10 Reasons Not to be a Crochet Designer

Have you ever wanted to be a crochet designer? I recently took a survey and you (my readers) wanted some more info on the design process. I decided to have some blog posts focused on just that, but before I get into how to be a designer, I thought I would go over some reasons why you might not want to be.

 

10 reasons not to be a crochet designer - a list of practical reasons why you wouldn't want to be design your own crochet patterns..

 

Please note: I have received a lot of negative comments about this post recently. I am not a negative person by nature – quite the opposite. I was trying to come up with a catchy title while giving some true and practical reasons why you may not want to be a designer.  

 

10 Reasons
Not to be a Crochet Designer

 

 

  1. No desire – Not everyone has an interest and that’s a good thing!
  2. You don’t like math – Sometimes there’s a lot of math involved because of sizing.
  3. Time – It takes a lot of time to make something pattern worthy.
  4. Customer service – If you write a pattern you should be available if anyone has questions or needs help. It’s not required, but this is my personal soap box. I can’t tell you how many emails I get because someone needs help and the designer of the pattern they bought won’t get back to them.
  5. Too many other designs out there you want to make – There are tons of great designs already out there! Some people just want to sit and crochet as a way to relax. Sometimes I love nothing more than to follow a pattern because they’ve already done all the work for me.
  6. Lack of patience – You will need lots of it!
  7. Not enough experience – There is so much to learn about crochet. Take your time and get good at crocheting. Practice! There will come a time when you’re ready to design something.
  8. You don’t feel like you’re creative enough – If you don’t have any ideas, don’t try to force a pattern to come to life.
  9. Fear – You’re afraid no one will like/buy your patterns. I had to overcome this. Some of my greatest patterns were ones that sat here unfinished because I hesitated and wondered if anyone would really like them.
  10. Passion – If a passion for design is missing you will come to resent it and not finish what you start. You need that passion.

 

Being a designer is more than just publishing a pattern. You have to design it and make it (and keep frogging util you get it just right). Then you write the pattern, have it tested, make corrections, have it edited, etc. It can be a very long process at times. I can’t tell you how many times I have to frog a project because it’s not perfect. And when you’re writing a pattern, it needs to be perfect.

If you think you’re ready to design something, take the next step and read these 2 articles I wrote:
The Truth about Pattern Design
3 Simple Steps to Writing Your Own Pattern

 

***Word of caution*** If it’s not your passion, don’t do it. You will just end up burned out and not loving what you’re doing. Stick with what fuels you and makes you excited to crochet. There are so many great designers out there. We need to support each other.

Happy Crocheting!

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3 Simple Steps to Writing Your Own Pattern

 

Have you ever crocheted something and wished you knew how to write a pattern for it? Or do you have dreams of being an aspiring designer? Writing your own pattern doesn’t have to be scary. Here are 3 simple steps to help you get started.

 

3 Simple Steps to Writing Your Own Crochet Pattern

 

3 Simple Steps to
Writing Your Own Pattern

 

We all know there are well written patterns, and then there are patterns that have mistakes, aren’t clear, or are just poorly written. Some of those mistakes can be avoided with a little bit of knowledge and care when you write.

I’ve come up with a 3 step checklist to help you get started. Here they are, in all their simplicity. They seem so obvious, and yet somehow, sometimes, they’re overlooked.

Plan – Plan it out. Think about all the information you will need to provide to the crocheter. Yarn weight/brand, hook size(s), gauge, sizing, difficulty level, etc. Have you used any special stitches that will need instructions written out? Never assume anything. Better to include too much information, than to have some missing.

Do – Make the item and write the pattern. Make sure your written pattern will match your sample. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to purchase a pattern and have the stitch in the written pattern different from the stitch in the sample photos. (Yes, this has happened to me.) Also, you will want to write the pattern so that a beginner could read it. (They may not necessarily have the skill set to do it yet, but they will at least have the confidence to try if it is written well.)

Review – Have someone test your pattern. Sometimes, if it’s a more difficult pattern, I will even have more than one person test it. You may even want to consider having a tech editor look at the pattern for you. (If you’ve never heard of a technical editor, here is some info.) The reason you need others to review, test, and edit it for you is that no matter how well your pattern is written, you know what it is supposed to say, so you can’t be a good judge of how others will read it. An outsider will be able to pick up on things you may miss.

Mistakes do happen – after all we’re human – but there are some things that can be prevented with a little bit of time and care. Take your time to do it right because rushing only results in errors.

Have you ever written your own pattern? Do you plan to in the near future?

P.S. I have a free download sheet for taking notes on patterns you’re writing (or reading). All you need to do is sign up for my newsletter and the pdf will be delivered to your inbox.

Happy Crocheting!

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The Truth About Pattern Design

There are so many crocheters that want to dive into the world of pattern design. One of the biggest questions I get is, “How do you go about designing a pattern?” The truth about pattern design is this…. Every designer has their own way of doing it. I know that was a very vague answer. The reason there is no absolute, no “one size fits all” answer is because each and every person is different. Our brains work in different ways, so the steps and/or processes will varies.

 

The Truth About Pattern Design - Tips for designing your own crochet patterns.

 

In January I was invited to participate in Battle of the Stitches. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a design contest where designers are picked, and then all the designers are given the same stitch to design something with. The catch??…. you only have about 3 weeks to design, make, and write the pattern for it. I actually work well under pressure, so I loved this challenge. For example purposes, I will share with you my design process for my new Gray Skies Gradient Shawl pattern, which was the result of that contest.

 

My Design Process

 

Make a swatch – I’ll be honest, I don’t always do this. If I already know what I want to make and I have a stitch I want to use, I’ll just go ahead and start. But the reality is, you should always do this. It will help you know things like drape (so you can adjust hook size), gauge (so you know what size your project will be), etc. It will also give you a visual of what your project will look like with the yarn you have chosen.

Sleepless nights – Honestly, deciding what I wanted to design was the biggest hurdle for me this time. Some designers get their ideas from architecture, some from the yarn itself. Me….I usually get my inspiration from people, and because this wasn’t being designed for a specific person I had issues. I literally would wake up in the middle of the night (for 3 nights straight) and all I could think about was what I could design with this stitch. And, because I was on a deadline, I couldn’t sleep! I was so excited when I decided on a triangular shawl. (Note: Feel free to skip this step.)

Choose the Yarn – For Battle of the Stitches (BOS) you’re allowed to use any brand and weight yarn you want. I knew I wanted something with a sheen. Even though the paintbrush stitch is thick and warm (I made the swatch, so I knew it was a thicker fabric) I was thinking I wanted it to look elegant as well. 

Sketch the Design – I’m not good about this step either. Because I’m on the go so much I tend to do a lot of my sketching in my head. Can you say “bad habit”? It’s much more ideal to actually sketch it on paper. This will help you visual how it will look, placement of increases or decreases, etc.

Get to Work – Make it. Love it. Share it.

 

You are your own person. You may sketch it out first to see if you even like your idea. Or maybe each design you come up with will vary slightly in steps. What does your design process look like?

 

Happy Designing!

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Is Crochet Gauge Important?

What is crochet gauge?  Your crochet gauge refers to how many stitches, or pattern repeats, across and how many rows will fit into a 4″ X 4″ square. If for some reason the pattern repeat won’t fit into a 4″ square the designer will try come as close as possible to that size.

 

Your crochet gauge is important and here's why...

 

Is crochet gauge important?  

 

More than once I’ve had the question asked, “My gauge doesn’t match what the pattern says. Does it really matter?”  The quick answer to that question is yes. Here’s why…..

I used to be the biggest offender of “I don’t check my gauge” fan club. Everything I made looked pretty close to the pattern, so I didn’t think it mattered. Then came the day I decided to make a vest for myself. (remember I had never checked my gauge before). Let’s just say the sweater came out small enough to fit my 8 year old daughter. It was at that point that I changed my thinking about whether I needed to check my gauge or not. It IS important! I ended up going up 2 hook sizes, and when I still couldn’t match the gauge I ended up making a large, just so I could have it fit like a medium.

How can I fix my gauge if it doesn’t match?  If your gauge swatch comes out bigger than a 4″ square, try using a smaller hook. If your square is smaller than 4″ square go up a hook size, sometimes even two sizes until you can get it to a 4″ square. Note: At times the gauge swatch may vary from 4 inches squared. This is usually if the pattern calls for a set of stitches. They will use the closest measurement to 4 inches. Example:  2 pattern repeats = 4.5 inches ….or something similar.

I recently tried to match a gauge swatch, just to prove my point. It was supposed to be a given number of stitches, by a given number of rows to fit into a 4″ square. The picture on the right is my first attempt. The picture on the left is what the 4 inch square actually looked like. It took me more than one attempt at finding the right hook size, and then being able to loosen my grip just that little extra bit to make it perfect. Try it! You may be surprised at what you find.

 

Your crochet gauge is important and here's why....

 

Another great resource with visuals on why you need to check gauge is the article Why to Check Your Gauge: A Comparison by Sincerely Pam.

 

Happy Crocheting!

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