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making knitting patterns from sewing pat

razzle | Posted in Knitting and Crochet on


im interesting in learning/experimenting with making knitting patterns. I am a design student so i am already well acustomed to pattern drafting, so i thought if there are any methods for converting sewing patterns to hand knitting patterns that someone might be able to point me in the right direction…


cheers, Renee


  1. SewingWriter | | #1

    You might be interested in the pattern drafting software "Garment Maker" at http://www.cochenille.com .  You can design a garment, then convert it to either sewn or knitted cloth.

  2. mem1 | | #2

    We are thinking the same thoughts !!

  3. starzoe | | #3

    I have knitted many garments using a sewing pattern.  Basically, you just need to ignore the seam allowances.  Use a pattern for stretch fabrics or a pattern that is close-fitting as knitwear usually stretches more than knit fabric.  Some experience with fitting comes in here.

    A very old Vogue Knitting magazine had an article on doing just this - knitting patterns from sewing patterns.  There may be some information on their website.  OK, I found it, it is in the Winter 96/97 issue.  Everything you need is there.

  4. designingal | | #4

    I have been experimenting with Adobe Illustrator and drafting my designs on it and then putting a grid of my gauge behind it.  It works especially well for the knitting machine because I can zoom in and see row by row where I need to shape or work a colored chart.  If this was something you were interested in talking about, let me know and I can tell you more about what I have figured out.

    1. FitnessNut | | #5

      I'm interested! Its something I've never thought of using Illustrator for....what a good idea! And I certainly like the idea of multi-tasking my illustration software rather than investing in yet another programme that does only one thing.

      1. designingal | | #7

        I have Illustrator CS, but I doubt I use any features that arn't on earlier versions.  Basically what I do is use the pen and the measure tool to draw each piece on it's own layer to the size and shape I want.  I just figured out how to use the rotate tool to actually "walk" each piece along it's adjoining piece and make sure my curves are going to match up.  After I am happy with the shapes and measurements, I create another layer with the grid, and another layer with row numbers; these I sometimes borrow from previous designs because typing in all the numbers in vertical rows can be very tedious.  To make your grid as close as possible to your yarn's gauge double -click on on the grid tool( which is grouped with the line segment tool on my version) and then you can play around with the amount of rows and lines to get your graph close to what you want.  I have several "master graphs" that I use over and over and I could e-mail one to you if you wanted it.  Then with everything on it's own layer I just give every piece a different color and turn the visability on and off as I work on each piece.  This works out great when I knit something up and don't like it.  I can go back to the origional, make changes on a new layer and be sure i am changing the shape exactly where it needs it.  As far as doing charting, I just zoom in, draw a little circle on the grid square and then just keep making copies of the circle and fill in my design with all the colors and details that I want.  I have as much fun working out the pattern as I do knitting it!

        1. FitnessNut | | #8

          Thanks for the info! It sounds like it could be fun to play around with. Next time I get the urge to knit something.....

        2. lil_gj | | #9


          I just joined the discussion group and read your post.  I love the idea of doing your own knitting off a sewing pattern.  I made a baby coat for my daughter many years ago by knitting a few rows at a time and measuring it up to the sewing pattern. It came out beautiful, but I never tried it again. I would be interested in trying it on illustrator.  How can I get a copy of your grid... thank you Gen (lil_gj)

          1. designingal | | #10

            I could probably just send you it in an e-mail in the .ai format, so you could open it and make any changes you wanted to it.  Once you get the hang of making the grid and drawing out your shapes, filling in the squares to make your designs is the fun part.  Send me your e-mail if you want to see some designs I have worked out, I haven't done much, but I  think there is great potential for us knitters with Illustrator.

  5. ruffle | | #6

    I have done machine knitting for many years. I have a Studio 360, and it is a lovely machine, and will knit 3 or 4 ply easily. I also have a chunky knitter, and the needles are much bigger and i will take all the thick yarns.  Studio & Singer also have a fine knitting machin, but you will never find a machine that does fine and chunky .Ruffle

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