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by Sarah Stanfield September 30, 2020 4 min read

New knitters are made every day, so if you're new to Ysolda's knitting patterns or just haven't tried one for a while, we thought it would be useful to give a brief overview of the features we include. We aim to make all Ysolda patterns user friendly and accessible. Maybe you're just interested in how we go about putting together a pattern? That's fine too!

A choice of layouts

To meet the needs of all knitters we're beginning to add three layout options for new patterns and are working back through our more popular patterns from our back catalogue.

cover page of a pattern showing a black woman wearing an orange sweater, walking towards the camera. She wears a dark jacket that is open at the front and is smiling. Text describing the sweater design is shown underneath.
the first page of a knitting pattern showing three columns of text

The print version is our standard layout with 3 columns, it's optimised to be easy to follow without using tons of paper or ink and works well on larger tablets and computers.

image of a black woman wearing an orange sweater and open, dark jacket. She is walking towards the camera and smiling.
example of a mobile layout of a knitting pattern page with large black text at the top and an image of a black woman wearing an orange sweater underneath

The mobile version is a single column with an aspect ratio that fits most smartphones. We know that many knitters usually knit from patterns on their phone (including our whole team) so this should save you from constantly zooming in and out to read your pattern.

image of a black woman wearing an orange sweater. She is walking towards the camera and is smiling, wearing an open dark jacket
example of large black text as shown on a low vision pattern format

Our low vision version has black main text and is 24pt sans serif. All text is black on a white background and there are no italics, including alt text on all images. Low vision versions do not include charts or tables.You can print this version or use it on larger screens.

The low vision version is tagged to work with screen reading software which should read everything in the right order, but it might struggle with abbreviations and lists of numbers used to indicate directions for multiple sizes. We're looking into ways to improve this. If this is something you use we’d love your feedback on - have you used one of patterns with a screen reader? If so we'd really appreciate feedback how we could improve the pattern formatting. The best way to let us know any ways in which we can make improvements is our email support@ysolda.com. 

The 3 pattern versions are available directly on our website without using Ravelry, although you will be able to add them to your Ravelry library should you wish. The low vision and mobile versions are ones that we have introduced on our new sweater releases this year, and we're working on extending these across our range of bestselling patterns. The pattern formats currently included are listed on the pattern page, for example here:

a screenshot showing information about optional techniques, pattern formats and two images of black women wearing an orange sweater and a neutral sweater. An arrow points at the pattern format information.

Inclusive sizing

Our size range for garments is to fit chest sizes 32” - 56”, though the actual size varies with intended ease. We always include a schematic and detailed sizing information to help you decide which size to make. We also include details of the size worn by the models and how much ease this gives. All sizes are actual dimensions of the garment knit to gauge and not to ‘to fit’ sizes.

a screenshot of a sweater schematic, with arrows to show the measurement points taken, and a table of measurements for each size
A screenshot of a knitting pattern showing the different sizes, and the sizes worn by models in the photos.

What yarn to use?

All patterns have detailed yarn information to allow successful yarn substitution. Yarn substitution is a large topic and swatching is key when substituting but the description of the yarn characteristics on the pattern should help guide your choices. Information like the fibre content and suggested drape of the fabric can help knitters find a yarn that behaves in a similar way, and so give a good result in the finished project.

The most important factor is to knit a swatch the same way as the final project, so the gauge information always specifies if the swatch should be knit in the round or back and forth. Our tutorial for swift swatching in the round can be found here or if you're new to swatching for sweaters you might find this tutorial helpful.

The needle size suggested in the pattern can be used as a starting point for swatching but everyone’s knitting is different which makes swatching so vital.

a screenshot of a knitting pattern showing yarn and gauge information.
a screenshot of a knitting pattern showing the needles used in the project

Tools

The needle information specifies if circular needles or double pointed needles (dpns) are needed. Patterns knit back and forth can be knit with either straight or circular needles. The length of needles needed for comfortable knitting is often included, and the relative sizes of needles used for ribbing is used to allow you to use the correct needles for your knitting.

You might need other tools such as stitch markers, scrap yarn, a cable needle. These as well as the size of buttons are all listed (so you can get straight to planning the perfect button choice.)

Techniques

We produce clear instructions, and include guidance on specific techniques if we feel that one in particular will give a great result. Which cast on to use is a good example - often there are many that will work for a project but using the cast on technique stated will ensure your finished project will look the same as photographed. There's always choice here though, if knitters prefer to use a different technique in their project of course, that's fine. We clearly list the skills required, so you can get a good idea if this is the perfect restful project you're looking for, or something you might not be able to knit while talking...

a screenshot showing the skills needed to complete a knitting pattern, and underneath two images of black women wearing the sweater design. One is looking out of a window wearing a pale neutral sweater and chunky necklace, the other stands next to a window wearing an orange sweater.

Our blog is full of tutorials, and we link to as many relevant ones as possible for each project. Or if you're looking for the full list to find a new technique to try, you can find that here.

Charts

We make our charts as clear as possible with keys on the same page so you don't need to flip back pages to check a symbol you're not sure about. We put the row number on the side of the chart your knitting starts, so for back and forth knitting the numbers will alternate side. When knitting in the round the numbers will all be on the right side like in the example below. Where possible, we include written directions too.

a screenshot of a chart used in a knitting pattern with a key of symbols underneath

Abbreviations

A list of the knitting terms and stitches are found at the beginning of each pattern. For special stitches we show the abbreviation along with the full name of the stitch, and a written directions of how to make the stitch.

a screenshot of the abbreviations list from a knitting pattern

Further support

We provide pattern support by email on support@ysolda.com. Our Ravelry group is also full of help and advice, often by knitters who are knitting the same thing you are!

Sarah Stanfield
Sarah Stanfield



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