Thursday, August 15, 2013

What's in a pattern?

If you have ever had the chance to chat with me about knitting, or patterns specifically, or you've taken a class from me, you know that there are things that I value. Clarity and sizing are big things, as is getting more than what you pay for. Whether or not I go back for more of a designer's patterns hinges big time on those things. I want a pattern that makes sense and fits well, but I also want it to TEACH me something. It doesn't have to be a big thing, it could be as simple as a new way to do something I already know how to do. . .OR I want it to give me options to personalize it and make it mine.

So when I sat down to design a hat pattern, I wanted it to include simple techniques for things like making stripes without having to weave in ends. . .

I wanted it to have teachable moments, different ways to do something that you might already know how to do. So I added in cabling without a cable needle and linked to a video that I recorded myself while wearing my camera around my neck (don't laugh) :) .

I wanted the hat to have varying style options. . .so I added in a way to make it a long and pointy stocking cap or a fitted beanie. (Can you believe how tiny my baby is here? This is in 2011!)

And I wanted people to be able to use yarn on hand, so I wrote basically two separate patterns, one for bulky weight and one for worsted weight, so you can work the pattern that most closely matches your gauge. AND with sizes preemie/newborn to adult mens to choose from, this pattern can be completely customized to become YOUR work of art. . .and hopefully make you glad that you spent the money. 

You can read specifics on the pattern here on Ravelry: Hootin' Owlie Hat by Amy Kenagy

or to purchase the download directly, you can go to the Three Irish Girls page for the Hootin' Owlie

This is a photograph taken by the talented Sharon (Copyrighted by Three Irish Girls) 

Another thing that makes a pattern "worth the money" for me, is having someone else figure out the math. Well, admittedly I love the math, but when I buy a pattern, I want it to be figured out for me.  . . So I've worked hard to do that for this pattern.

While this is linen stitch with a few twists and turns for added fun, getting the pattern to line up as you increase and decrease took some math. So I figured it out and wrote it down. (But not before making Eli model it for me). (AND PS this is inside out. I didn't end up writing the pattern to be reversible, but you could, definitely.)

I also like patterns that use highly variegated yarn but break it up by using texture or stitch patterns.
(This photo is Copyrighted to Three Irish Girls)

Remember how I said I like to do something a bit different? Well in this pattern, rather than doing a typical intarsia twist to switch to the hood/collar edging without causing holes, this has a interesting approach so you don't have to do that.

And you want to personalize it? Yeah. You can do that too. Simply remove the hood and go for the collar option instead!

You can see projects and read the details of the pattern on Ravelry here: Little Stitches Hoodie by Amy Kenagy

Or go to the Three Irish Girls page for the Little Stitches Hoodie to purchase it directly.

There are so many amazing designers out there. I love that I've been allowed to take my ideas and put them out there to share with the knitting community. I hope, whatever you knit, that you are able to find patterns you love that allow you to be an artist and create something that makes you happy. That's what it's all about, right?!