MSG: The secret sauce of knitting patterns

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Knitters who’ve already had a go at adjusting or customising patterns in some way will have had a taste of MSG. This little abbreviation is my way of teaching the maths needed to calculate knitting patterns, and I’m sharing it with you this fortnight.

There is a trinity of values needed for knitting pattern calculations. You triangulate all dimensions using:

  • body measurements (M),
  • the stitches or rows required to match these measurements (S), and
  • the gauge or tension of your knitted fabric (G).

Here’s how it goes:

That’s it!

•Pattern repeats are the only other thing to bear in mind.  Repeat multiples will set conditions for calculations derived from MSG.

•Because of this, you may have to round your calculations up or down to fit in your stitch pattern.

I hope this was helpful – or, if you already know about knitting pattern calculations, that you enjoyed my way of looking at things. And if this was new to you, I hope this encourages you to think about adapting patterns or designing your own.

Next steps

This is also a tiny snippet (5-10 minutes) of my pattern drafting module, which I’m currently piloting. It will be back in a more polished form, but until then, I have a weekly newsletter. Sign up if you’re interested in finding out more about:

  • knitwear design,
  • pattern cutting,
  • and clothes making in general.
MSG: The secret sauce of knitting patterns

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Natalie in Stitches

I design for confident knitters who are keen on getting their garments to fit well. My catalogue includes knitting patterns for lace sweaters, cable sweaters, shawls, cowls, and the occasional scarf. These designs are ideal for building or curating an inspiring wardrobe. I am also a qualified teacher and share my favourite tips, tricks and techniques on my blog, where you can also find advice on garment fitting, alterations, knitwear design and sewing pattern reviews. Courses are also coming soon - sign up to my newsletter for updates.

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