I’ve written before about schematics in the broad sense, but I think it might be time to get more specific.
I’m of the mind that schematics should not be optional, but the link above argues both sides of the issue, so I won’t go there at all here. What do you do when, like Ivy (see comment at bottom of post linked above), you need a schematic and one isn’t provided?
You can make a rough drawing of what you need. Trust me, if you are the only one using it it doesn’t need to be a thing of beauty! What you need are the key elements, and some way to identify relationships to each other. If you feel completely lost about executing a rough sketch of whatever you are making, try:
- Tracing over a photograph of the design you are making,
- Searching images. Try “sweater drawing” or “glove drawing”, then click on images.
- Search “flat garment croquis”, then click images
- Use your own hand, foot, etc.
If you want a more exacting drawing, consider taking graph paper, your measurements, and drawing a proportional drawing. That is how I originally did sweaters. One square is equal to one inch. If your sweater is 40″ around, it is 20″ wide–or 20 squares. A 24″ long sleeve needs 24 squares to give it the correct length. Not sure where to start? Take the very basic measurements given on a pattern: Chest measurement and length. Block those out and start from there.
Here’s a trick I learned from drawing on the computer: Draw only one side. They are both the same! On Illustrator or other drawing programs you can reflect and then you have two identical sides. but you really only need that one drawn in–as I’ve shown. On my drawing I marked the center, then plotted an armhole, and neckline, added bottom rib. On the other half I did the same for the back. Remember, this is the garment totally flattened out, so while it is absolutely proportional, it might look wider than the actual garment will.
I know Ivy was needing a glove, so I used my left hand to show how I would approach creating a schematic. Once I had my own measurements, I would look into the pattern, dividing stitches by gauge to get the measurements the pattern used. It doesn’t really matter if you use your hand and use someone else’s measurements, because you are creating a representation of a hand/glove, not the actual item.
Even if you are a designer and not planning to provide a schematic drawing in your pattern, you should be doing this to make it easier to find the relationships needed when grading to other sizes. You might put down the actual measurements you are knitting to as you build your sweater, making adjustments for stitch pattern.