailed instructions on the best ways to alter the pattern, for people who want to do that.

Personally, I would prefer the more open ended style, where I do my own math. But I know there are a lot of knitters out there, and I assume crocheters also, who prefer to have everything given to them. Even fairly experienced crafters. You might want to check out the Designers forum on Ravelry, where I know there have been some discussions along these lines -- how much detail to put into a pattern, etc. They may provide insight, and it would be nice to have more crocheters in the group, to lend a new perspective!


January 7 2008, 21:53:59 UTC 10 years ago Edited:  January 7 2008, 21:55:18 UTC

I'll check that out, thanks!

(I presume you mean "Designers" and not any of the other groups on Ravelry?)
The one I had in mind is just called Designers, I think.
I spell everything out completely because it is understandable to the widest number of people. However, I think it is fair to also associate the level of detail in a pattern to the general difficulty of the design - so that more advanced designs require less line-by-line instruction because most of those who would attempt an advanced pattern are skilled enough to work with more general instructions.

How would you phrase the length of a skirt? Or a waist size? (That one's odder because it's a pieced thing).
this is really excellent! I am looking forward to seeing your work!