Knitting Tutorials

Pattern Writing: Canva for Makers

canva

Hi friends! Today’s post will be a little on the long side, but I hope you’ll stick with me because I’ll be sharing my all-time favorite Canva tips & tricks with you! In this Canva for makers post I will share some of the reasons I love the website so much and give you a more in-depth look at what you should be paying attention to while writing up your patterns with Canva. And to wrap things up, I’m also showing you my favorite free Canva templates that’d work perfectly as cover pages for your patterns with all free fonts & other elements + 2 model pages for the written instructions!

So if you’re ready, let’s get started!

Disclaimer: all the opinions in this blog post are my own and this post is in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Canva. If you use Canva media in your designs/products, make sure you’re familiar with the Canva license agreements.

Why I love Canva

Canva is an amazing free tool for so many design needs and especially for pattern writing! Once you get comfy with the website and find/create templates you love, you’ll notice that writing up patterns becomes an absolute breeze and something you actually enjoy doing.

To keep things simple & sweet, here are 3 things I love about Canva!

It’s free. Canva offers so many amazing features for free from fonts to illustrations to images to templates, you name it. I feel like this is a major plus especially if you’re just getting started on your maker journey and are looking for affordable and easy-access ways to find your style and create your brand image, and in the long run it allows you to explore different looks and designs as you & your brand grow and develop!

It’s simple. When I think about Canva, I think about boxes: all the elements are sort of in their own boxes that can be separate or grouped together, and moved freely on the document. Canva offers SO MANY different design sizes (A4 for documents, Instagram stories, Youtube thumbnails, Pinterest graphics, and maaaaaany more) and each design size includes tens and tens of different ready templates, or you could also start from scratch if you wanted to make the design yourself. As you can imagine, this gives endless possibilities when it comes to writing patterns and making other material for your creative business, yet things don’t get overly complicated!

It’s easy. Once you have your pattern template ready, all that’s left is to copy it for your future patterns. This allows you to work much faster and also enjoy the hard work you put in while were creating the template – just update the template to match your new knit/crochet/macramé/insert-craft-here design and you’re good to go!

A closer look

Okay, now let’s get a little more specific! Here are the things I pay attention to while writing patterns on Canva:

The template. As I mentioned before, Canva is full of amazing free templates you can easily edit to fit your personal design needs. I especially love templates for the cover pages of my patterns, and later in the post I’m sharing my favorite free templates for pattern covers! To me, a pattern is allowed to and should look like you – the more you can make it fun and personal, the better!

The pictures. Make sure you’re using high quality pictures of your products to showcase your awesome new design. Your customers want to see how you style your new piece, what it looks like up close and just how amazing it really is! Note here that if you add multiple pictures, you’ll want to make sure your pictures aren’t too big – this will easily make your pattern PDF unnecessarily heavy. Before importing pictures to Canva, make sure you’ve reduced their size to under 1MB per picture.

The fonts. When it comes to fonts, I’d definitely go with less is more. Try to stick to 2-3 fonts: pick bolder ones for headings and something more basic for the body text. The most important thing is that your text is easy to read, and a font that allows you to make the text bold, write in italics and underline parts is a big plus for when you want to highlight parts of your text! Here are elements you can change in your text boxes:

  • The font: so many to choose from!
  • Font size
  • Text color
  • Boldness, italics and underline
  • Alignment
  • Uppercase
  • Listing
  • Letter spacing & line height

The colors. Let your brand colors show in your pattern PDF! Whether it’s in background colors, heading colors, illustrations colors, make sure you stay true to your style. My favorite tool for finding matching colors is Coolors – it allows you to generate color schemes and make palettes that are the perfect support for your brand identity! Another cool website for making color palettes is Kaboompics, that lets you search for images (let’s say you’re looking for color inspiration based on peonies or Italy), and once you find a picture that matches your vibe it gives you the color palette + all the color codes. How awesome is that!

The elements. Canva has an amazing library of different types of elements like shapes, grids and illustrations that come in handy when you’re typing out your pattern. And so many wonderful items are available in the free version of Canva! I love using different shapes in the background of my text to further highlight what’s important or simply as a design choice, pictures can be put in frames to give them a new life and they also have a bunch of social media icons – all these things take your patterns to the next level and make them look professional and finished!

A thing to keep in mind when it comes to text boxes is that each individual text box is its own entity, and if you want to change a text characteristic and apply it to the entire document, you’ll have to do so separately in every single text box (I haven’t found a way to change the font of the entire document like you would do on Word for example). But personally this has never slowed me down!

Putting it all together. Let’s say you’ve now decided on the fonts you want to use and have created the first heading + text body combination. Instead of always starting from scratch, try grouping these two text boxes together, after which you can duplicate the newly created box of elements and change the text as needed. This is a step that helps you save time and keeps you from repeating the same steps over and over! In fact any items can be grouped together on Canva – be it text with text, text with pictures, pictures with shapes, and so on.

Locking elements. Sometimes you might want to group some elements of the template together, but not all of them, yet items you don’t wish to include are too close and get grouped into your selection. Not to worry! You can lock elements that are on your template, which means as long as they’re locked they won’t move and therefore won’t bother you when you’re moving boxes/pictures/shapes around your document. Super practical!

Page numbering. There’s no automatic page numbering but this can be easily solved – just insert a text box in the corner of the document and write the page number there!

Duplicating pages. Once you’re happy with the look of your page layout, click the ‘Copy page’ icon above the page on the right and it’ll copy the entire page and add it below. This way, you’ll have your headings, text bodies, colors, page numbers + all other possible elements ready where they need to be and all you need to do is change the text to match your pattern (and manually change the page number as well)!

Duplicating designs. When all the hard work is done, give yourself a round of applauds – another pattern successfully typed out! To make your life even easier in the future, you can make copies of existing designs and use the same template for all your patterns, making pattern writing more efficient & fun!

My favorite free templates

I also wanted to share with you my favorite free templates from the Canva template library that I think would be perfect for pattern cover pages! I’m also including two examples of text pages that I put together myself to show how you can go about writing the actual pattern. All the elements in the templates can be changed (colors, fonts, text sizes, etc.) and they’re all free, giving you lots of creative freedom!

The design size on Canva for these is A4.

canva

Fonts:

  • Lora (size 24, letter spacing 0, line height 1.2)
  • Moontime (size 126, letter spacing 0, line height 0.68)

Colors:

  • #e8e0db
  • #c89f9c

canva

Fonts:

  • Playfair Display (size 26, italics, letter spacing 0, line height 1.4)
  • Playfair Display (size 40, bold, uppercase, letter spacing 0, line height 1.2)

Colors:

  • #e8e0db

Fonts:

  • Glacial Indifference (size 19, italics, letter spacing 200, line height 1.17)
  • Bebas Neue (size 88, bold, letter spacing 130, line height 0.96)
  • Glacial Indifference (size 19, letter spacing 200, line height 1.17)
  • Glacial Indifference (size 17, letter spacing 87, line height 1.36)
  • Glacial Indifference (size 17, bold, uppercase, letter spacing 60, line height 1.17)

Colors:

  • #edd7d6

Fonts:

  • Glacial Indifference (size 23, uppercase, letter spacing 118, line height 1.4)
  • Poppins Light (size 73, uppercase, letter spacing 40, line height 1.1)
  • Glacial Indifference (size 15, letter spacing 70, line height 1.4)

Colors:

  • #edd7d6

Fonts:

  • Poppins Light (size 24, bold, uppercase, letter spacing 0, line height 1.4)
  • Moontime (size 70, letter spacing 0, line height 1.4)

Colors:

  • #a67575

Model pages

Here’s some inspiration on how you can go about designing the actual page layout of the written pattern – here too the sky’s the limit when it comes to fonts, colors and all other elements you feel like adding!

  • Headings: Glacial Indifference, size 16, bold, uppercase, letter spacing 70, line height 1.4
  • Body text: Glacial Indifference, size 12, letter spacing 70, line height 1.4
  • Color: #edd7d6

  • Headings: Moontime, size 36, letter spacing 0, line height 1.4
  • Body text: Glacial Indifference, size 12, letter spacing 70, line height 1.4
  • Color: #e8e0db

I hope this blog post gave a new boost to your pattern writing habits and that you found the tips & trick insightful! At the end of the day, a lot of pattern writing and figuring out the design is the product of putting your mind to work and doing the creative work to find your own style. So don’t be afraid to explore, to try different designs and to always be willing to learn new things!

Knitting Patterns

Knitting Pattern: The Aamu Coaster Set

aamu coaster set

Grab your copy of the Aamu Coaster Set knitting pattern here!

Hi friends! If you’ve been looking for a project that ticks the following boxes: stash buster, fun way to try new stitches, instant gratification project, perfect for the house or as a gift, I have the answer for you! Meet the Aamu Coaster Set knitting pattern – 6 stitch designs, written instructions & charts, a knitting support and a guaranteed good time!

aamu coaster set

Aamu is the Finnish word for morning, and my inspiration for these coasters came from those cozy and slow mornings with lots of time for knitting and coffee.

aamu coaster set

The Aamu Coaster Set knitting pattern calls for bulky yarn, 6mm/US 10 needles (circular or single pointed) and one coaster knits up in no time (we’re talking about an hour of your time per coaster). I knit mine double stranded using The Pima Cotton from We Are Knitters to get that bulky texture that allows the coasters to hold their shape better and makes them a suuuper quick knit.

Aside from being the perfect stash buster project, the Aamu Coaster Set is also a fun way to try new stitch combinations and even learn a few new stitches! The i-cord edges on the sides make sure your edges come out looking spectacular, and you can also top off your coasters with leather tags if you feel like it – if not, the coasters will look totally fabulous without!

Should you have any questions about the pattern, you can always reach me on Etsy, on Instagram @katimaariaknits or by email at kati@katimaaria.com – I’m always happy to help!

If you share a picture of your coasters on Instagram, please tag me @katimaariaknits and use the hashtag #aamucoasterset – this way I won’t miss them!

I hope you’ll enjoy this knitting pattern like I enjoyed writing it up – I can’t wait to see you try this pattern!

Knitting

40 Blog Post Ideas for Makers

blog post ideas for makers

Looking for new knitting projects? Check out my patterns on Etsy!

Hi friends! If you’re anything like me, you’ll often find yourself in front of your laptop actively thinking about writing a new blog post but seem to have lost all your inspiration, motivation and ability to say anything remotely interesting. But not to worry, I’m here to the rescue (both yours and mine)! In this blog post, I’ll be sharing with you my 40 blog post ideas for makers – I hope these will inspire you and maybe even encourage you to start your own blog if you don’t have one yet!

(X) = Insert your craft here!

1. (X) 101: How to Get Started
2. Where to Buy Materials
3. My Top 5 Fibers to Work with
4. Knitting Needles: Circulars vs Single Pointed
5. My Favorite Yarn Weights
6. Basic (X) Stitches
7. My Favorite Free Patterns
8. My Favorite Patterns for Beginners
9. Basic (X) Abbreviations
10. My Favorite Reversible Stitches
11. How I Started (X)
12. Pattern Writing 101
13. Designing 101
14. How to Turn Your Hobby into a Small Business
15. Small Business 101
16. Why You Should Have a Mailing List
17. How to Buy Yarn in Bulks
18. Where to Sell Your Patterns
19. Where to Sell Your Physical Items
20. My Packaging & Delivery Tips
21. How to Make Your Brand Stand out
22. Why a Brand Identity Is Important
23. How to Make the Most out of Instagram
24. Photography 101
25. How to Take Eye Catching Product Pictures
26. Flat Lays 101
27. Picture Editing 101
28. My Favorite Apps & Websites
29. How to Use Canva as a Small Business Tool
30. My Favorite Designers
31. How to Stay Creative & Productive While Working from Home
32. How to Believe in Yourself & Your Small Business
33. My Top 5 Stretches for Makers
34. How (X) Can Make You Feel Better
35. How to Use Pinterest Like a Pro
36. How to Connect with Other Makers
37. How To: Brand Collaborations
38. How to Price Your Work
39. What’s Gauge & How to Check It
40. My Top 5 Handmade Pieces

And voilà, there you have it – I hope these 40 blog post ideas for makers will give you inspiration for your future posts!

blog post ideas for makers

Knitting Patterns

Free Knitting Pattern: The Linzer Throw

linzer throw

Love knitting? Find all my knitting patterns on Etsy!

Hi friends! When I say this design has been in the making for the past forever, forever being exactly one year, I’m definitely not joking. So after one year of originally writing and even having the pattern tested, I’d like you to finally meet the Linzer Throw Pillow!

linzer throw

This bohemian pillow is knit with bulky weight (category 5) yarn, 8mm/US 11 circular needles and it’s worked in the round which means you’ll be knitting stockinette stitch throughout the work and only seaming two openings (a big yes to this right)! The pattern also comes with two alternatives: a fair isle version with 2 colors, and a textured version with 1 color!

linzer throw

Should you have any questions about the pattern, you can always send me a message on Instagram or an email at kati@katimaaria.com

Use the hashtag #linzerthrow and tag me @katimaariaknits if you share a picture of the design on Instagram – this way I won’t miss it!

So without further ado, get your needles & yarn ready and happy knitting!

MEASUREMENTS
One size: 40x40cm / 16×16 inches

MATERIALS

  • 8mm/US 11 circular needles (60cm/24″) OR any needles to obtain the gauge
  • Approximately 163m/178 yards (main color) and 98m/107 yards (contrast color) of bulky weight (category 5) yarn
  • Yarn recommendations:
  • Gauge: 10x10cm/4×4″ of stockinette stitch in fair isle with 8mm/US 11 needles = 14 stitches, 14 rounds
  • Tapestry needle
  • 40x40cm/16×16″ pillow
  • Optional: extra yarn for tassels

ABOUT THE PATTERN
This pillow is knit in the round and only consists of stockinette stitch (all stitches are knit). Knitting in the round makes the seaming a breeze – you’ll only need to seam together the cast-on edge and the bind-off edge!

The fair isle pattern is a 14-stitch, 14-round repeat. The 14-stitch chart is knit 8 times per round, adding up to a total of 112 stitches in the pillow. The 14 rounds are knit for a total of 4 times, which means you’ll be knitting 56 rounds.

The longest floats in the pattern are 8 stitches so make sure you catch them and don’t make floats longer than 5 stitches! Personally, I catch floats already every 3rd stitch – I’ve found it to be a good “rhythm” for my tension while working with two different colors.

Pattern alternative: you can also make this throw pillow using only one color and, instead of working the chart with two colors, purling all the contrast color stitches. This version of the pattern was created by one of my amazing testers, Tara from Knits by Tara, and it’s absolutely brilliant!

Image credit: Knits by Tara

CHART OVERVIEW
Here’s a 56-stitch x 56-round overview of the pattern – I think it gives a better overall idea of how the fair isle is going to look like once the pillow is finished! The stitch count in this chart is half the stitches of the work and the round count is complete, including all 56 rounds.

Click the image to open it bigger!


INSTRUCTIONS
Cast on 112 stitches on your 8mm / US 11 circular needles (60cm/24”) using the main color. Make sure you leave a long tail; you’ll be using it to close the opening.

Join the work in the round and knit 1 round in stockinette stitch with the main color before starting the fair isle pattern.

Click the image to open it bigger!

Follow the 14-stitch knitting chart (the chart is knit 8 times per round, 8 x 14 sts = 112 sts), and knit rounds 1-14.

Repeat the chart rounds 1-14 another 3 times, knitting them a total of 4 times for the pillow (56 rounds).

Finish by knitting 1 round of stockinette stitch using the main color before binding off.

BINDING OFF
Step 1: Knit 2 stitches
Step 2: Using your left needle, lift the first stitch on your right needle over the second stitch and drop it off the needle
Step 3: Knit 1 stitch

Keep repeating steps 2-3 until 1 stitch remains.

Cut the yarn leaving a long tail (you’ll use this tail to seam together the bind-off edge), pull the tail through the remaining stitch, thread through the very first stitch that was bound off in the beginning to close the round and pull gently to secure the work.

In these tutorials, I’m using a small test piece just to show you the techniques!

Click the image to open it bigger!

SEAMING
To seam your pillow, you’ll be using the mattress stitch that creates an invisible horizontal seam.

Before starting, make sure the right side of your pillow is facing up (and that it’s not inside out).

The part where your round changed should be on the side of the pillow: this way, it’ll be less visible and you’ll be able to seam with the long tails that were left after casting on and binding off.

Align the pillow so that the fair isle pattern matches on both sides.

You can start either at the cast-on or bind-off edge.

The mattress stitch: thread the yarn under the horizontal stitches that you’ll find at the stem of the cast-on/bind-off edges. Pick up one stitch per edge at a time and move between the edges, always threading under matching stitches. Continue until you have seamed the opening and secure the tail by weaving in on the wrong side.

Click the image to open it bigger!

If you want to add tassels, attach them at this point before inserting the pillow (this way you can still secure the tassels by weaving in the ends on the wrong side).

Find a tutorial for making tassels here!

Insert a 40x40cm / 16×16” pillow and seam together the second opening using the mattress stitch.

And voilà, your new throw pillow is now ready to make your home even cozier! I hope you enjoyed this pattern and will be returning to it in the future as well!

linzer throw

Knitting Patterns

Knitting Pattern: Tuomi Socks

tuomi socks

Want to make your own Tuomi Socks? Grab the pattern here!

Hi friends! I’ve been keeping busy with patterns this week and it’s actually the first time I’m publishing two patterns in one week! On Wednesday, I launched the Tuomi Beanie pattern, and now it’s time for the matching socks: meet the Tuomi Socks!

tuomi socks

These cable & lace socks call for medium weight (category 4) yarn, 4mm/US 6 needles and a few hours of your favorite show/podcast/movie/you name it!

tuomi socks

Like the Kielo Socks, this sock pattern also comes with a 16-page knitting support full of tutorial pictures to guide you through every step of the socks. So if you’ve never knit socks before, maybe now’s the perfect time? (writer’s note: it’s always the perfect time for a new pair of socks!)

Ever since my grandma taught me how to knit socks, I’ve loved making them. Before publishing my first sock pattern, I went through hours and hours of creating the perfect formula for a hole-free sock that made sense both in writing and in pictures (trust me, this is often way more complicated than it sounds). Personally my first pairs of socks were total disasters full of holes (+ like sweat and tears) so every time I see someone make their very first pair of socks using my patterns and knitting supports my heart melts juuuust a little. I know the heel can be a little intimidating, which is exactly why I totally got you covered with tutorial pictures + emotional support, if needed!

In other news, it’s day 6 of staying home and our snack cabinet is still full, the mouse in our kitchen seems to have changed locations and I went live on Instagram with a maker friend yesterday for the first time ever! And I also made a giant AlpaWAK to whom I’ll be dedicating an entire post.

Happy Saturday, stay healthy & take care of yourselves and your loved ones!