I am just beginning a project with my Knit Leader. I am going to try to create the Knit Leader course I've been threatening to do for ages.
Here's the big idea with Knit Leaders: you draw and follow a pattern the same size as the finished knitting. You can use the same pattern for different yarns, gauges, and machines. Yes, sewing patterns will work! You can go to the fabric store and flip through all the stylish patterns (go with "sized for knits") and have a great time. You can purchase sewing patterns for men, women, children, babies, and even crafts, and they'll work fine. Since you're tracing, you can purchase multi-size patterns and not have to cut them apart, making it easy to use them for several people. Trace the stitching line, though, leaving off the seam allowance.
Truthfully, most of the patterns I have followed on my Knit Leader, I simply drafted myself. For a Knit Leader course, however, I will use a commercial sewing pattern.
So I dug out my several mylar sheets and started cleaning them. I have purchased several Knit Leaders on the cheap over the years. They are readily available and a wonderful investment to help you make knits that fit. As long as you follow all the steps, the Knit Leader is almost foolproof.
Even if you use a wipe-off marker, the mylar sheets do tend to get a little stained. Most of my sheets were marked in water-soluble marker, which came off easily but left some staining, faint lines showing where they were marked, which was somewhat alleviated with rubbing alcohol. These faint lines aren't going to be a problem, because the new lines will be strong and visible.
One sheet, disgracefully, had some permanent marker stains on it, and I still was able to get most of them off with alcohol on a paper towel. John and I played with different cleaning chemicals around the house on some of the stains. Some of the things we tried (so you don't have to) were nail polish remover, window cleaner, laundry stain remover, mechanic's hand cleaner, paint thinner, penetrating oil, Goof Off, and hair spray. Nothing worked better than the rubbing alcohol.
My favorite mylar sheet, which unlike the used ones I purchased, I had marked myself for my size, got a good cleaning, too. On a single sheet, using different colors, I had a long sleeve, a short sleeve, a round neck, square neck, and V-neck, all of which I know fit me because I still wear the sweaters! I made quite a few tops with that "master pattern." The sheet had gotten messy, though, and I am ready to redo it, so I wiped it off, too.
I also have knitted quite a few tops with Design A Knit. DAK is wonderful, but quite expensive, and really, the KnitLeader has an edge because it's a full-sized picture of what you're going to knit. You can lay a favorite sweater on the mylar pattern and check the width and length. You can compare your first knitted piece to the pattern and see if you're on track for a good fit right away.