TIDKT: Information for pattern buyers

So following on from last week’s post what information do you need, as a designer, to put in your pattern notes when listing PDF patterns? Here are my suggestions:

I am going to use my Framlingham sweater as an example throughout.

Sales pitch
I like to start with a sales pitch to grab the attention of the reader telling them why they’d like to read on, buy and eventually make this pattern. How will this pattern enhance their wardrobe, how might they wear it, why they will enjoy making it.
For Framlingham I wrote:

Knit in superwash merino for a little bit of everyday luxury with heat regulating properties that take it from the warmest summer day through to a layering piece for winter. Dress it down with denim or dress it up with a pretty summer skirt. Layer it with a cardigan over or a long sleeved top underneath, this is a versatile knit.

Sizing and ease information
It is important to give enough information to allow the buyer to work out if there is a size that is going to fit them well. I give inches and centimetres because I think it is easier for people to think in their native measurements. I want to make it easy for them. I don’t want to lose a sale because they couldn’t work out their size without a calculator.

For Framlingham I wrote:

Sizes:
Finished chest size 33(35,37,39,41,43,45) inches / 84(89,94,99,104,110,114)cms. Designed to be worn with 1”negative ease to 2” positive ease.
Instructions are given for a petite,standard,tall fit with finished length of 18,19,19.5 inches/ 46,48,50 cm.

Other helpful information I could have added is what ease the model (me!) is wearing the sweater at.

Yarn types and amounts
A lot of PDF pattern purchasers will be buying to use up yarn they already have stashed. It is as important to allow them to work out if they can make it from the yarn they have as it is to help those buying yarn specifically for the pattern.

For Framlingham I wrote:

5(6,6,6,6,7,7) 50g balls of Wendy Merino Bliss DK in Wood Violet (116m per ball)

This allows people to tell the yarn type, the weight and the amount they need. For instance the smallest size is going to need around 580m of DK weight wool based yarn. I could have gone on and been more helpful providing substitution tips like the best types of yarn for the project and giving the yard conversion.

Needles/hooks
Although people will need to swatch to find the exact needle/hook size they need it is important to give them a starting point and also to let them know about lengths needed if that is appropriate.

For Framlingham I wrote:

4mm (US #6) circular needles 60cm and 80cm (or size needed to achieve tension)

Note I have given it in US and metric sizing, again I am trying to give information to people in their native measurements. If they have to go away to look it up they may not come back.

Skill level
As we talked about last week, it is helpful to give detailed information about the skills needed because people can’t glance through the pattern before they buy it.

For Framlingham I wrote:

Skill level – Easy
Skills needed:
Working in the round
Increasing
Decreasing
Slip stitches

I could have included information about the specific increases and decreases if I chose but as I used pretty standard ones I haven’t.

Construction description
For me construction information is really important as there are certain types of construction I know I don’t particularly enjoy (seaming yuck!) but for some knitters its crucial to success because they don’t have the skills for some types of construction.

For Framlingham I wrote:

Worked in one piece on a circular needle in the round, Framlingham is the ideal introduction to top-down, seamless knitting. No DPNs required! The pretty cabling detail that runs down the raglan and side ‘seams’ doesn’t even need a cable needle as it is worked using a simple slip stitch pattern. The pattern is written to make it a quick and enjoyable knit, markers are used to minimise counting and errors. There is just enough detail to keep the knit interesting. It grows quickly in a DK weight and 4mm needles.

I wrote this as part of the sales pitch because in this jumper the ease of construction is part of the benefit. I could have written it in a more technical way too. I note that I haven’t told people that there is waist shaping and that is probably something I should add.

Photography
As the saying goes “a picture tells a thousand words” (or something along those lines – I paraphrase) it is important as well as the glory, lifestyle isn’t this gorgeous shots you ensure that there is enough detail for someone to see how the piece is shaped, how it fits. This should be without too much hair obstructing necklines, without arms always in the same posed position and show clear front, side and back views ideally. For Framlingham I use these pictures.

 

I will be going over past patterns and republishing some of them. What other information do you think I should provide before people buy?
Oh and just in case this has made you fall in love with Framlingham (it really is a corking little pattern) the Ravelry page is here or you can click below to buy it direct.

This post is part of the Things I didn’t Know series about knitting, crochet and design. Click here for more posts in this series.