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How do I publish a "knitworthy" knitting pattern?

I get asked this all the time: “How do I actually publish a knitworthy pattern?” Publishing a pattern that others will want to recreate takes effort, no doubt, but it is completely doable.

Just break it down into five steps… do each one and you’ll be off to the races! I’m going to start off with a pretty high level intro, and then we’ll be breaking it down in detail over the coming weeks.

1. Write that Pattern Down!

Brilliant ideas are no good stuck in your head! Sketch out your idea, swatch it, knit it up, and write the pattern. This is the longest and most time consuming (but most worthwhile!) part in the the whole design process.

You can either write your pattern down before you make your sample, you can do it while you are knitting, or you can do it at the end.

I tend to take the procrastinator approach — I take notes while I’m knitting my pattern, but don’t actually write it up until I’ve spent way too much time thinking about the pattern and not enough time writing.

Break through that writer’s block and write that pattern down!

2. Technical Edit

An author would never write a book and publish it without an editor! Neither should a designer! I promise you CANNOT see your own mistakes, no matter how good a writer you are.

Don’t skip this step. A technical editor comes in a proofs your pattern line-by-line to find grammar, punctuation, and stitch count errors. Let your editor take a red pen to your pattern and RELISH every single one of those corrections — because they were discovered BEFORE you published your pattern.

Yes, a technical editor costs money (and I totally realize the vast majority of designers don’t have money growing on trees… myself included), but this step is worth it’s weight in gold — JUST DO IT!

3. Test Knit


You’re impatient to publish your pattern, I get it. But, test knitters are angels, let them work their magic. Your pattern might look stunning on paper, but sometimes there is something just plain funky when it is actually knit. Test knitters work your entire pattern and provide feedback on areas that didn’t work for them or that they found confusing.

Pick test knitters that have a wide range of experience levels!

4. Publish Your Pattern

Let the world see your work! This part is INTIMIDATING! I remember sweating the first time I clicked “publish” — it gets easier, but never gets less exciting.

I love release days! (p.s. even crappy release days have lots of lessons that you can learn from!). Pick a pattern to publish your pattern on and go! You can publish on your own website, or use a third-party for this step ( I have a love affair with Ravelry!).

5. Marketing

Marketing is not a dirty word!

It doesn’t matter if you created the most eye-catching pattern or design in the world if no one gets to see it!

Marketing isn’t scary, expensive, or optional — you need to tell the world that you not only created a jaw-dropping pattern but that you want them to BUY it.

This boils down to taking great photos of your knitting, posting it to places that knitters might see it, and telling others about your amazing work! 

Marketing your business runs in parallel to all the other steps and doesn’t have to be complicated — social media and e-mail lists have made this much easier than years past (plus the best marketing is FREE nowadays!)

That’s it — piece of cake, right? Don’t worry, it gets easier with every single pattern you create! If you want more great tips and tricks, you can subscribe to my mailing list here — I love to send freebies and help other designers work out ways to become more successful!

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