Autumn Leaves Lessons

In the years since I have published Autumn Leaves Scarflette, my very first attempt at knitting pattern writing, I have learned more than I could ever express in one blog post.

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I remember very clearly the night when I uploaded the original pattern. I was too chicken to charge any money for the download.  I imagined myself refunding money left and right if the pattern turned out to be awful.  I’ll never forget the pride and butterflies with which I uploaded my first PDF to Ravelry, and then the crushing disappointment when the negative reviews rolled in. Cringeworthy, yes. But its the reality of it, and I’m laughing at myself as I type this.

I seriously considered throwing in the towel and vowing to never publish again after reading comments like, “very poorly written pattern” and “full of mistakes”.

While those comments stung, they were absolutely not wrong.  My pattern was poorly written, and it was full of mistakes, and I had to face the facts.  One knitter commented in her project notes that she noticed row 29 had wandered off to have a lie-down. Looking back over the pattern it was true!  27, 28, 30… oh boy. How did I miss that? Though I did have quite a laugh at her phrasing.

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I came to a crossroads.  I could slink away with my tail between my legs, or I could learn from this feedback and plug on.  After a short pout, I got over myself, and looked at the pattern again with fresh eyes. I poured over patterns from designers that I admired to educate myself on what makes a great knitting pattern, but I craved more information.

I checked out a few local colleges to see if they offered courses in the type of knitting I was interested in learning.  I wanted to know more about pattern writing standards, and grading knitwear sizes, technical editing and clothing shaping techniques.  Color work and cables and how to write cable charts, and how to write knitting charts in general.

Being in NYC I figured these things would be a cinch to find. But boy I was wrong.  F.I.T., nope.  Pratt, no.  Even local yarn shops only had beginner and intermediate knitting classes, nothing for a budding designer.  I found a few books and blogs that were helpful, but my real saving grace was Craftsy.  They offer video classes in exactly what I was craving to know. I was able to shape my knitting education into exactly what I was looking for.  I think Ravelry is definitely my favorite knitting resource and my favorite platform from which to sell my work, but for instructional videos you can’t beat Craftsy. Plus they have a platform for indie designers like myself where they don’t take a cent. And that’s pretty cool.

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I’m still reading and knitting and frogging and watching videos, learning all the time.  I have revisited my Autumn Leaves pattern and tweaked it applying all the information I have gathered and now I feel that its finally the best version of itself.    I’m so pleased to be re-launching the pattern and I hope that you’ll knit one and let me know what you think. I can take it. I promise!

Download the pattern for FREE at Ravelry.

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18 thoughts on “Autumn Leaves Lessons

    • Hi! The wool is Koigu Kersti Crepe Merino, but I sadly don’t know the exact color way or number. This was knit nearly five years ago and I don’t have the yarn label anymore. Koigu hand paints all their wool and it usually comes in small batches. But I bet you could find something similar thats current though!

  1. oh this is SUCH a sweet & humble post.
    thanks for sharing! I have lots of ideas in my head, never to be written down because of the great effort I have seen that goes into writing out a pattern!
    I will admit to the intimidation of experiencing EXACTLY what you so pleasantly wrote about.
    (those gals walked straight up to your stroller and called your baby ugly!!! LOL)
    but oh the pluck you have!! deciding to move on and go forward, hey!
    I have pluck too!
    thanks for reminding me. 🙂
    really enjoyed reading this, and as a newbie knitter, am excited to try my hand at this beautiful pattern too!!!
    thanks again.

    • I’m blushing! Thank you. I nearly spit out my coffee at your analogy. It WAS my baby, and they DID call it ugly! HA! So funny. thanks for your comment. 🙂

  2. I love the look of this and was wondering if it could be enlarged for a wrap or if you already have a wrap using this pattern? Please let me know.

    • That’s a great idea! When you say wrap, do you mean like a shawl or more like a capelet? Interesting! You’ve got the gears in my head going… Lol

      • I am really interested in a wrap or shawl version of Autumn Leaves pattern! Oil those gears so you can work on that faster.  It is a beautiful pattern!  Happy Fall to you!

      • I love the wrap/ shawl version. I hadn’t thought of a capelet, it sounds interesting. Let those wheels roll and keep me posted.

  3. The next time you want to design and share your patterns either for sale, or for free, make sure you have several experienced knitters TEST KNIT for you. That way you can catch all the typos, errors BEFORE you release it to the general public so that you can avoid the negative feedback.

  4. Loved your post as well. I am a grandmother taking up knitting again after having originally learned at age 8 – and found Craftsy to be an excellent source for instructional videos. I just finished a hooded sweater for my 5 year old grandson Malaki and have started a pull over for his 8 year old brother Jaxson. I am going to give your pattern a try as I like to have multiple small projects going to keep me from getting bored. I too was tickled by the analogy of the stroller and your baby…so keep your sense of humor and you will be just fine.

  5. Is there a stitch missing in row 31 as I find no matter how many tries I have re-knit number of stitches comes out at 116 not 118?

    • Hi, that’s a great question. I’m at the day job now, but let me take a look at it when i get home. Sorry!

  6. Just saw your pattern on AFK, it looks beautiful. I started writing/publishing patterns a few years ago and had some constructive crit. along the way. Now I write the pattern, make myself knit it and follow the patttern ver batim to make sure it is spot on. It means I have to knit 2 versions but well worth it. Takes way more time than people realize to publish a pattern that works. Ravelry is such a great site to get going on-
    Ing-credible Threads Designs, my site,has been so rewarding and educational for me.

  7. c’ est absolument magnifique je suis admirative bravo merci pour ce pdf je m’ abonne a votre blog a bientôt

  8. Have an inexperienced knitter try the patterns to make sure they really are good for beginners. This will also tell you if the terminology makes sense to someone other than a professional. You do lovely work. Thank you.

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