My Design Process

Every knit designer has a somewhat different design process.  Here’s a bit about my process:

  • 5c176-20150403_155335The first part is always getting an idea.  I tend to be inspired by a stitch pattern, a yarn, or a garment shape that gets my creative juices flowing.
  • The next step is to chart and swatch.  I swatch a lot and often I make very large swatches.  This is were I can try different needle sizes or different yarns.  I play with stitch patterns alone and then in combination.
  • Once I have a good idea of the yarn, needles, and patterns I want to use, then I sit down and chart the whole shawl and/or write out the complete directions.  I do all the math and make a basic but complete pattern.
  • Then I knit from my own pattern.  I consider myself my first tester and I make notes about each step, noting the things I want to include for other knitters.
  • After I’ve completed the sample, I write up the pattern using a template I designed that keeps all my self published patterns looking consistent.
  • At about that same time, I photograph the design so I can use the photos in my finished pattern.
  • Next, it’s time to send the pattern to the tech editor and make revisions as needed.



  • When the tech editing is finished and I feel confident I have a technically correct pattern, I put out a call for test knitters.  Sometimes this is the hardest part– waiting for the test knitters to complete the knitting and find out how they liked it!
  • Finally, publication and promotion!  I make any final changes based on the test knitter’s feedback and then publish the pattern and share it with the world.

I’d love to hear from other designers!  What’s your process?


About Heddi Craft

Heddi Craft is a lifelong fiber artist and crafter. She has been designing shawls since 2014 and enjoys working with simple shapes and unique design features. She currently lives with her husband and three children in Santa Cruz, California, a coastal town with a mild climate that inspires her work.
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2 Responses to My Design Process

  1. madgeface says:

    I have a very similar process except I haven’t used test knitters yet. I’m planning on taking that step with my next pattern. Thanks for writing about your process; I’m glad to know I’m on the right track, or if not the right track, a good track.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing your process, it’s always interesting to see how other designers work. I get inspired by shapes or lines and then I swatch loads! After putting together a basic chart of how I think it should work I then knit and write the pattern as I go along, making adjustments as necessary. Then it goes off to the tech editor. I am currently sitting on 4 patterns that have been tech edited but I am waiting until I am back from holiday before getting them test knit, I can’t wait to get them out there!

    Liked by 1 person

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