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Does everything always start from scratch? 3 reasons why a knit designer should put together a style guide for their patterns

Pattern Writing, TuyaKnits Tips

Myös saatavilla|Also available in: Suomi (Finnish)


As a knitwear designer, you would probably want your knitting patterns to be as clear, consistent, and recognizable as possible. It would be nice if buyers of your patterns would recognize your patterns even just by glancing at them, even if they didn’t even see the name of the designer. The style guide – or style sheet, as it is also called – will help you with this goal, as it is a document that contains detailed instructions just for your knitting patterns.

1. A style guide helps you create a recognizable pattern writing style

Knitting patterns in craft magazines or knitting books usually follow a certain uniform style that is specific to that particular publication. The style of writing instructions consists of, among other things

  • the placement of the various elements in the pattern,
  • the fonts used and their size in the different sections of the pattern,
  • terms and abbreviations used,
  • the structure of the pattern,
  • the style and placement of schematics and images; and
  • the way of expressing various instructions.

All of these details form a recognizable pattern writing style and also create a default value in the mind of the buyer of the knitting pattern for what she can expect from all the knitting patterns in the same publication or knitwear designer.

2. The style guide makes it easier to maintain the selected writing style from pattern to pattern

The idea that the structure of a pattern, the way it is written, or the placement of different elements in a pattern would vary greatly from one pattern to another in a particular knitting magazine or other pattern collection is almost impossible. An inconsistent style would give the publication a rather unprofessional image.

The same goes for the patterns of a designer who publishes knitting patterns independently. Often, the patterns of a particular designer can be identified by the mere appearance, fonts, colors, and other details that affect the appearance. It’s also nice to know already when you buy a pattern how that designer builds their patterns, where to find all necessary information, and what kind of knitting terminology they use.

When you compile a style guide for your patterns, it serves as a valuable checklist for both yourself and the technical editor who checks your patterns. You also don’t have to start writing patterns from scratch every time, because the guide helps you maintain the selected writing style from one pattern to another.

3. A style guide will help you create a personal and recognizable knitwear design brand

A consistent and recognizable writing style from one pattern to another is easiest to achieve and maintain using a style guide that includes all the essential information on how to write the patterns for that brand. Indeed, larger pattern publishers usually have very detailed style guides at their disposal, which they also ask designers who design patterns for that brand to follow. Ultimately, it is up to the technical editor to review the pattern to make sure this happens.

I strongly believe that a style guide is not just a matter for big and well-known knitting brands, but any knitwear designer who independently publishes knitting patterns will benefit from following the style guide from one pattern to another.

As a knitwear designer, you can achieve a personal and recognizable pattern style by defining the details of all the different areas of your patterns and putting them together in one document. So, a style guide is also a useful tool for an independent knitwear designer and can help develop your design brand forward!

Have you already compiled your own style guide for your knitting patterns?


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