What makes a good pattern – Part 4

Welcome back to the final part of Things I believe make a good pattern. 

Charts: In my opinion, charts can be one of the hardest items to get right in a pattern and can be done poorly.  Something that I feel about them is to make sure that you print them off on your printer at home and see how they look.  Check whether they are actually legible and you can see it clearly.  I like to see charts in patterns (where appropriate).  I also believe they should never replace written instructions.  I feel that they should go alongside them.

This means that your pattern will be more accessible by more people if you also include the written instructions as well as the chart.  Also, your chart should be labelled.  When used throughout the pattern, you need to refer to that chart name.  Check whether you are working in rows or rounds.  This example that I’ve edited is one of (if not the best) best charts I’ve seen done.  As you can see, it also contains an explanation of how to read the chart, rather than assuming you know.  This helps teach people how to use a chart without affecting those that already know how to read charts.  (Please note, that I’ve created a version of the chart so I’m not showing anyone’s designs and I’ve had permission to create an example to show).

A chart showing an example as mentioned in the previous paragraph. Where it has arrows to explain which end you are reading the pattern and were you start.

Stitch count table/Tick Sheet: This is not completely necessary, but I do think it adds to the pattern, especially when you have a lot of repeats.  This helps people work out where they are in the pattern (especially when coming back to their knitting) and be able to check their stitch counts rather than when you decide.  This is especially useful when they are concerned about something.  I’ve seen various ways of showing this and how this is laid out, in my opinion, depends on the pattern.  I feel that this should be on its own page so they can choose to either print it off or ignore it (especially if it’s large).

There are two final sections which are areas I’ve seen designers not include but I think they should always be there.

Copyright: This section should be put somewhere (generally near the end) saying what can and can’t be done and that it is your design.  I admit I’m going to leave this vague as I’m not a copyright lawyer and I know that this law changes around the world.  I’m going to leave you to do your own research on this topic. 

Designer Bio: I love this section as this is somewhere you can truly be creative and be yourself.  Some questions that I would ask are the following: How do people contact you for pattern support? How do people get to know a tiny bit about you?  How do you tell people your values and who you design for?

I hope you’ve enjoyed my mini-series on writing pattern.  If you want to chat at any time, please do not hesitate to contact me either by email or on Instagram. 

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