What is a style sheet? It’s an explicit guide to exactly how you want to write and format your pattern. I use one when I’m writing my own patterns and if you have one, it makes my job as a tech editor go faster and more easily (thus costing you less!). If you don’t have one, and would like one, that’s a service I offer.
Why have a style sheet? Consistency across your patterns is important, both for you as the designer and for your customers. First-time customers will appreciate a well-written, edited, and laid out pattern. Repeat customers will become familiar with your pattern style and will find it easier to knit your patterns. Both you and your tech editor will easily be able to ensure that everything you need is included in the pattern and that the layout is consistent with your style.
What’s in a style sheet? There’s a lot to include in a knitting pattern and it needs to be as easily comprehended as possible by your customers. You’ll need most or all of the following components, and possibly more:
- Title, image, romance
- Notes (including construction, techniques, etc.)
- Materials needed (needles, yarn, notions, etc.)
- Sizing information
- Abbreviations used throughout
- Pattern directions
- Charts and/or schematics
- Contact information
A style sheet also lays out exactly how you’d like your directions to be written. For example, my style sheet includes guidelines like:
- Instruction repeated until a specific number of sts: use “*…; rpt from * to last X sts,” (followed by instructions for last X sts)
- Measurements: use inches (to the quarter inch) & centimeters (to the half centimeter)
- Written instructions for charts should end on same row/rnd number as chart (even if using “Row 2 and all WS rows: …” -> write out the last WS row instructions)
I also spell out specifications for fonts used, sizes, and heading styles. Armed with my comprehensive style sheet, I can easily check off each stage of a new pattern to ensure that I’m being completely consistent.
As a tech editor, I can work with you to develop a good style sheet that helps you write the clearest patterns and maintain a consistent style. Please be in touch if you’d like to know more or have more questions and, in the meantime, happy knitting and designing!