How do you come up with your own patterns?

I am just wondering if it takes a special knitter to do this. I was thinking of wanting to, but just so overwhelmed at the thought. I also was thinking I wanted to get the Vogue Stitchonary book (knit and purls) and maybe that would help inspire me.

But when it comes to thinking about decreasing here and there or increasing, that scares me! Does anyone have any advice on maybe how to start?

And also, when it comes to people wanting to buy something you made (you are making $$ off of it), what are the rules on that (when you are using someone elses’ pattern)? Like, if you buy the pattern, can you sell your work? What if the pattern is free? Just curious for future inquiries from friends and family. THanks!


I’ve never really done it. But I know there’s software out there to help out. Check out About’s page for some software ideas…

There are no hard and fast rules. But I think the generally consensus (sp?) is to charge by the yard as opposed to by the hour. If you charge by the hour and you’re a slow knitter, then you run the risk of overpricing. And if you’re a fast knitter, you run the risk of underpricing. Concerning charging by the yard, my research indicated that the norm is between $.10 up to $.25 per yard. $.10 per yard could be the charge or a simple garter st scarf. Cable work could start at $.15 per yard and lace could clock in at $.25 per yard.

But again, there are no hard and fast rules. It’s really up to you.

I don’t sell things that I’ve made, I do have patterns out on the web, though. As far as selling things that I’ve made, I’ve no idea.
But, as far as designing goes…just go for it, if you feel inspired to try something, try it! Sketch pictures of whatever you have in mind…write notes about designs that you think of. Knit prototypes, taking notes all the time…experiment, have fun :cheering: :cheering:

I started designing my own things by starting with other people’s patterns and seeing how they put things together. Then I worked on making modifications to other people’s patterns, and after a while, when the modifying itch took over, I just started from the ground up. I think this worked for me because it helped me learn how smaller bits worked (eg. the heel separate from the toe), and it was rather less daunting than saying, “I’m going to design a whole sock.”

In other words, my advice is to ease yourself into it. Design a sock heel or a special neckline and substitute it into a pattern. Learn to design the individual bits, and then when you are feeling brave, combine the bits into one big original design. But YMMV, of course. :wink:

And also, when it comes to people wanting to buy something you made (you are making $$ off of it), what are the rules on that (when you are using someone elses’ pattern)?

If you find a pattern online, chances are good that the author’s guidelines are on the site somewhere. Most of the patterns I’ve seen are for personal use only, with possible exceptions for knitting for charity; generally they’re restricted to non-commercial knitting. The guidelines vary a bit, so it’s good practice to check the pattern site, or to contact the author if it’s not spelled out.

The best formula I’ve seen for determining what to charge is here:

Flory Loughead is a master knitter (her elaborately patterned Norwegian-style sweaters are to die for) and very, very knowledgeable.