Friday, October 21, 2011

A peek behind the scenes: patterns, old school style

Many years ago, I owned a yarn shop. I taught lessons, wrote patterns and sold them and did the whole business thing. I even started a knitting book.  Oh, I even taught myself Adobe Illustrator, in order to provide the illustrations (and LORD was that program S-L-O-W when it first came out).

Anyhow, despite all the knitting stuff I loved, life got in the way, and I turned my hand to other things.  There were times I wondered pretty severely how it was all going to turn out, and some times when I was pretty sure it wasn't going to turn out at all.  However, with great good luck and all due humility, that non-knitting hiatus worked out OK.

In the past few years, the 24/7 stuff has been gradually fading away, and I have able to find the spare moments to come back to knitting.  One day in 2006, I was poking around the internet, and somehow found a knitting blog. Man, that was IT!  I was hooked.  Two days later, TECHknitting blog stated--I think it took me the whole two days to get the first post up. I was so excited, I don't think I slept.

Ever since then, I've been using every spare minute for knitting and drawing and writing.  And lately, the little voices in my head have been whispering to me that I really ought to go back to pattern writing.

The last time I regularly wrote patterns, spread sheets hadn't yet become very popular. (I think the dinosaurs roaming around everywhere got in the way.) So, I learned to do pattern grading and gauge grading all by hand. Now that I've sat down to start pattern writing again, old habits die hard.  I do the illustrations in Adobe Illustrator, I put the pattern together using Adobe InDesign, and know I could do the gauge grading in Excel, but here I am, writing patterns with paper and pencil.  Go figure.

A new TECHknitting pattern is about to come out--a pattern for an Elizabethan-style cap--and I thought a peek behind the scenes at old-school pattern-writing might be interesting, in a time-capsule kind of way.

The pattern will be for sale on Ravelry in about a week.  It's no biggie, it's just a cap, but it is a new direction around chezTECH, a further return to the knitting business that I had to leave behind so long ago.