Monday, May 06, 2013

An Ode to the Hinterland; The Design Process

This is the fifth in my ongoing series, documenting the design process for my upcoming collection, Hinterland.
Sneak peek at one of the patterns in Hinterland.

The process of producing that tech-editor-ready pattern comes in a bunch of steps.

Pen to Paper
Gotta sketch! Very loosey goosey at first, picking any major elements, stitch patterns, etc.

Something which I've come to love more and more. Still not my favourite part in the process, but very important. This math/idea testing provides you with the ability to accomplish the next step.

Referring to the info from the sketches and swatch, a garments schematic is drawn up, clarified with decisions related to any parameters imposed by stitch patterns and sizes. I write up a pattern, then, with my hypothesis of the grading. For it is a hypothesis, and in some cases, needs tweaking after the next step.

Knitting the Sample
Here is where I get to play with the yarn, for real! I usually try to churn out this step as fast as possible, but unfortunately I've found that my right wrist gets easily aggravated, and have to limit myself to only a couple of knitting hours per day.

There's a variety of opinions out there when it comes to testing. Some say it's important, some say it's not worth the time, money, and hassle. A professionally produced pattern has to go through due diligence. This (for me, and it seems is mostly the general opinion) is, at the very least, having it professionally tech edited. In the case of this collection, there are testers lined up. I'm very excited to work with them!

After knitting up your sample, gathering all the info from your testers, and adjusting the pattern if necessary, you're ready to send off that first version to the tech editor.

For further information:
I've found Craftsy to be a wonderful teaching resource. It has classes that reinforce professional standards in knitwear design, many of which complement and reflect what I've been saying here, including Handknit Garment Design, How to say it: Pattern Writing for Knitters, and Sizing Knitwear Patterns.
There is also the fantastic Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design, which covers topics mentioned in this post and many beyond. It's my rule book.

1 comment:

Denise said...

Interesting process. I love your knitting and this peak is intriguing
love the colour also.