Pattern Writing Dilemmas

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Pattern Writing Dilemmas

Textured Sweater Pattern

As I you already know, I am working on several patterns for Moeke 2017 knit collection that will be live in September. The first sweater knit in light Heritage yarn is almost ready, there is some ripping out/reknitting has to be done, but overall it’s done! The testing will start this week, you can follow the testing progress on Ioana’s and Sandra’s Instagram accounts.

I have love/hate relationships with actual pattern writing – I do enjoy the logic challenge, it’s like solving a puzzle, but grading… I think it is important to have as many sizes as possible available, so any knitter can make it for herself, but the grading part can become tricky at some point, especially if there is an unusual stitch placement involved. I am old-fashioned, I guess, and I like to use physical pen and paper before organizing everything into a systematic way on the computer. The funny thing is that when I come back to these scribbles after the pattern is done I can’t decipher it myself, but somehow during the actual process I manage to navigate in all these hectic notes.

Textured Sweater Pattern

The hardest part is to actually keep going and don’t get distracted by new projects and ideas, before the first one is done. At least this is how it works for me – I have to get done with one thing 100% before I allow myself to move to something different. I feel like it makes me stay more focused and not spread myself too thin. But just look at this lovely merino for my next project – how can you NOT get distracted?!ย Staying strong here ๐Ÿ™‚ Only random swatching is allowed!

Textured Sweater Pattern

I am really looking forward to sharing with you all the projects I’ve finished over the last two months – I’ve never knitted so much in such a short period of time. But meanwhile, it is all about Heritage sweater andย this absolutely gorgeous yarn…

Textured Sweater Pattern

That’s it for my weekly knitting update! What are you working on? Join Yarn Along to share your projects and reads! I am still reading “Catch-22″ and some non-fiction.

Have a great day!

And happy Women’s International Day!


By | 2017-03-08T06:57:34+00:00 March 8th, 2017|Knitting, Yarn|21 Comments


  1. Heather March 8, 2017 at 7:05 am - Reply

    Oh my, to have the dilemma of pattern writing! I don’t think I have ever written out a pattern. Sometimes I just wing things that I am knitting, but I can see it would be fun to try to go through all the steps. This yarn looks very very pretty! And I am also a pen and paper kind of gal – even if my writing is not pattern writing ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Alina March 8, 2017 at 7:19 am - Reply

      I used to just experiment on needles without taking any notes, it was definitely fun, but this way I couldn’t remember all the things I’ve come up with. So, as much as I love just go with the flow, I force myself to stop and write things down ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Debbie March 8, 2017 at 7:17 am - Reply

    what a talent, to be able to write a pattern – i hope to someday be able to read all patterns without struggling. true story!!! that yarn is delightful!!!

    • Alina March 8, 2017 at 7:20 am - Reply

      Thank you, Debbie! I think pattern writing is all about focusing and imagination, just one step at a time. Yes, this yarn is so inspiring to work with!

  3. AsKatKnits March 8, 2017 at 7:21 am - Reply

    Beautiful yarn, and I am in awe of your skills – both knitting and designing.

    • Alina March 8, 2017 at 7:29 am - Reply

      Thank you so much for support, Kat!!!

  4. Donna March 8, 2017 at 7:44 am - Reply

    Ahhh – merino! How are you resisting? When I write patterns I am a “pen and paper” creator too. I have to actually “see” it first. I have a friend who just whips things up in her brain and turns them into magic.

    • Alina March 9, 2017 at 9:26 am - Reply

      Merino is sooo hard to resist ๐Ÿ™‚ I love experimenting on the needles, but for the official pattern things need to be written down, otherwise I won’t remember every single detail at the end.

  5. Melissa March 8, 2017 at 8:30 am - Reply

    Alina, It’s so wonderful to hear about your process. I have been a pattern modifier for a long time and have created a few of my own mash-up patterns, and it certainly takes time and concentration. I can’t wait for your collection to come out–I love the look of these yarns your working with! Thanks!

    • Alina March 9, 2017 at 9:28 am - Reply

      Thank you so much for support, Melissa! Just knitting is definitely more fun that pattern writing, sometimes it is so hard to stop myself and write things down!

  6. Katherine March 8, 2017 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    Such pretty knitting — so much to look forward to!

    • Alina March 9, 2017 at 9:28 am - Reply

      Thank you so much, Katherine!

  7. Carmela Biscuit March 9, 2017 at 8:37 am - Reply

    I’m exactly like you when knitting – I scribble down some pictures and numbers that mean something to me in the process of knitting and thus kid myself that I’ve been keeping notes. When I come back to these notes months later they mean almost nothing to me and it’s hard even to repeat the process, not to mention to write down the entire pattern. So I feel you ๐Ÿ™‚ But your work is always stunning and I look forward to the revealing of the new projects you’re working on.

    • Alina March 9, 2017 at 9:30 am - Reply

      You are such a great “intuitive” knitter, Carmela – all your experiments on the needles are just beautiful. Thank you so much for your wonderful words about my knits!!

  8. Lisa March 10, 2017 at 5:49 am - Reply

    Hmmmm I like that yarn a lot, it really jumps off the screen.
    I feel your dilemma, sans the idea of publishing a book. Whenever I’m writing my own pattern I leave myself little notes, but then I go back later and I can’t remember what the notes were for. If I can’t remember, how will I be able to write it up and expect others to do it? haha.
    As for sizing, I agree that it’s great to have lots of options, but I know next to nothing about sizing, which is why I usually publish hats and socks!
    Happy Friday my friend.

    • Alina March 10, 2017 at 8:05 am - Reply

      Happy Friday to you too, dear Lisa! Grading for different sizes is definitely the biggest challenge – so many things have to be kept in mind so the pattern will work for different measurements! I often have an urge to publish “one size” patterns, but always push myself to come back to grading, because I don’t want to leave anybody out.

  9. Julie March 10, 2017 at 7:34 am - Reply

    I hear you, I get stalled on the pattern grading process as well- even though I have far more design ideas for garments than I do for accessories, I end up doing accessories, because at worst there’s just two sizes! I know you are going to do a brilliant job, though- you are such a talented designer!

    • Alina March 10, 2017 at 8:06 am - Reply

      Thank you so much, Julie, for support! I really need it right now ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Susanne March 15, 2017 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this Alina! I am slowly experimenting with trying out more and more knitwear design, and I hear you! I am the worst at getting distracted. I think my biggest mistake when starting, was assuming that I didn’t need to write everything down and that I could remember it for later. That did not work out at all! I can’t wait to see your finished pieces :).

    • Alina March 17, 2017 at 10:22 am - Reply

      Thank you, Susanne! Knitting definitely feels less relaxing when taking careful notes and keeping all the grading numbers in head, but at the end of the day it is amazing to translate your abstract ideas into something concrete and doable for other knitters.

  11. Monica March 28, 2017 at 10:28 am - Reply

    Oh Alina, this looks great! I cannot wait to see what the pattern is! The few patterns that I have myself put together are also a jumble of notes that in hindsight are not that easy to follow. It’s not an easy process but deeply gratifying. Perhaps once I move I will find some more time to concentrate on my ideas and bring them to life!

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