Tips for Designing Your First Pattern
Designing your first pattern can be overwhelming but with a few simple pointers it doesn’t have to be. It’s time to look at your pattern from a different perspective and shed a whole new light on the subject. Let’s look at 3 tips that will help you get started on writing a clear, easy to read pattern.
Welcome to Part 10 – the final post in the “Designing Your Own Crochet Pattern” Series. This series guides you from the basics of designing your first crochet pattern to the actual writing process, and includes everything in between. If you are just joining us and would like to start at the beginning, read Part 1 – the 6 Basic Steps of the Design Process. There was so much information packed into this series you don’t want to miss any of it.
Tips for Designing Your First Pattern
Working behind the scenes as a tech editor, I have learned many things about the design process and what it takes to make a pattern clear and concise for a crocheter. I want to share with you some of the things I have learned along the way. These are important to think about not only with your first pattern but with all the patterns you write. I recommend you apply the following tips to each and every pattern you write. If you can do that you will have success.
Pay attention to other designers’ patterns.
Are there designers’ patterns that you find extremely difficult to read? I think everyone has run into at least one pattern that they found difficult to follow. Of course there are also those patterns that are uniquely easy to read. Take both of these patterns and learn from them. What drives you crazy about a certain pattern? Don’t repeat that mistake. What makes you love a certain pattern? (ex: st counts at the end of rows) Use that! Look at your own experiences reading pattern and use the positive and negative to shape what you want yours to look like.
Use Standard Crochet Terms.
The Craft Yarn Council of American has industry standards in place for a reason. Please use them. I think all their standards are extremely important, but especially the use of abbreviations. Don’t try to be creative by coming up with your own abbreviations, style, etc. just to be original or have your patterns stand out. Generally speaking, it’s just frustrating not to mention confusing to the crocheter.
Don’t assume anything.
Write every pattern as if someone has never crocheted before and you’re trying to explain to them what to do. To you this may sound too basic but trust me when I say, it’s not. Generally speaking, if you write it for a beginner you can’t go wrong. I once did a tech edit for a pattern and it started off with, “Start crocheting as you always do.” That’s a perfect example of what not to do! The pattern was a beginner pattern, so “start as you always do” doesn’t fly. As a matter of fact, don’t write something like that for an intermediate or experienced pattern either. It’s not always possible, but try to write in the most basic form so that anyone can understand it, no matter what their skill level. Think of it from the readers perspective.
All of the above are equally important to the success of a well written pattern. Not only do they help the crocheter, but they make your life easier when writing the pattern as well as answering questions about the pattern.
Are you ready to dive in and design your first pattern? It will be exciting and scary all at the same time but the biggest thing to remember is to be thorough. Whether you need some help getting started, or you want to make sure you’ve covered everything, my Style Guide & Pattern Template will guide you through the basics.
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For more on this series, read:
Part 1 – 6 Basic Steps of the Design Process
Part 2 – Finding the Perfect Design Ideas
Part 3 – Finding Your Designing Niche
Part 4 – Creating Your Brand
Part 5 – Steps to Publishing Your Crochet Pattern
Part 6 – Basic Copyright for Crocheters
Part 7 – Should You Charge for Patterns? The Free vs. Paid Dilemma
Part 8 – The 3 P’s of a Professional Crochet Designer
Part 9 – How to Find Your Writing Style