Before I get started with a new pattern, particularly a garment, I do just a little bit of pattern prep.
1. Make a “working” copy of my pattern
If your pattern is in a book or a leaflet, make a photocopy that you can write on and beat up a little bit. My patterns always end up folded and crinkled from being on-the-go in my project bag. It is NOT violating copyright laws so long as you own the original and don’t hand out your copies to others. If your pattern is a download, like Vitamin D, just print yourself a copy.
2. Check out the schematic for the garment and circle the measurements that match mine.
Do all of the numbers add up to one particular size? If not, you may be able to alter some measurements to match what you desire. If there is no schematic you may want to draw one up using the numbers in your pattern. This is also the time to think about how much ease you want in your garment. Do you want it to be tight-fitting, just-fitting, or loose-fitting? If all or most of your numbers line up to one particular size, circle it at the beginning of your pattern.
3. Read through the pattern, circling or highlighting the numbers associated with the size I am going to make.
Patterns that have many sizes can sometimes seem overwhelming because there is so much black ink on the page. Highlight or circle the numbers that pertain to you, so you can skip over the rest.
4. Do one more read-through of the pattern and take note of anything that seems new or confusing.
Don’t get too worried about one or two new things in your pattern. That is how we learn! Before you begin, Google or check the index of your favorite instruction book to see if you can decode the new instruction or technique (don’t forget to check the beginning or end of the pattern itself for abbreviation definitions). If something is confusing, your Local Yarn Store is your best resource. Stop by Sage or send us an email and we will do our best to keep you knitting and crocheting! Most times, I get started with my project and as I get closer to the confusing part it doesn’t seem confusing anymore because I know the context surrounding it.
Now that our pattern is ready, and our swatch is blocked, we can get moving!