One of the most important things you need to do as a knitting designer is to make sure that you have complete and accurate notes for all of your design work. And before you think I’m giving you a hard time; this is definitely a do as I say not as I have done kind of thing. I have messed this up sooooo many times. But over the years I have gotten better at it, and I want to encourage and help you to be better at it too!
So what kind of notes do you need? Well honestly you need all the things. But there are certain basics that are really important and easy to forget.
The biggest thing I tend to lose track of is the yarn label. I’ve started taking pictures of the labels with the actual grams written on the label, but it’s still good to have that information recorded somewhere.
To keep track of that and lots of other things I have worked up a design planner to share with you! It’s a pdf file that you can print and fill out, or you can fill in all the fields on your computer and save it. So what does it include? Below you can see it all filled in for one of my latest designs.
I give all my designs numbers – CS stands for Craftstar Studios – and then each new self-published design gets the next number in line. A crochet designing friend of mine (Rebecca Velasquez) has a numbering system that includes date information, and honestly I really wish I had thought of that. Knowing that something is design CS0121 does not help me remember that it was published in September of 2015.
There is a space to write out information about the concept or idea and to draw a sketch if you like. Then we get to that crucial yarn information – make sure you fill in the colorway and weigh the actual skeins. It is especially helpful to have the yarn weights for multi-color designs so you can give accurate yardage amounts.
For the needle and/or hook information I put the size *and* the material. That way if for some reason a design goes into time out (and let’s face it some of them just deserve a time out!) then I know exactly which needles I used if it ends up on stitch holders or waste yarn. You need to remember that your gauge on metal needles could be different than your gauge on bamboo or carbon fiber needles. And you don’t want the gauge to change mid project.
I like to put the link for the stitch pattern if I found it online, or the book and page number if it came from one of my stitch dictionaries. If the design has already been charted out, I note that instead.
Now when it comes to gauge it is of course super important. But for me sometimes I don’t know the final gauge for things like a shawl until it’s done and blocked. Make sure you fill that in from your swatch for garments or anything that must fit though! Don’t tell me you didn’t swatch for your sweater. I’ll have to do the thing where I put my fingers in my ears and sing la la la.
Next up the size you worked. Having that noted is sooooo much easier than measuring or counting stitches or other nonsense and hoping that you are right. Of course, if you are doing multi-sized garments or items, you will have a grading spreadsheet and you can note things there as well, but I find it super helpful to have all this crucial info on one sheet so that I can quickly find what I need.
Next up, are there any due dates? Whether you’re doing this work for someone else or just your own self-published line, there might be due dates involved. I like to make a calendar for the year and roughly plan out what designs I will release during the year. So I would log that information.
Finally, there is a section for notes. Anything that might be helpful for you to remember you can fill in here. Maybe an idea for a tutorial video, or a tip or trick you might want to use when writing up the pattern. Perhaps an idea for the photoshoot!
Want your own download of the design planner to use in your business? Just fill in your name and email below and I’ll shoot you the download link!