My knitting and my keyboard are never far from each other, so I’m not precisely sure at what point in the knitting I begin to start typing in notes. This is the start of my proto-pattern. My hand-written notes, started even before I start the knitting, are distinctly scrappy and somewhat fragmented, because I keep changing my mind; so I try to make notes in a word program every now and again to nudge my ideas into some kind of order (especially details that I will forget, such as needle size or the starting weight of yarns). I forget a lot these days; having things written down is a sanity-saver!
Once I’ve settled on a name (or even a temporary working name) and pattern number, I pull out a recent InDesign pattern template and start trying to fill in the various areas of the pattern. I cut and paste some of my text from the word processing program (I use Pages), as I find spell-checking text easier in the word processing stage. I add the new typos directly in In Design!
I write some of the tricky technique stuff as I knit, to be sure to fully describe the process: that of course makes for a lot of hurry-up-and-wait episodes.
While I’m writing I’m trying to be consistent with naming the yarns, diagram numbering, watching for typos newly introduced and trying to keep the layout fluid so that I will later be able to add pictures, diagrams, charts and web links without messing the whole thing up. I print off bits of the pattern so that I can check them as I knit. A great irritant has been that, since I changed to a Mac with the Lion operating system, I can no longer print directly from ID and have to print screen shots. (Mac has really fallen off in their support for Adobe products!) It is retrograde step, but at least I have a work-around.
The knitting continues.