Numerous components create a knitting pattern besides the written instructions. The materials list, gauge, pattern description, and abbreviations list are just a few components that combine to create the masterpiece of a knitting pattern. Though not always included in a pattern, a schematic is a component of a knitting pattern that I believe deserves a spotlight. As a valuable tool for fitting the garment knit from a pattern to an individual, I think the value of a schematic and education on how we can serve knitters through them deserves some discussion. That’s the goal of this post!
What is a Schematic in a Knitting Pattern?
The goal of a schematic is to illustrate the dimensions and appearance of the item intended to be created by the pattern. In other words, the schematic is the blueprint for your knitting pattern. Schematics can be created simply or as a piece of art demonstrating even the details of the stitch pattern. Whether minimal or elaborate, the schematic is to serve those following your pattern to find the right size for them to knit and should be easy to read and understand while representing your knit accurately. We need to not lose sight of this goal in the creation of a schematic.
In a knitting pattern, the schematic should…
- Contain all the correct measurements necessary for fitting including the location of where those measurements were taken. Often, schematics contain the measurements in both metric and US customary measurements.
- Visually represent the item that the pattern will create. If your schematic is for a sweater with raglan shaping, the schematic shouldn’t show set in sleeves. If there are decreases worked when knitting a sleeve, the sleeve on the schematic should taper to illustrate the shaping. The drawing should look proportional and similar in structure to what the finished knit will appear as.
Why Schematics Should be Included in a Knitting Pattern?
If you have a list of finished measurements within your pattern, you may be debating whether including a schematic is necessary for your pattern. No, it’s not necessary. Your knitting pattern can still communicate all the necessary measurements for the knitter within a finished measurements list.
Though a schematic is not necessary, a written list doesn’t give the knitter the visual representation of your pattern and its measurements. Again, the schematic is for your knitters!
Should Schematics be Visible Before Pattern Purchasing?
To view a pattern’s schematic, you almost always have to purchase the pattern first. This is because designers, or someone that they paid, put a lot of effort into drawing and correctly labeling their schematics. The schematic is part of the pattern after all.
There is an emerging number of designers, including myself, that are beginning to make their schematics available for viewing before purchase. Even though they are making a part of their pattern basically free, they are encouraging more people to purchase their pattern in a special way. Let me explain!
Likely, knitters are considering purchasing your pattern for an important reason. They want the results of knitting your pattern to fit! The schematic contains key measurements and information that will let a knitter know if the pattern even contains a size they will fit. By making the schematic available to knitters beforehand, knitters can know that the pattern includes the size they need to knit. No one can completely knit up your pattern from a schematic, and the respect and confidence you have the opportunity to give to knitters, especially those who often don’t match the commonly picked sizing, is priceless.
The decision on whether your schematic will be available prior to purchase is completely up to you. This is your pattern after all! I want to provide information that shares the benefits of this less traveled road in the production of knitting patterns so far.
I think schematics can add such value to knitting patterns! What do you think?