Photo of Shirley Paden

Handknit Garment Design

with Shirley Paden
Handknit Garment Design
Shirley Paden, author of Knitwear Design Workshop, brings her concepts to Craftsy! Learn her comprehensive yet simple process for beautiful fabric and knitwear.

Learn how to design knitwear from the master … Shirley Paden! Author of Knitwear Design Workshop, the go-to reference book for knit garment designers, Shirley brings her comprehensive yet simple design process to Craftsy, including a 26-page downloadable workbook and animated video diagrams. Shirley shows you step-by-step how to use one simple math formula to calculate yardage, shape sleeve caps and armholes, distribute increases and decreases and achieve a perfect fit. Don't miss this opportunity to learn handknit garment design from an industry expert.

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Lesson plan


Lesson 1. Meet Shirley Paden

  • Meet your instructor, renowned knitwear designer Shirley Paden, and learn more about the class.


Lesson 2. The Design Thought Process

  • Shirley discusses what you should consider in planning your garment, including fiber and stitch types, the importance of swatching and creating a schematic.


Lesson 3. The Fabric Selection Process

  • Your fiber and stitch pattern should reflect your goals for the garment. Shirley shares a variety of examples.


Lesson 4. Taking Measurements

  • Accurate measurements ensure the perfect fit. See how Shirley takes horizontal and vertical measurements of shoulders, bust, arms and more.


Lesson 5. Starting Your Pattern

  • Begin building your schematic with the measurements you've taken and calculate your yarn requirements.


Lesson 6. Interspersing Increases

  • Shirley shows how to plug your numbers into a handy formula to determine where your increases should be placed to blend in evenly.


Lesson 7. Interspersing Decreases

  • Balanced decreases make your shaping smooth. Use Shirley's formula for getting those decreases in the right spot.


Lesson 8. Upper Body Shaping

  • Plan your armhole decreases, get the neckline you want and calculate the shoulder shaping with Shirley's helpful tips.


Lesson 9. Vertical Shaping: Sleeves

  • Make the calculations for a perfect sleeve fit with evenly placed increases.


Lesson 10. Vertical Shaping: Body

  • A properly tapered body has a flattering fit. Fill in your sweater schematic with all the numbers you'll need.


Lesson 11. Vertical Shaping: V-Necks

  • For a V-neck sweater, you'll need to figure out how to combine neckline shaping with armhole shaping. Shirley shows you how!


Lesson 12. Alternate Sleeve & Sleeve Cap

  • This calculation might seem super-complicated, but Shirley shows you how to get a handle on it. You'll have a great-looking sleeve that fits perfectly into the armhole of your sweater.

"Shirley's simple yet robust techniques empower designers of all levels to create custom fit garments. I really enjoyed and appreciated Shirley's systematic approach to the planning process. I am a new knitter and the class has given me the skills I need to knit a cardigan without following a commercial pattern. I didn't know how to get past knitting accessories, like scarves. I now know how to shape garments with confidence. I'm very excited and cannot wait to venture into my next project!"
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For $39.99 you get:

  • 12 HD video lessons with anytime, anywhere access
  • Extensive printable class materials to supplement Shirley's lessons 
  • Hours of close-up instruction
  • Answers from Shirley in our virtual classroom
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