I started writing and publishing patterns just over a year ago and I have learned a lot from the process. It’s not just the process of creating the patterns but also a lot of techniques in knitting that I was aware of but had no particular expertise. This could be a long list but I’ll focus on a couple that I have really enjoyed exploring.
Mosaic knitting is such fun and really stretches your creative skills within a very strict regime of rules that you can’t bend or it won’t work. I did the Counterchange shawl using a pattern by Barbara G Walker and loved doing it. Since then I’ve done a few much simpler patterns of my own. These included ‘corners’ that I’ve used in a hat and cowl, ‘steps’ in the Baby Cabin blanket, and am just putting ideas together for either a cowl or a shawl – with the tentative title ‘curiouser’. The only reason for this name is that the pattern has a vague resemblance to the wavy lines on the TV screen when the character enters a dream sequence or an alternative universe. As with all my knitting plans, this is highly likely to change.
Another technique that I first used on the lovely Cria cardigan by Ysolda is short rows. In fact Cria was by re-entry into knitting back in about 2011 when I bought Little Red in the City. I am by no means an expert – that accolade would go to Woolly Wormhead whose hat designs are just fabulous. I however, enjoy the way that short rows can to some extent disrupt rules a little bit. I spent a while playing with short rows matched with fisherman’s rib. I liked the effect and the shape that it produced. One very good lesson I learned was the use of ‘German Short Rows’ that are much easier and less marked than the standard ‘wrap and turn’. Once again – The Woolly wormhead site has some great step by step instructions as well as videos so you can choose the format that’s best for you.