How to Design Knitwear | Design Development [PILOT course]


How to Design Knitwear | Design Development builds on visual communication skills & applies them to surface pattern design, garment silhouette & styling, fabrication, & figure drawing. In other words, we’re ready to look at the body & give form to our design ideas. After 6 weeks, you’ll be clearer about your design identity & its emotional import.

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How to Design Knitwear | Design Development is a course aimed at knitters who know they’re capable of being a designer but sometimes struggle with creative self-expression.  Over the course of 6 weeks, you’ll learn how to give your ideas form by exploring silhouette, surface pattern, and fabrication.  Completion of the previous Visual Communication module or experience with drawing or fine art is advantageous, but not a prerequisite.  Just be prepared to do a lot of drawing and experimentation!  After 6 weeks, you’ll be clearer about your design identity & its emotional import – not to mention a wealth of ideas ripe for the next stages of knitting pattern production.


By the end of the course, you’ll have:

  • An understanding of the elements and principles of design;
  • A wealth of research and experimentation with silhouette, surface pattern and fabrication;
  • A solid foundation for creating visual impact and building emotional connections.

The only materials you’ll need are:

  • A set of drawing pencils, ranging from HB to 6B;
  • An A3 drawing pad or sketch pad;
  • Squared paper – 0.5mm or ¼ inch squares (at least in the beginning).

Design development sketch for an aran sweater idea

This module builds on visual communication skills by applying them to surface pattern design, silhouette, garment styling and fabrication.  In other words, we’re ready to look at how our ideas relate to our bodies and emotions.  You’ll learn how to conserve your energy by using design techniques especially for maximising the potential of your ideas.

The applied maths elements of this module – specifically, geometry and ratio – anticipate further processes involving sizing, fit and grading.  These processes won’t be covered here (it’s much too soon!), but early application of visual maths will set a good foundation for later work.  Throughout this module, you’ll be prompted to think ahead in a way that develops your problem-solving skills and treats the artistic and technical aspects of design as two wings of the same bird…which they are.

More about the course

This pilot is the first module of a comprehensive knitwear design course created by me, Natalie Warner.  I am building the course with a group of knitters so that it includes:

  • live interaction
  • ongoing support
  • two-way feedback
  • an emphasis on community.

This means that you will not always get the smoothness of a specialist platfom for online courses.  However, you will get the support of a friendly peer group and an experienced teacher dedicated to her students!  You will also have lifetime access to the final version of the course that you’ve helped to create with me and your fellow designers.


The first session will take place on Monday 6th February.  The final session will be on Thursday 16th March.

All classes will be streamed live via Zoom.  Replays will be available as soon as possible after each class.

  • Livestreamed drawing classes will be on Mondays.  They will be recorded for anyone who can’t make the session.
  • Co-working, check-ins and extra support will be on Thursdays.  These sessions are optional and will not be recorded.
  • All sessions, whether Monday or Thursday, will take place between 15.00-17.00 UK time.
what’s next?

You will receive a downloadable confirmation letter after booking and payment, which will contain the course outline and the Zoom link for the first class.  I’ll also send a reminder email the Friday before our first meeting together and check that you’re all set to begin.

Online knitting classes with Natalie in Stitches - header image of swatches in progress

any more questions?  ask away!

If there’s anything else you’d like to know, or if you need a payment plan, please get in touch!  The form below will take you straight to my inbox and I’ll reply to you as soon as I can.


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