Once the basic text for the pattern has been completed, I start working out what technique diagrams will be needed. Some are already done from previous patterns, so I can just extract them to re-use them, new ones have to be drawn in Adobe Illustrator. I love this program. It’s so cool to be able to draw a piece of yarn and then smoothly bend it to my will! Thanks to Cat Bordhi’s wise and insistent urging for me to move in this direction, as well as the lifesaving tutorial videos from Lynda.com, I can now do most things I wish to in this program.
I have developed a system of files containing specific techniques that I have already drawn: Cast-on methods
, Tubular edges, Needle sets, Tassels, Splicing, Scissors, Picots, Pockets, to name but a fraction of them. From these general files I extract the precise ones I need for a particular pattern and collect them in a pattern-specific file (or series thereof), so that when importing them I don’t have to search all over the place.
It does amaze me how often diagrams have to be modified or started anew: there are so many different circumstances in each pattern. For example, the single colour tubular cast-on is similar to the cast-on used in Venus Rising, as well as that used for Paintbox and Bubbles, but not exactly the same! So the cast-on was redrawn (and this version added to the cast-ons section) and also included in the group used for the Snowflake pattern.
I often sit with big yarn and needles performing the steps so that I can draw them. Is slow but very absorbing, and I suspect I look very funny. It is a real score when an existing diagram can be used as is! (Of course, at the rate I am going I will eventually have drawn just about every knitting permutation and combination of yarn and needles there is, and will never have to do another diagram.) That’ll be the day!