If I’ve been a bit quiet the past week, it’s because I’ve been busy teaching advanced knitting and sewing at The Makery, working on deadline for The Knitter, and pattern-writing whenever I’ve had a spare moment.
If you’re reading this blog, then chances are, you’re familiar with knitting patterns.
But, unless you’re a designer, or tech editor, you probably don’t get involved with the numbers side much.
This is a snapshot of what it looks like.
I say a snapshot, because this particular spreadsheet actually has 711 active cells or calculations…
My friend Jen Arnall-Culliford, The Knitter’s last technical editor (I’m dep ed, but with a tech ed’s remit, plus other fun stuff) introduced me to using Excel for pattern checking a little while ago.
It’s extremely useful for that, but arguably even more so for pattern writing in my case.
Yes, you can sort out a schematic for different sizes of the same garment with some fairly simple maths.
But add in lace or colourwork motifs, and other complicating factors, like working seamlessly, and that’s a lot of sums to do on the back of an envelope.
If you’re up for the challenge of writing graded patterns, Ysolda’s own sizing information is also incredibly useful.
Of course, it isn’t JUST maths (thank goodness). But it’s not surprising to me now, just how many technical editors and designers have a maths or science background.
I never thought I’d say it, but I really do heart Excel.