Category Archives: Knitting Design

A new addition to my design collection: Riley Rose!

My latest knitting design, the Riley Rose Shawl is available today!

Pattern is available on Ravelry for $6.00 (see special offer details below)

Riley Rose is a 3-colored shawl worked sideways. You begin on the right tip with an interesting garter-tab cast on with a mock i-cord edging and increase up to the point of the triangle and then decrease for the left side of the shawl. Best of all, the stitch patterns and colors change just often enough to keep you from getting bored!


Limited Offer: until Wednesday July 27, 2016 at 10p EST, this shawl will be available for $3.00. No coupon code required! After that time, it will go up to the full price of $6.00.

Dying to cast on? Finish this shawl by August 6th, take photos, create a project page and PM me (BostonJen). I’ll happily gift you and a friend of your choice any one of my other patterns for free! You and your friend may each choose a different pattern if you like.

Key DetailsIMG_4485-2

Yarn:  One Twisted Tree in the Prime Merino Fingering Base- 460 yards/100grams

  • Color A:  Seashell (light coral) – 151 yards
  • Color B:  Reef Coral (dark coral) – 254 yards
  • Color C:  Gulf (aqua blue) – 203 yards
  • Total:      608 yards used (with gauge of 25 stitches of 4 inches in Garter)

Gauge: 25 stitches & 40 rows per 4 inches (in Garter Stitch)

Finished Size: Width: 66.5 in / 167.7 cm  | Height: 18 in/ 45.7 cm

A Note about Yarn: the One Twisted Tree Prime Fingering yarn used in the sample is a lighter fingering than you may have on hand. If your gauge is different (and likely it will be if you do not swatch), you will use more yarn. Please see notes below for the amount of yarn used when this pattern is knit at different gauges. A special thank you to my test knitters for providing this information.

  • 21 sts/ 4 inches= A: 190 yards  |   B: 312 yards  | C: 252 yards  |  Total: 754 yards
  • 23 sts/ 4 inches= A: 190 yards  |  B: 300 yards  |  C: 250 yards  |  Total: 740 yards
  • 24 sts/ 4 inches= A: 166 yards  |  B:  277 yards  | C: 175 yards  |  Total: 618 yards
  • 25 sts/ 4 inches= A: 151 yards  | B: 254 yards  | C: 203 yards  | Total: 608 yardsRiley Rose

Skills used in this project: Judy’s Magic Cast-On (could substitute another provisional cast on if you like), basic increasing and decreasing, and kitchener stitch.

  • A video tutorial for this shawl’s cast on is available here.
  • A video tutorial for the Judy’s Magic Cast On is available here.

This pattern has been tech edited & test knit.IMG_4436-2

This shawl is dedicated to my niece Riley Rose who is a bright, creative, caring girl. Her interests are many and varied, skipping around like the patterns in this ever-changing design. Riley is always one to wrap you in a warm embrace and I hope some of that warmth finds you, too.IMG_7864IMG_7890

Getting Your Knitting Patterns Noticed

Tan House Brook Shawl | Down Cellar Studio Podcast  Designer BostonJen

I’m not going to lie, it feels really good getting your pattern uploaded to Ravelry for sale but there are thousands upon thousands of patterns on Ravelry, both for sale and for free. So how can you stand out?

Here are my top 5 tips for getting your knitting pattern noticed

  1. Aim for amazing photos! Even if the only way knitters find your patterns is by browsing Ravelry, they are far more likely be drawn in if you have a gorgeous photo. You really want your photo to pop. Use a background that’s a sharp contrast to your project. Employ the use of a beautiful model. Use your judgement based on your pattern but when you look through all of the photos you have of your finished object, scroll through and see what really stands out to you. Use that as your featured image.
  2. Be part of the knitting community. One of the best things about Ravelry and about the knitting world in general is the real, honest to goodness aspect of community that exists. There are lots of kind, interesting people who will want to get to know you. Join message boards, find knitters on Instagram or Twitter and get to know people. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you to be sleazy. Be yourself. Be genuinely interested in what others are doing. Share honestly about who you are and what you’re interested in. As you participate in the community you’ll find you have many connections within this huge network. They will start to pay attention when you post and will see what you’re working on. If what you’re knitting are your own patterns they’ll notice that too. You’ll attract attention without having to be a pushy salesperson.
  3. Sponsor Giveaways. Anyone who has been involved in the online knitting community knows there are approximately one million knit-a-longs (KALs) going on at any given moment.  The hosts are often looking for prizes to giveaway to the winners. Reach out and offer your pattern as a prize. I can personally tell you that Ravelry giftable patterns are a great prize option for a KAL host because there’s nothing to mail and less logistics to worry about. This will give you exposure to groups that may not have heard about you because the KAL host will talk about the prizes to drum up enthusiasm for the KAL.
  4. Employ Pattern Gifts. Even if you don’t have an audience (yet), there are plenty of people in the knitting community who do (think podcasters, bloggers, designers). Gifting your pattern to people who share a lot about what they’re knitting can be very helpful to you as a designer. Again, don’t be a jerk. Don’t go into this scheming to get your pattern discussed on every blog and podcast out there. (I’m not saying that was your plan, but don’t forget- this is a community- always strive to be an upstanding member). I approach this as a true gift. If there are people in the knitting community I really enjoy, I sometimes gift my pattern to them as a token of my thanks for what they do and what I get out of their content. I do not and will not specifically ask for mentions of my pattern. If my pattern is of interest to them or if they eventually knit it, they will discuss it. I will in many cases also offer my pattern as a prize in an upcoming contest they may have in the works. This costs me nothing out of pocket and provides free advertising!
  5. Wear it! Do you have any plans to go to a knitting event? It could be something at your LYS. A major fiber festival? A new knitting group? Wear your pattern proudly! If others ask about it, tell them that it’s your design and how they can find. Better yet? Give them a business card with your information so they can find you easily. Better than that? Give them a hand out with a coupon code on it, good for a limited amount of time, to give them even more incentive.

Building the Confidence You Need to Publish a Knitting Pattern

I never thought I would design knitting patterns.

enjoy following other’s patterns. Following their instructions. Checking off the rows. Thinking about what I’m executing but not having to figure out the whole picture. Not having to do the math (ugh the math).

Truthfully, I never intended to publish a design, but when I improvised a pattern onto a basic triangular shawl many of my podcast listeners and local friends were interested and asked me to put together the instructions.

The Original Tan House Brook

“How hard could that be?” I [naively] thought. I would just reknit it and offer it as a free pattern.

After all, I had taken some notes as I knit, but as I looked back on them, I realized they weren’t thorough and so it took a good deal of time getting everything in order and getting a sample knit up that closely matched the original.  I learned a lot from that point of starting to re-knit my shawl and it’s opened my eyes to a part of the knitting world I hadn’t had the opportunity to see before.

I’d like to take the opportunity to share that with you because, having done it, I now truly believe that there is a designer in almost every knitter (or crocheter) out there. But writing up the pattern is only part of the picture and while you might have a great pattern on your hands, if you can’t get everything executed, then it may not really matter.

Boston Jen

I would like to thank Kim for posting this comment on my Designs page which prompted me to really think about this experience and what I can share with you. She said:

Hi Jen! I’d love if you could share more about your path to starting to release your own designs. How did you get the confidence to go ahead and do it, and how have you so successfully found an audience for them? I have a blog, but I definitely don’t have the kind of following you do with your podcast, so I’m just not sure how to promote my designs. I feel like I can talk about them, but that doesn’t matter if no one can hear me!

This will require more than I can write in one post, but let’s get started today. And if you’re reading and have questions please feel free to reach out to me. My contact information can be found on the toolbar on the right side. I’d love to hear what questions you have.

Let’s start with Kim’s first question “how did you get the confidence to go ahead and do it?” To be honest, I’m not entirely sure I did have the confidence. As I mentioned, I planned on giving it away for free and I think that took some of the pressure off me. I figured I could write down the pattern and give it to my friends to try and see how it went. Since I hadn’t committed to anything, what was the worst that could happen?

But along the way my confidence did start building. Below are the tips I want to share with you in case you are starting out on this journey:

Tips for building your confidence as a budding knitwear designer:

  • Gather feedback from friends and peers (in person or virtually). You don’t need to necessarily solicit it explicitly, but simply bringing your finished project to a local knitting group, posting your FO in your Ravelry Projects page or in a message board forum may garner you some feedback. There’s a good chance if you like what you’ve made there will be others who will too. Take in those positive sentiments and be proud.
  • Make sure your notes are solid. If you made up the pattern as you went, look back at your knitting, read it, and write up notes. This will give you a solid foundation to start from.
  • Test it. If you didn’t take good notes the first time around, I highly recommend knitting it yourself from the notes you’ve written to ensure they are thorough and that you haven’t left anything out. If and when that works for you, share it with a few friends, ideally with a mix of skill levels and ask them to knit it from your instructions. While the written pattern does not need to be perfect at this point, you should aim to include all of the details to preemptively answer any questions they may have.
  • Be grateful for feedback from your test knitters. It’s hard, sometimes, not to take things personally, but if your test knitters have questions remember that other knitters later will likely also have the same questions. If you can use their feedback to make the pattern even more clear or easy to read, you’ll save yourself future corrections and ensure your customers are happy throughout the knitting experience. Having your first test knitter successfully complete your pattern is a huge boost of confidence! Knowing that from what you wrote down someone else was able to follow along and create a beautiful finished object is immensely satisfying. Take that and run with it! You’re well on your way to pattern design!