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Design Your Own Knitting Patterns

Updated on January 17, 2014

Designing Knitting Patterns

Knitters spend hours searching for the perfect pattern, and often they cannot find one that matches the vision they have in their head. Before you know it, people who knit as a hobby turn into knitting designers as they strive to create the perfect knit item.

I started designing my own knitting projects by accident. I was knitting a bunch of small little patterns, when suddenly I had an idea how I could modify shapes to create something completely new. These first few "accidental" design projects led me to the library where I searched for all of the books on knitting design that I could lay my hands on. I hope that these recommendations will help you as you start designing your own knitting patterns!

Teach Yourself Visually Knitting Design: Working from a Master Pattern to Fashion Your Own Knits

Teach Yourself Visually Knitting Design: Working from a Master Pattern to Fashion Your Own Knits (Teach Yourself Visually)
Teach Yourself Visually Knitting Design: Working from a Master Pattern to Fashion Your Own Knits (Teach Yourself Visually)

This books is a must have for anyone seriously interested in knitwear design. As I have previously said, this book contains essential tips on how to adjust the number of stitches in your pattern to the gauge of yarn that you are using. The basics of knitwear construction give you a jumping off point to start designing your own knitting patterns.


Sweater Design in Plain English

Knitting design books can work for you even if you aren't ready to start designing your own patterns yet. These are excelled resources for adapting existing knitting to fit your needs, or even just adjusting the pattern so you can get a better fit.

Sweater Design in Plain English
Sweater Design in Plain English

The fear of knitting sweaters comes from the fear of spending hours on a project, only to have it not fit correctly. This fear is multiplied when it comes to designing your own sweater knitting patterns!

According to the official product description: "n clear, straightforward terms, Maggie Righettie shares her knitting know-how and good fashion sense so that, no matter what your knitting level, you can overcome the fear of failure, avoid costly mistakes, adapt already-existing patterns, and plan and create sweaters that really fit and look terrific-sweaters that will be worn for many years to come. " I cannot say it better than that!


Knitwear Design Workshop: The Comprehensive Guide to Handknits

Knitwear Design Workshop: A Comprehensive Guide to Handknits
Knitwear Design Workshop: A Comprehensive Guide to Handknits

I love knitting books that are spiral bound, it makes it so much easier to refer to them as you are working. This book explores the mathematics of designing knit sweaters by looking at commercially available sweaters. The discussion proceeds into how fiber selection will effect the outcome of your project.


Designing Knitwear

Designing Knitwear
Designing Knitwear

According to the official product description, "Here Newton systematizes her approach to designing handknit garments and, in the process, shares information she searched for in vain when she was a fledgling designer." There is something wonderful about a knitwear designer sharing the process from idea to garment. There is no one better to share design tips than someone who struggled to learn it themselves.


ChemKnits Discusses Knitting Design

When blogging about knitting, I try to share the process with my readers. The same can be said for my design process, especially when the design in question is complex.

The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Desig

The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design
The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design

This book calls itself the first knitting book to ever provide help to knitwear designers at all experience levels. Whether or not that is the case, it never hurts to read about knitting design from multiple perspectives!


Design Your Own Knits in 5 Easy Steps

Design Your Own Knits in 5 Easy Steps
Design Your Own Knits in 5 Easy Steps

Step into the shoes of one of the most read knitting designers of our time as she takes you through the process of designing your own colorful knitting projects.


Design your own knitting charts - A tutorial by ChemKnits

The following links will bring you to a tutorial I made on how to use Microsoft Excel to create your own knitting charts. (Alternatively, you can use paper graph paper and colored pencils!)

Charted Knitting Designs: A Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns

Charted Knitting Designs: A Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns
Charted Knitting Designs: A Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns

Stitch dictionaries are essential for all knitting designers. Being able to view samples of different stitch patterns is an incredible source of inspiration when you start designing your own knit garments. Sometimes just looking at a knit stitch will make a patterns start unfolding inside of you.


How to Use, Adapt, and Design Knitting Patterns: How to knit exactly what you want, every time—with confidence!

How to Use, Adapt, and Design Knitting Patterns: How to knit exactly what you want, every time—with confidence!
How to Use, Adapt, and Design Knitting Patterns: How to knit exactly what you want, every time—with confidence!

When you are creating knit garments, you will often find yourself adapting the patterns to fit your needs. Maybe you need to adjust the size of a sweater so it will fit you, or you modify a hat pattern to add a brim. The steps from adapting knitting patterns to creating your own from scratch are small, so the more tweaking you do the sooner you will find yourself coming up with the pattern to fit the exact garment you have always wanted to knit.


Knitting Design Software

My laptop is an essential component to my knitting design process. I need to type my patterns up so I can share them online, but it also helps me keep track of my ideas and progress through the pattern. There is some software available that can help you organize your design ideas, or you can download some free knitting fonts to use in the word processing software that you already own.

Have you ever designed anything?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Great lens! I have always wanted to learn to design and now I might actually give it a try!

    • jennabee25 profile image

      Jenn Dixon 

      6 years ago from PA

      Yeah, I've done simple things. I might start working on a legwarmer pattern soon, too.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have never designed anything but have wanted to learn. Thanks for a great lens

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      @anonymous: Connie

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Try www. picstoknits .co .uk which is a free website that allows you to upload any image and generate a knitting pattern. It has features such as cropping the image, colour reduction and changing the colours used. Highly recommended and totally free!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You can find scarf knitting patterns online, often at yarn manufacturers websites. It makes sense that they would develop patterns to help sell their yarn, but you don't need to buy their yarns to download the patterns.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very helpful and great resources! I have featured your lens in my knitting videos lenses.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I love designing my own garments rather than following a pattern. I like to browse through patterns and stores for inspiration, then knit, crochet, sew, etc, my own unique creation. Thanks for more inspiration!

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice lens.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 

      7 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I like designing my own patterns. You have giving a lot of books here that a knitter can find the pattern that they want. I have just completed a laprobe where I have used a lot of my 'ends' of wool. It is really colorful and pretty. She will love it, I am sure!

      I have liked this lens and blessed it for a Squidoo quest I was sent on.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      7 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice lens. Yes i do a lot of designing with knitting patterns to suit the person I am knitting for. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Have you seen . There you can design your dream sweater.

    • franstan lm profile image

      franstan lm 

      8 years ago

      Glad I found this lens

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Yes, I think that stitch dictionaries are helpful in creating new designs. You can take a pattern, and create a simple cowl. No fuss, no worries.

    • ChemKnitsBlog2 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      @bikerministry: I wish you the best of luck with your knitting designs!

    • bikerministry profile image


      8 years ago

      I've designed several bags, computer sleeves and e-book sleeves, and I've knit sweaters and baby items from patterns, but I've never successfully made a clothing item for myself because I'm not a "typical" size and don't know how to make the adjustments. I joined TKGA to learn to knit, and signed up for their course and cannot get past the first stage of making swatches good enough to pass the first test.

      I may just stick to knit and felt bags. I'll be following your site and hope to have more questions and to push myself to learn more.

    • JeremiahStanghini profile image


      8 years ago

      Wow... designing my own knitting pattern... Sounds like a hoot! :-)

      With Love and Gratitude,


    • Greenwickpress profile image


      8 years ago

      I haven't designed any knitted stuff because it just seemed too complicated to me. I haven't even learned most of the terminology used with knitting yet. Thanks for the great resources!

    • tiff0315 profile image


      8 years ago

      Nope....but great lens! As usual ;)

    • justholidays profile image


      8 years ago

      I did design my knitting patterns when I was younger, but it's been 20+ years that I didn't knit anything.


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