Refreshing News from Jill Wolcott Knits! After a hiatus of a couple of months, I’m doing a blog, and releasing new patterns! Plus, I’m teaching a class on Yarnpreneur.com.
If you’ve been following me, you know that I overthink almost everything. I decided to rework my pattern layout about two years ago, and we are just now having complete lift-off of that with the release of Ashland. The format has been updated to take into account many knitters using their phones or other electronic devices to read their patterns, but so it will still work for those of us who love to work from paper.
Refreshing News: Patterns
The refreshing news is that I’ve got a backlog of patterns that are nearing release in the new format. Before that happens, I wanted to share with you what I’ve done. Generally speaking, I’ve visually streamlined. I got rid of my yarn ball (which I loved, but didn’t need to be there) and have created more white space. I’ve moved to using two columns, which should be refreshing news to those using either devices or paper.
- Photos. New front of pattern photographs, and generally, just better photography.
- Level/type/techniques. I’m paying careful attention to calling out the level of difficulty, type of knitting, and featured techniques. You can read more here.
- Links and hyperlinks. Websites and links are clickable. Within the pattern, techniques are hyperlinked to written descriptions, or to links to descriptions on my website (a couple are beyond my website). There are page jump hyperlinks for going from one section to another when needed. There are links throughout to an associated pdf of larger versions of the Road Maps, Schematics, and Action charts.
I’ve put all the information you want at the ready on page 2 of every pattern. That information is also on each product page on my website and on Ravelry.
- Information you can use. A few bullet points explaining:
- Action charts.
- Road Maps & Schematics.
- Right and Left references.
- Links to Schematics, Techniques within the pattern, Stitch Patterns & Action charts.
- Links to other Techniques and Abbreviations.
- How to read tables.
- How I use “a total of”.
- Binding off within a row or round (if appropriate to the project).
- Sizes. The sizes offered, followed by some key measurements. All measurements are in both inches/yards and centimeters/millimeters/meters.
- Gauge. Gauge is given for each stitch pattern, and often given both blocked and unblocked. I’ve put the information in a table on page 2 so it is easy to find.
- Stitch patterns. The primary stitch patterns used in the pattern are presented in both written and charted form outside the actual pattern for use in swatching or general understanding. Any technique described in the stitch pattern is hyperlinked. There is a hyperlink to the page with the stitch patterns.
- Needles & supplies. Needles are listed in US size and mm size. Every size used is given, as well as everything you need to make the project, except scissors to cut the yarn.
- Yarn & yarn amounts. The yarn used in the sample is listed and linked so you can make informed yarn decisions. I add WPI for those who use that. The amounts actually used in each sample in addition to the number of skeins are also listed, as well as any yarn amounts for sizes not shown.
Beyond Page 2
- Road maps & Schematics. Road maps show you the location of stitch patterns, techniques, and some construction items. Schematics are improved, and augmented by Road Maps.
- Techniques. Techniques continue to be spelled out within the pattern if they are potentially new to the knitter, or where I have a particular way I’ve used them that the knitter needs to understand. Other techniques are linked to a Jill Wolcott Knits techniques page. I take techniques pretty seriously, and I let you know exactly what was used so you can use it too!
- Abbreviations. Every abbreviation used is listed, along with a link to the Jill Wolcott Knits abbreviations page.
- Stitch patterns & Action charts & keys. I always present the basic stitch patterns used in the design for swatching and reference. Along with the written instructions you will find Action charts and keys. I provide a key for each Action chart, and usually repeat an appropriate key with every chart provided in the pattern so it is right where you need it. Where it is important visually, I will show an Appearance (standard) chart, but it is not used within the pattern.
- Action charts are a system of charting that I developed because I cannot easily use standard charts. My brain wants a “what you see is what you do” chart, so in my system, every row reflects the action to be taken, not “if you did this there, do this here”. I find it makes it quicker to knit, and many knitters agree. If you don’t like this system, you can check to see if I’ve put the stitch pattern into StitchMaps.com. If not, you can put in my instructions and they will usually easily convert!
- Stacked stitch repeats are shown in each Action chart, and are matched precisely in the written instructions. I find that having repeats that are stacked make it quicker to memorize the pattern and help with marker placement, counting, and basically staying on track. I rewrite every stitch pattern to find the best repetition.
Finding the Instructions!
The Pattern. Written instructions & Action charts begin after all of the above! There is a preamble just before the written instructions, then each Section of the project is presented. Written instructions for each Section are preceded by some helpful hints or information, and followed by appropriate Action charts and keys. Where it is logical to split the written instructions into columns that will match your knitting (i.e., where a marker could be placed) I put the instructions in tables for easier reading.
- Within the written instructions shaping is spelled out to the extent needed for clarity. Sometimes this is row-by-row instructions, but other times it is much simpler. With written shaping instructions are Action charts. Always use what works best for you!
- Left and right side instructions are given in the pattern. No need to figure that out—I did it for you.
- Finishing. Finishing is a key to most of my designs. Sometimes this has many steps, or it can be as simple as working in ends and blocking. I give you step-by-step instructions of what I do to get the result I photograph. I explain where to pick up stitches, what bind off to use, and anything else you need to know. I do usually wet block, and steam block.
- Larger versions. As a convenience for using Road Maps, Schematics, Action charts & keys, I create a pdf with larger versions of these things. These pdfs are linked throughout the pattern for those who want to use them.
I had planned to talk abut Ashland, but I’m putting that into a second post because this refreshing news got longer than I expected. I’m not going to promise my previous regularity on blogs–but who knows! Ashland will be addressed on Friday, September 14. It will be available at a $2 discount through September 16, everywhere!