As a knitwear designer have you ever found yourself wondering what to do next in the process? Or whether you’ve done everything you need to do?

Well, you’re not alone. I have. And I know others have too.

My first published design was the Whirl Me Away Cowl which was made available in November 2012. And despite having 46 designs under my belt at the time of writing this (May 2021), I struggled with this problem through every single one of them.

It wasn’t until I started writing my first pattern book in March 2021 that I decided to create myself a checklist. Why it took me so long to do this I don’t know!

The checklist needed to include basic information about the design, such as tools, yarn, and gauge. But also the checklist tasks, such as if the charts had been created, if the draft was complete, sample knit, tech edited, tested, social media posts, etc……

My first draft wasn’t quite right for my flow of working, so I edited it and came up with a checklist that works for me. A Microsoft Word version of this is further below for you.

For each new design I print out the checklist and fill it in as I go. Each design gets it’s own plastic wallet in which I keep other important information with it. Things such as a yarn bands, charts I’ve created, inspiration photos, draft patterns, and hand written notes might go into this.

As I said this checklist works for me and my process. It is from my experience and conversations with other designers, that the design process comes in many different forms depending on how each designer works best.

However having this checklist has been like a breath of fresh air to me. It has:
– kept important information together in one safe place (not the kind of safe place that is so safe you can’t find it again)
– kept pattern information separate from other pattern information
– helped me maintain my focus on new designs (this one surprised me)
– saved me wasted brain space of “what else do I need to do now/next?” type thoughts
– allowed me to be more mindful in other moments of my life, such as playing with my son

When you click on the download button below you’ll get a Microsoft Word version of the checklist I use. I’ve included it as a Word document so that you can edit it to fit your process better.

When it comes to publishing the pattern I’ve listed Ravelry, Gumroad, Pinterest, and my Website as the important places to post. You can add or amend these as you need, but I do recommend publishing to Ravelry and Pinterest as a minimum. Learn why here.

Best wishes,
Sam xox


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