Favorite Tools for Designing (and Selling) Knitting Patterns

Updated: Aug 11, 2021

Many of us start out designing patterns without any clue of what it entails and what sort of tools we will need for our work. As we run into a problem, we start searching Ravelry forums or try to figure it out on our own. So if you're in the early stages of your knitting pattern design career, this blog post is for you. Here I've compiled my favorite tools for knitting pattern design!

favorite knitting pattern design tools

Before we dive into the tools specific for designers, are you also still needing to pick up some knitting supplies? I have a blog post about all of the knitting supplies that you need for your knitting -- plus some additional knitting supplies that are helpful as you advance in the craft.

Alright, now let's start with the bare essentials that you need to create and sell a pattern.

A Place to Write Your Knitting Patterns

First and foremost, well after the knitting supplies, you must have a place to write your knitting patterns. If you already have a place where you write documents, it is sufficient. As long as you're able to add text and add photos, it will work great.

Since I already have the Microsoft Office Suite, I use Microsoft Word for writing my patterns, and I love it. I have a basic knitting pattern template that I created and work from; the software is familiar; and it's pretty simple to format as I need, with columns, page numbers, headers, and photo placement.

If you don't have Microsoft Word, but you do have a Gmail account, my second favorite recommendation is to use Google Docs. It's completely free, and it works similarly to Microsoft Word. If you work from an Apple product, Pages will work just fine, too!

While some designers recommend using software like Canva, Photoshop, or InDesign, I do not. The most important part of your pattern is the written part. It needs to be organized and easy to follow, and the easiest way to achieve that is with a word processing software, not a design software. If you'd like to add cutesy or artsy features, you can insert images (yes, even stock images, as long as you have the rights to use them), shapes, and SmartArt designs into your document. And then save that design as your template so you don't have to redo the design with every pattern you write!

A Place to Design Your Knitting Patterns

If you are a visual person and need to sketch out your design, you like to take notes on your design ideas before you start writing a pattern, or you like to write out the first draft of your pattern by hand, you'll want to have some sort of paper (lined, grid, or blank) for your notes and sketches. As I've become more experienced with my designing, I use less and less paper, but I usually still have at least one paper with some hand written notes, ideas, and sketches. I just use a simple grid paper, because its use is so versatile. If you use a binder to store your design information, this pack on Amazon includes 400 three-hole punched loose sheets of graphing paper for $9 USD. Or, if you prefer a notepad, this option, also on Amazon, includes 55 sheets of graphing paper in a notepad for $7 USD.

A Place to Do Your Knitting Design Math

If you're designing a pattern, you'll need to do some math, especially if you're designing several sizes for your pattern. And while you can do your math by hand with a pen and paper, it ends up being a lot faster (and easier to fix if you need to change something later on) to use a spreadsheet software. Since I have the Microsoft Office Suite, I use Microsoft Excel, but