Knitting Patterns

Pattern Writing 101 – My Best Tips & Tricks!

pattern writing

Want to stay super organized with your pattern writing process? Download my free pattern planner PDF from this post!

Hi friends! I did a poll on my Instagram stories a few weeks ago asking if you’d be interested in reading a little more about everything that goes into pattern writing for me and as the response was so positive, I decided to write down my best tips & tricks when it comes to pattern writing and designing! So make sure you’re sitting tight because here we gooooooo!

First, a little disclaimer: this is the process I’ve personally come to love and it works perfectly for me. That being said, all designers and makers are different, and this list is definitely not an exhaustive one. Some points in this post may seem unimportant to you, and you might find some things that you hold dear in your design process missing. The goal of this post is to shine a light into my personal pattern writing process in the hopes you’ll maybe pick up something new or get inspired to start writing your own designs!

The design

All good patterns start with an idea. Make sure your new design is original, creative and something that you absolutely love. Do your research and try to look for patterns with key words you’d use to search your design to make sure something similar doesn’t already exist. Once you get started, don’t be afraid to frog your new project a million times if needed to make sure that it works. If it’s a design that flies off your needles / hook, trust your gut! I’ve had a pretty good gut feeling about all my patterns and that feeling has turned out to be pretty trustworthy.

A bonus tip for naming your new pattern: search Instagram for the tag! This is what I always do before officially naming a new design to make sure the exact same name isn’t already in use for another design.

The making

After knitting a first version of the design, I often like to type up a rough sketch of the pattern and then re-knit it from scratch (note that I’ve only published beanies, socks and mittens – knits that can be easily & quickly knit up). I feel like it’s a good way to make sure your instructions make sense, you haven’t forgotten anything important and that the written pattern matches every step of the knit piece. If stitch counts vary (like they often do), I have 3 words for you: write them down. Same goes for row counts, pattern repeats, etc. These are things that can be easily forgotten if not written down in detail while you’re actually knitting up the piece, so do your future self a favor and keep track of things!

Make sure your 10x10cm / 4×4″ gauge is accurately measured and that you’ve knit your swatch with the intended needle size –  I personally always knit my swatches in stockinette stitch.

Also if you’re planning on making a knitting support file with tutorial pictures, this is probably the best time to take those pictures! I’m a visual learner myself and love all kinds of tutorials, which is why I like to include them in designs like socks and mittens. This step does take some time, but I’ve had so much positive feedback when it comes to my pattern supports that it’s definitely been worth it! I usually include my supports as their individual PDFs with the original pattern, and take anywhere between 60 and 120 pictures per tutorial depending on the pattern.

pattern writing

The writing

Now here comes the part I really feel like divides people up – you either love typing up a pattern or you’d rather be knitting and having someone else do the computer work! Before getting started on the whole writing process, you should accept the fact that it’s a time consuming commitment. Pattern writing takes time and effort, and depending on the piece you’re designing, hours and hours of work. The thing that’s helped me the most was creating a template I use for all my patterns, and in my opinion this has two big advantages: you’ll save tons of time not having to rewrite everything for new patterns, and all your patterns will have a consistent look that matches your brand. I personally use Canva to create my pattern PDFs, but I know that Word and Power Point do an amazing job as well. My favorite thing about Canva is that you can easily edit just about everything: add your own personal touches like brand colors and fonts, easily manage all elements like pictures, icons and text in their individual “boxes”, and have your designs with you wherever you go.

My motto when it comes to patterns is pretty simple and, if you’re ready, here it comes: more is more. The more information you can add to your pattern, the better. The more you can provide support in the form of tutorials (pictures or videos), the better. This way, once the pattern is actually published, you’ll probably have to answer less questions because your pattern already explains all the key things your customer needs to know. Also think about the audience you’re creating your pattern for: is it a beginner friendly pattern or does it require a certain skill level? Should you only write in inches and yards, or include metric measurements as well?

Here’s a little list of things all my patterns include:

– Sizing and measurements
– Materials used
– Gauge
– Abbreviations
– Yarn recommendations
– The actual written pattern (for a beanie for example, this would be brim – beanie – decreases)
– A
Pattern Notes -page and printable gift tags – now these are totally an added bonus but I loved making them and also love offering something a little extra with my patterns!

The testing

Once you’ve typed up your pattern, it’s time to have it tested. I don’t think I can ever stress enough the importance of this step, but here I go: always test each and every single pattern before publishing. Why? Let me tell you!

You’ll be a lot less stressed come pattern release day. The feeling of not being the only person to knit up your pattern is the greatest feeling on earth. You’ll know that the pattern makes sense to more people than just yourself which, let’s face it, is sort of the whole idea of making and publishing great patterns.

You get blind to your own patterns. I feel like this happens especially if you work on a pattern for weeks or maybe even months. You get blind to your mistakes, typos, and things that in general make no sense.

Testers provide the most valuable feedback you can get. I appreciate all my testers from the bottom of my heart. Their feedback is incredibly valuable and takes your pattern to the next level, and allows you to publish your new design sans stress!

When your design has multiple sizes. Say you’re designing a pattern for a sweater that you want to publish in an inclusive size range (let’s face it, this is the only way to go: all bodies are beautiful and deserve to wear aaaaall the beautiful knits!) but you yourself can obviously only knit the design in one size. You’ll need testers for the remaining sizes to give you feedback on how the pattern works for different bodies and whether the sizing is on point or not. On a side note, I’ve never published a garment pattern myself but I’d love to design my own cable cardigan – learning grading and making the pattern are at the top of my 2020 maker to-do list!

I’m pretty sure this list could be turned into a book of its own but for now, just know that pattern testing is a crucial step you do not want to miss under any circumstances!

The prepping

While your pattern is being tested, it’s time to get everything ready for the release day! For me, this means the following things:

– Snap pictures for Etsy, blog and Instagram
– Create Etsy listing
– Organize a giveaway on Instagram
– Make Instagram stories for pattern release day
– Prep Instagram post for release day
– Make sure all tester notes were received
– Run a release day sale for the pattern

I’ve found that these are all things that can be prepped well in advance of the actual pattern release date. Here are some of my favorite apps that help me get all this done:

Picture taking & editing. I take some of my pictures with my iPhone 11, and others with my Nikon D3300 DSLR – this pretty much depends on the amount of daylight available. If it’s sunny, my iPhone will often do the trick, but on grey & rainy days I often rely on my DSLR, as it allows me to edit the pictures more without losing quality. My go-to picture editing apps are VSCO and Adobe’s Lightroom CC. I could talk about Lightroom for years because it’s a total life saver – for both tutorial & product pictures! Say you have 60 tutorial pictures to edit for a knitting support: you’re not going to want to edit them one by one, but rather edit one picture and paste the edits onto the remaining images all at once, like magic!

Instagram stories. I love love love the Unfold app that allows you to create stylish stories and combine multiple pictures, colors and fonts. It’s easy to use, allows you to create different story sets and is also a free app!

Another great app for making stories is Canva, the website I use to create my pattern PDFs (really I don’t know what I’d do without it)! Canva is excellent if you want to add different elements to your stories like illustrations, drawings, different fonts, you name it. It’s amazing.

Prepping Etsy listing (+ any other platform you want to make your patterns available). I personally only sell my patterns on Etsy, but you could also be doing Ravelry and your own web shop if you have one! For me, good product pictures are the Nutella to my Etsy pancake. I like to include flat lays and modeled pictures to really get a good idea on how the design is supposed to look like when it’s finished and what it also looks like when worn! Things I always include in my listings are:

– Skill level required to make the piece
– Sizing
– Yarn category
– Needle size

The launching

The day you’ve been waiting for is here: launch day! If you’ve prepped everything in advance, launch day will mostly consist of actually publishing the pattern, and posting on Instagram to let everyone know your amazing new design is now available for the world to see! I like to publish patterns over the weekend, and often do it around 5PM French time – this means it’s morning in North America and still not too late here in Europe. I personally love pattern release dates and always get so excited to see how a new design is received! The key to a stress-free pattern release date, in my opinion, is good prepping which means you can mostly just sit down and relax, and enjoy a job well done!

My go-to apps & websites

To wrap things up, here’s a list of the apps & websites I mentioned in this post and that help me get things done!

Canva for pattern writing and Instagram stories
Unfold for Instagram stories
VSCO for picture editing
Lightroom CC for picture editing
Etsy for selling

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little peek into my pattern writing process and even found some useful tips that can help you in creating your own designs!


New year – 2020 Thoughts

new year

For me, 2020 started in the best possible way – my little sister had flown in from Finland and we got to spend New Year’s together! This included lots of food, many cups of coffee/tea, watching Trolls and crying, and barely staying awake until midnight on New Year’s Eve! Living abroad has definitely made me appreciate my family and friends even more, and seeing them always feel extra special. And it’s not like Finland and France are on the opposite ends of the world either!

new year

When it comes to patterns, I’m planning on making 2020 my year. I published the Kielo Headband pattern last weekend, and the Kielo Socks will be next on the line (I’m talking in 1 week and 2 days)! The Kielo Socks definitely feel like my baby – I’ve been writing the pattern for the past 6 months and I’m beyond happy for all the feedback I’ve been getting from my testers. All the hard work, hesitation, and wanting to make the pattern as perfect as possible seem to have paid off and I’m so proud to be publishing my very first wearable sock pattern with a full knitting support to share my best sock tips with all of you! I’ve realized that when it comes to patterns, wanting to make everything perfect is often holding me back – I read and then reread a pattern 19480198 times before even being able to send it out to testers juuuuuuust to make sure every single thing is beyond perfect. One of my projects for 2020 is to let go of this, and know when to just do things instead of not doing anything because I’m scared there’s a typo or a stitch count mistake somewhere!

new year

hilla scarf

Other designs that are already well under works are the Hilla Scarf and Vieno Mittens! The Hilla Scarf is a long term commitment type of project at least in my world as it takes a lot more time to finish than a beanie, and also uses a lot more yarn. But let me tell you, it’s such a fun & squishy project to knit up! It was my go-to procrastination project during finals, and if you’re willing to sit down and knit for hours at a time it won’t take you that long to finish. And the squish is unbelievable (you heard it here first)!

vieno mittens

When it comes to the The Vieno Mittens, they are definitely a cable & hurdle stitch dream just like the Vieno Beanie – I’m so into matching sets I don’t think there’s any stopping this train! I love knitting and wearing mitts, and I love that they’re a quick knit that you can even knit as a side project in the middle of longer projects (because the feeling of finishing a project is the thing that keeps us all going).

Aside from knits, 2020 feels like the older sibling of 2019 that has a way better idea of how to manage this thing called life. I remember last year at this time feeling overwhelmed about having acne, being scared of failing my first semester of studies, missing home, and all in all just not being in an ideal state of mind. I feel like living abroad over these past two and a half years has taught me so much and this time has changed me as a person in ways I can’t possible put into words. Januaries are often the toughest months of the year with all the rain, darkness and days that feel like nights, but moving towards the spring I feel happy, motivated and determined. I even meal prepped a few days last week, and me & B plan on starting to get back to the gym, so it’s definitely a year of opportunities!

xx, Kati

Knitting Patterns Tutorials

Free knitting pattern: The Bonheur Cowl

Hey guys! I’m SO EXCITED to present to you my first free knitting pattern and tutorial: The Bonheur Cowl! It’s a mix of all my favorite knitting techniques, and if you’ve ever taken a look at my Instagram feed you’ll know that they include cables, cables, cables…and cables. In this cowl, I’m combining simple cables that run in the middle of the piece to two braided cables on each side of the cowl, and in between the cables we’ll be knitting garter stitch. The cowl is worked in the flat and seamed together after finishing.

In this post, in addition to the full written instructions, you’ll also find a video tutorial for the cables and step-by-step tutorial pictures on how to master knitting all the cables, how to bind off stitches and also how to easily seam together the cast-on and bind-off edges. So don’t be scared if you’ve never knit cables before, I’m here to guide you from the very first stitch all the way until you’ve weaved in the last end! And after you’ve become the master of knitting the basic cables, I’m sure you’ll find that you can use them in SO MANY knitting projects you won’t even believe it (or you’ll end up like me and use them in ALL of your knits…)!

Also if at any point you have any questions or problems, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment on this post or send me an email at – like I already mentioned before, I’m here for you!

So let’s get started!


The finished product is approximately 30cm / 12 inches high and 68cm / 27 inches around.


  • Approximately 200m / 218 yards of bulky yarn with the following gauge:
    – 10 x 10cm / 4 x 4″ of stockinette stitch = 11 stitches, 14 rows
    if you prefer knitting with either a lighter or a bulkier weight yarn you can definitely do so: as a cowl is not a fitted piece like a beanie or a sweater would be, it’s not dangerous if you don’t reach the above mentioned gauge! Though note that if you choose a different yarn weight the finished product won’t be the same size.
  • 8mm / US size 11 single pointed or circular needles (I use 60cm / 24 inch circular needles)
  • Cable needle or a double pointed needle (I use a double pointed needle when knitting the cable turns)
  • Tapestry needle

free knitting pattern


K = Knit stitch
P = Purl stitch
SL1K = Slip 1 stitch knitwise
C6F = Slip 3 stitches onto cable needle and leave in front of work. Knit 3 stitches, then knit 3 stitches from cable needle.
C6B = Slip 3 stitches onto cable needle and leave in back of work. Knit 3 stitches, then knit 3 stitches from cable needle.

free knitting pattern

The cowl

In order to keep the pattern as clear and easy-to-read as possible, I decided to add the video tutorial + the tutorial pictures + the pattern notes at the end of the pattern, where I will further break down the details of the different steps!

To create chain edges on both sides of the work, the first stitch of every row is always slipped knitwise (SL1K) and the last stitch of every row is always purled (P1). The braided cables on the sides have cable turns every 4th row and the two cables in the middle have cable turns every 8th row. The cable turns are made on the right side of the work.

In between the cables you’ll knit garter stitch which means these stitches will be knit both on the wrong side and the right side of the work.

Start by casting on 41 stitches on your 8mm / US size 11 single pointed or circular needles and start by knitting the first row of the pattern on the wrong side of the work:

Row 1: SL1K, P9, K3, P6, K3, P6, K3, P10 (wrong side)
Row 2: SL1K, K39, P1 (right side)
Row 3: SL1K, P9, K3, P6, K3, P6, K3, P10 (WS)
Row 4: SL1K, C6F, K27, C6B, P1 (RS)
Row 5: SL1K, P9, K3, P6, K3, P6, K3, P10 (WS)
Row 6: SL1K, K39, P1 (RS)
Row 7: SL1K, P9, K3, P6, K3, P6, K3, P10 (WS)
Row 8: SL1K, K3, C6B, K3, C6B, K3, C6B, K3, C6F, K3, P1 (RS)

Repeat rows 1-8 for 12 more times (so you’ll knit the rows for a total of 13 times) and finish by knitting row 1 once more. The easiest way to keep track of the number of rows is to count the cable turns: you have knit the rows 13 times as soon as you have 13 cable turns in the middle cables! Also if you want to make the cowl longer you can keep on repeating the rows for as long as desired – just make sure you bind off on the right side!

Bind off stitches on the right side of the work in the following way:

  1. Knit 2 stitches.
  2. Using your left needle, lift the first stitch on your right needle over the second stitch and drop it off the needle.
  3. Knit 1 stitch.
  4. Repeat step 2, and keep repeating steps 2-3 until you have only 1 stitch left on your right needle. Cut the yarn leaving a long tail (you’ll use this tail to seam the edges together), thread through the remaining stitch and pull gently to secure the work.

To seam together the cast-on and bind-off edges you’ll use the mattress stitch, so make sure you align the edges right sides facing up and that all the cables match. Seam the edges together (use the long tail that was left after binding off) by threading 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.  Seam all the way up until the end and weave in the tail.

Okay, now lets get visual!

free knitting pattern

Here’s an overall picture of how all the cables and garter stitch look like together – as you can see the pattern is fairly simple and we’re only knitting two different types of cables! In the next picture collages I’m going to show you in detail how to knit the C6F and C6B, how to bind off stitches and also how to seam the cast-on and bind-off edges together. But let’s start with the video tutorial I made to demonstrate row 8 and how to knit the cables!

Video tutorial: The cables


free knitting pattern

free knitting pattern

free knitting pattern


free knitting pattern

free knitting pattern

Binding off

free knitting pattern

Seaming: The mattress stitch

free knitting pattern

And last but not least, pattern notes!

So on the first row of the pattern we’re obviously setting the base for the whole cowl: the chain edges, the cables and the garter stitch. As I already wrote earlier, the first and the last stitch of every row are dedicated to making the chain edges and you won’t be working any pattern on these. The stitches that make the cables are purled on the wrong side so that they’ll always look like knit stitches on the right side, and the 3-stitch garter stitch parts between the cables are knitted on both sides of the work. So here’s what’s what on row 1:

Row 1: SL1K (chain edge), P9 (1st braided cable), K3 (garter stitch), P6 (middle cable), K3 (garter stitch), P6 (middle cable), K3 (garter stitch), P10 (2nd braided cable + last stitch of row) (wrong side)

The braided cables consist of 9 stitches respectively and the middle cables consist of 6 stitches respectively. Let’s have a closer look at row 2 as well:

Row 2: SL1K (chain edge), K39, P1 (chain edge) (right side)

Now thanks to the garter stitch, all the stitches of the right side of the work are being knitted. The only exception to this are the first and last stitches on which we don’t work the pattern but make the chain edge instead.

Row 3 is exactly the same as row 1, so we can move on to the details of row 4, where we make the first cable turns of the braided cables on the sides:

Row 4: SL1K (chain edge), C6F (1st cable turn of the 1st braided cable, worked on the first 6 stitches of the 9-stitch cable), K27, C6B (1st cable turn of the 2nd braided cable, worked on the last 6 stitches of the 9-stitch cable), P1 (RS)

So in order to give the cable the braided look, you’re going to alter between knitting C6F and C6B every 4th row of the pattern. You’ll work the cable on 6 stitches – either at the beginning or at the end of the 9 stitch cable pattern. This way, the cables will turn in different directions every 4th row and create a braid. Note that on the first braided cable, the first cable turn is a C6F at the beginning of the 9-stitch cable, and on the second braided cable at the other edge the first cable turn is a C6B at the end of the 9-stitch cable – this way the braided cables are each other’s reflections!

Row 5 is knit exactly like row 1. 

Row 6 is knit exactly like row 2. 

Row 7 is knit exactly like row 1. 

Row 8: SL1K (chain edge), K3 (first 3 stitches of the braided cable), C6B (2nd cable turn of the 1st braided cable, worked on the last 6 stitches of the 9 stitch cable), K3 (garter stitch), C6B (1st cable turn of the middle cable), K3 (garter stitch), C6B (1st cable turn of the middle cable), K3 (garter stitch), C6F (2nd cable turn of the 2nd braided cable, worked on the first 6 stitches of the 9 stitch cable), K3 (the last 3 stitches of the braided cable), P1 (chain edge) (RS)

On the 8th row of the pattern you’ll knit cable turns on all of the cables: on the braided cables you’ll make the cable turn in the opposite direction than on the 4th row, and this is the first time you’ll make cable turns on the middle cables as well. After the 8th row you’ll start the pattern again on the 1st row and keep on knitting rows 1-8 until the cowl has reached the desired size!

xx, Kati