I want to encourage you to knot yarn together with needles to create a wearable item to cover yourself and others.



Do Schematics Need to be in a Designer’s Style Guide?

As a style guide can aid you in organizing and formatting your patterns, a style guide can also include the details of how your schematics appear. It can be a separate style guide or be integrated into your current style guide. Having these guidelines for your schematic drawings will help present consistency and clarity in the final appearance and finished measurements of your schematics whether it is for a sweater or shawl. Also, these rules will help you put your “John Hancock” on each schematic. A knitter will look at your schematics and witness your own style shining through!

Keep in mind:

  1. I use Inkscape thus I use names that are relatable to Inkscape. For example, stroke is the title given to the lines that create the outline of the schematic, texts, and more in Inkscape. A different software may use different terminology, but the thoughts concerning details you want to be aware of still apply.
  2. Play around with different aspects of schematic drawing to find what is appealing and practical as you put together a style guide.
  3. I’ve included my own style guide for schematics. I hope this will be helpful for you! ❤️

Here’s what I’ve found helpful to include in a style guide for schematics!

Stroke Appearance

  1. Width (How Thick or Thin)
  2. Straight, Dashed, or Dotted
  3. Endpoints or Not

How thick are your strokes going to be? Think of it like picking what thickness of Sharpie to draw with it! Are you going to have different stroke widths for the outline of your sweater or sock than the strokes within the outline that mark cuffs or raglan shaping?

For me, I use 0.5 mm stroke width throughout the entire schematic drawing.

Are all your strokes going to be straight. Will you use dashed or dotted lines? Will any endpoints be used? There are so many options!

On my own schematics, I don’t use any dashed or dotted stokes. I’m plain and simple. Straight lines throughout the schematic are my jam! I will use end points on the lines that mark the straight measurements.

Color

  1. Color of Strokes
  2. Color Within Schematic Outline

What colors are you going to use for your schematic’s strokes? Will you stick with one color, or will you use different colors depending on the purpose of the stroke? Will you use color within your schematic drawing? You don’t have to pick one or a few colors and stick with them, but I encourage you to be mindful of how color can attribute to visual harmony across schematics from various patterns.

Black is my color of choice for all strokes except those within the outline of the schematic which I use a gray. For example, I will use a gray Stroke to mark cuffs, shoulder shaping, or other details I want to showcase.

Marking Location of Measurements

  1. Marking Straight Measurements
  2. Marking Circumference Measurements

I use strokes with endpoints to mark the measurements that are straight like the length of a sock leg, cross back width of a sweater, etc.

I create ellipses to mark the measurements that are circumferences like busts, feet, and heads.

Text

  1. Font
  2. Size
  3. Color
  4. Width
  5. Picking Unit Measurements

Picking a clear font is very important! If a knitter can’t read the text of your schematic, which includes the crucial measurements, your schematic becomes more of a roadblock than aid to knitter’s following the pattern.

I use sans-serif font which has been documented to be a good font for even the visually impaired.

Size of text is also important to whether your text will be useful to others. Consider what text size is easy to read and yet fit well on the schematic drawing. I use 12 point for text.

In Inkscape, I have to verify the text’s stroke isn’t too wide. This can make the text look bold and difficult to read. If you are working in a software, make sure that other factors aren’t affecting the readability of your text.

Decide on what unit measurements you will use on your schematics. Ideally, you should use the same unit measurements that you use within your pattern to avoid confusion. For me, I use both inches and centimeters.

I would encourage you to consider if your unit measurements will be abbreviated or not. I use in and cm to save space in my drawing.

Are you a designer? Do you have a style guide for your pattern writing process? Does it include guidelines for schematic drawings? 😊 I would enjoy hearing your thoughts! ❤️

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