Knitting pattern design: Schematics

You see this? This trapezoid? Do you know how many hours it took to render this $*%&%(# thing? A ruler, compass and graph paper would have accomplished the same task in an hour. Maybe.

So I've been designing this skirt. Let's call it the Naughty Bohemian, for now. My goal is to start selling a few patterns on Ravelry, beginning with the Naughty Boho. And, since I complain when patterns don't include schematics and charts, it seems only fitting to walk--or draft--my talk.

But, good gravy. You'd think we're building the Queen Mary over here instead of a black mini skirt.

Some cursory research revealed that many professional designers use Adobe Illustrator for their schematics. Adobe Illustrator can be had for *cough* about $600.


Given that the day job requires only the most rudimentary technology investment, Illustrator seemed like a bitter hairball to swallow.

Other designers reported using the free product Paint effectively. But after spending an hour or so with the polygon-from-hell in Paint, I decided that maybe there are better options to "free."

Which brought me back to Publisher, which resides on my computer. Not that I'm a huge fan but in Publisher the little ruler tool will let you see if a line is straight and a drawing symmetrical. It's easy to add text or to flip text to read sideways. You I can save a drawing as a jpg or pdf. And I'm hoping it will allow for curved lines when the time comes. If not, well, knitting doesn't really allow for perfectly curved lines, either.

Gotta say, it's almost easier to design and knit a garment then write the pattern.

For those of you who are interested in creating your own schematics, check out Marnie MacLean's tutorial for creating schematics in Word.






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