Pattern Grading - Part 3
Welcome to the 3rd and final installment of the pattern grading series.
By the end of this blog, you should have a solid concept of how to grade up and down a pattern design for numerous sizes and well as having some cool new tools in your pattern writing arsenal.
In Part 1 of this series (which you can read here if you need) we covered an overview of pattern grading and discussed size charts. In Part 2 (which you can read here) we discussed garment measurements and how to apply ease.
In this final part we are going to convert those measurements into row and stitch counts. This part does take a bit of math but I've developed a cool little tool to help you in your calculations.
You should have an excel sheet from the last blog, which has both the relevant body measurements as well as your garment measurements.
The next thing you are going to need is your gauge!
Gauge is usually measured in a 10cm by 10cm or 4x4inch square and outlines how many stitches across and how many rows fit inside that square. Gauge is usually determined on 4 main factors;
1. Yarn weight. (Sock, DK, Aran weight, Chunky etc)
2. Hook Size. (Are you using the recommended hook size for the yarn? Are you using a smaller hook for a denser fabric or a bigger hook for a looser drape?
3. Yarn Fiber. (Different fibers have different stretch and squish)
4. Tension. (Tension is how tightly a crocheted works as is completely out of the designer control. As a designer it is important to try keep your tension as 'middle ground' as possible)
For this part of the grading, you can choose whether you wish to work in cm or inches.
Use a tape measure you find out the gauge of your design. e.g 20 stitches across and 20 rows. Take note of the yarn, hook and tension you have used.
Pro tip - I usually find the working back and forward will give a slightly different row count that working in the round, so if making a sample gauge swatch, keep this in mind.
You can now add 2 new sections to your excel spread sheet as below;
You can now fill out your Stitch Counts by referring to your gauge swatches.
The math is as follows (I'll give you some tricks with this shortly)
To find the stitch count circumference for 0-3m. (working in cm)
= 19 (Stitches per 10cm) divided by 10 (size of the gauge)
=1.9 x 35.5 (the circumference in cm)
= 67.45. Obviously you can only have full stitches so round this up or down as needed.
** Expert Tip - If you are able to use excel formulas, you can use the following maths equation in B27 and then copy across.
Continue to fill out your chart, remember to use 'stitches' number when talking about width/circumference and using the 'rows' when talking about length/height.
Now, if you are still struggling with the math on this one, I have a handy excel calculator which looks like this;
Simply fill in the white boxes and you will get your stitch and row counts in red.
Calculator can be found here.
So looking at the example chart we can start to see the following;
The 0-3m beanie has;
13 rows of increases if working top down to create the starting circle.
13 rows of straight rows of crochet with a circumference of 67 stitches.
11 rows of ribbing worked sideways.
Keep in mind your likely going to have to tweak your numbers. for example if your increases come out at a multiple of 6, your circumference would be rounded down to 66. Or if you were making something in a special stitch where you needed multiples of 3+2 type thing.
I wont lie, there is a lot of math work in pattern writing, the more complex the design the more math.
And that is the end of the pattern grading series. Over time you will tweak your own methods but hopefully this has given you a jumping off point to get started.
Keep a look out for more blog posts coming soon, including garment shaping, taking better product photography and how to turn your pattern into a published PDF.