Whether you're a long-time crochet-er or have recently picked up the oh so awesome hobby, you've seen your fair share of crochet patterns. Ya know, the sc, dc, ch 2, repeat until end of row, finish off and weave in ends patterns. Following and even being able to read a pattern is one thing, but creating one? It's an art (and sometimes a little science/math-blegh)!
In my opinion, to create a good pattern, you need to be pretty familiar with crochet techniques and lingo. Not to say that you have to be a pro, because I certainly don't consider myself one. Also having a good understanding of what kinds of stitches and yarn you need to have to obtain certain shapes is important.
There are TONS of things to consider when writing a pattern, especially when you get into specific categories like amigurumi or doilies. So for this post I decided to keep it pretty generic and list some tips I thought were good things to consider before venturing out on making your first crochet pattern. So without further ado...
1) Look for inspiration everywhere!
I thought this was important to note, because it seems like it's easy to get stuck making the same kind of patterns everyone else is making (or maybe it's just me?). So I like to get inspiration from strange places. Like I'll be looking in Better Homes & Garden magazine and see a cute design on a pillow, or watch an old movie and see something they're wearing. I am constantly on the lookout for inspiration for my next piece, which leads me to say that I always take a picture of that specific inspiration on my phone so I can go back to it when the time is right. Or even have a ongoing note on your phone specifically for ideas you have for patterns. For instance I recently saw this awesome serape blanket and it was my inspiration for a bag I'm currently designing.
Consider size of hook/yarn
Say you want to make a super structured purse, or a delicate lacy scarf, it's obviously important to consider the yarn and hook size to cater to your project. I add this tip because I think it's important to remember that the possibilities are truly endless when it comes to what hook you use with what yarn. Be a pioneer for a cool new crochet technique! I'm a firm believer in breaking the "rules". Who says you can't use a size m hook with crochet thread?? ha!
Break the rules
Just like I mentioned above, breaking the rules when it comes to pattern making can be totally fun. I'm an outside-the-box thinker, and I love the challenge of trying my own spin on something that you wouldn't have thought could happen. Like heck yes, I'm gonna create a crochet picture frame! (??) ha! Maybe not, but that's just the type of thinking I believe leads to great things!!
Know crochet pattern lingo
I feel like this one is obvious. But obviously important. I found a super handy cheat sheet that has all the crochet abbreviations here. I will say when it comes to pattern writing there are so many ways of writing out what you create-- for instance, how to repeat a certain set of stitches. With that I think it's just important to be consistent with how you choose to format it. For me, I like to imagine a beginner reading my pattern. So I try to carefully explain, and as detailed as I can. Which leads me to...
Like stated before, being thorough is so important. There will be people with various amounts of crochet knowledge reading your pattern, so it's good to write a pattern that's not too cryptic, yet paints a picture of what you've created.
Notes are so very important
So I learned this the hard way... I have an issue with patience sometimes when it comes to the patterns I create. I just get all jacked up about what I'm working on and I get to hookin'... and realize I forgot to write down the past few rows' notes. Oops. Don't be me! Detailed notes are your friend. You will seriously thank yourself when you are typing out your pattern. Which, I should also say something that I make myself do is jot down what yarn I'm using, the color as well as the size of hook at the beginning of my notes. You'd be surprised how quickly you can forget those details! Also, something silly-- always put the name of the project at the top! Maybe it's just me, but I have a problem with organization at times. And if I forget to put the name of the pattern on top, I'm a mess. ha!
Gauge is a big deal
Seriously. I think every pattern maker out there said an "amen!". Everybody crochets different, and with different tension. So yes, gauge is your friiiieeend.
This is something big for me. You'll never know how a certain yarn and stitch will work up for you until you test and try out different combos and ideas. Now that I think about it, experiment is such a science-y word (ha! can you tell I'm not a fan?) so I feel like maybe adventure is more appropriate. Every idea you get is an awesome opportunity to adventure into what could be with the materials you've got!
Draw a rough sketch
This may be a personal thing for me, but I've found a sketch usually helps me out when designing a piece. Especially if there's a lot of construction or shaping work. It really gets the idea out into the open, and helps me realize if it could work or would be an absolute disaster.
Don't be afraid to check out how other pattern makers do their thang! I did. And I think anybody would be lying if they said they didn't. I feel like that's truly how you learn to do patterns-- by analyzing how others create theirs. Now, don't get me wrong, there's a difference between snooping and copying. I do NOT think it's okay to blatantly take other's ideas or techniques. But I'm all for admiring the work of others and getting inspiration from them!
Well folks, that's my list of tips for creating your own crochet patterns! Did they help? Should I stop talking about patterns and just make them? Should I write more about this subject? Should I stop asking so many questions?
haha, I hope I didn't just annoy you too badly..
Have a great day, and hopefully happy making to you on your very own crochet pattern.