How an Idea Becomes a Pattern

Emergency Teddy Bear’s pattern notes – written and rewritten

How do you get a pattern? Revise, revise, revise!

Here’s the notes from a quick teddy bear pattern I worked up a few weeks ago. In this case, I used my existing Sitting Dragon pattern as a starting point. I’m old school and like a physical copy that I can write on, so I copied the pattern on to some scrap paper and started knitting.

I made the body and head first, and those ended up larger than the initial pattern, so I needed to make the arms larger to keep the proportions right. The dragon’s arms start with 10 stitches, but you can see that I’ve changed that to 14. That meant I needed to change row 2, where I start the short rows for the bear’s shoulder. It’s been increased from a P7 to a P9 to account for half of the four additional stitches. Then I needed to add a few more rows to the short row shoulder and a few more rows to the length of the arm. The 14 rows noted about halfway down the page next to the hash marks started off as 8 rows in the original pattern. There are more changes to the way I finish off the arm and some of the last rows written on the page didn’t even make it into the final draft.

This is actually a reasonably clean draft. If I had started completely from scratch, I would have rewritten parts of the pattern multiple times, and then corrected those copies, before I got the look I wanted. The T-Rex (pattern coming soon!) had his back end started and ripped out ten times before I got the size and shape I wanted.

I’ll document my next new animal (I’m thinking an eohippus) from start to finish so you can see the “knit, squint, rip, repeat” process at work.

In the meantime, I’ll be putting the Emergency Teddy Bear pattern up this weekend as a free download. It was made for a last minute baby shower gift, so Mother’s Day weekend seems like a good time to share it.

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