Have you ever wondered how to design crochet patterns? Well I’m here to tell share all the basics with you. And guess what? You probably have most of the tools you need! You’ll be running your own FABULOUS crochet pattern design business in no time! Keep reading for 8 fantastic crochet pattern writing tips & a FREE crochet pattern template (find the template here) to get you started!
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Before we begin, here are some quick links for you:
- Find the FREE crochet pattern template here!
- If you have any questions on how to design crochet patterns, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Do you want some fabulous crochet patterns? Check them out here!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…. Pattern testing is the key to design crochet patterns yourself. Through pattern testing for other people, you can learn the ins and outs of basic crochet project construction. Furthermore, you can begin to recognize mistakes in a pattern and know how to avoid them. Every single designer has their own way of writing, grading, and designing patterns. And with that, each designer has strengths. By diving into making their crochet patterns come to life, you learn new crochet skills. With each new skill you learn, you become a better creator!
I got my start in garment design through being a pattern tester for some of my absolute favorite designers (check out the Body Language Sweater by Janine Myska of Knits ‘N Knots and the Charlie Tank by Rachel Misner of Evelyn and Peter, I was a pattern tester for each of them!). Through pattern testing, I understood how a garment should be constructed. If you want a more in depth guide into pattern testing, I have a blog post on what pattern testing is and another on how to be a rockstar pattern tester. And if you’re looking for pattern tester opportunities, fill out my pattern tester application to get on my list!
Perhaps the MOST important part of any pattern is a gauge swatch. A gauge swatch is essentially a small piece of fabric you crochet in the main stitch you intend to use for your pattern. You then block the swatch, and measure the length and width of the swatch. You then use these measurements to design your pattern. For example, say you’ve made an 8″ square swatch that is 10 stitches and 12 rows and you would like the circumference of your sweater to be 40 inches and the length to be 22 inches.
For sweater circumference:
If 8″ = 10 sts, then 40″ = x
x = (40″ * 10 sts)/8″ = 50 sts
For sweater length:
If 8″ = 12 rows, then 22″ = x
x = (22″ * 12 rows)/8″ = 33 rows
So basically, you’ll use the gauge swatch measurements to calculate the stitches and rows you need for every size.
Another SUPER important detail is the yarn information. Most people think just putting the weight of the yarn is enough, but since there are sooooo many variations, you need to give your customer a little bit more detail so they are able to choose the best yarn for their crochet project. Here’s some important features I like to include: 1. Yarn Brand, 2. Yarn Weight, 3. Yards per gram, & 4. Yarn composition.
925 (1085, 1250, 1310, 1520) (1640, 1815, 1965, 2095) yards of Sewrella Yarn Single Ply DK (240yards/100g, 100% Superwash Merino Wool) in Givenchy or similar DK weight yarn that matches gauge for sizes XS (S, M, L, XL) (2X, 3X, 4X, 5X).
How To Design Crochet Patterns In Other Sizes
If my body is a 2XL, how the heck would I know what a XS should be? If I’m a M, how do I grade for a 5XL?
The Craft Yarn Council is the industry standard for how to design crochet patterns in all sizes. Most yarn companies & crochet designers use these standards for patterns.
I refer to this chart for each and every crochet pattern I design. These are the actual body measurements of a woman rather than garment measurements. Sizing isn’t about guessing what you think would fit, there are standard measurements for these sizes that the industry follows so that you know you’re doing it correctly. Not every body size fits perfectly into these 2″ windows for sizing, but it’s a great way to ensure consistency in sizing across various independent crochet designers.
You. Need. A. Scale. Yarn scales are the only way to accurately calculate how much yarn you used for a project. Just saying “Oh I used 5.5 skeins of yarn” is NOT accurate. When I initially decided to design crochet patterns, I used the estimation method… and let’s just say I wasn’t even close LOL.
Why? WELL. Let’s say for your project, the yarn label says “240 yards per 100 grams”. While that is true, and each skein should be EXACTLY 100 grams, that is not always the case. Sometimes you’ll only get 95 grams in your skein or 110 grams in your skein. It can vary a lot. This means that if you solely based your calculations on number of skeins, you would be off. That’s where a yarn scale comes in. Once you’ve completed your crochet project, you can throw it on the scale and it’ll tell you exactly how many grams the project is. You can then use this information to calculate yardage and in turn, use this information to calculate yardage for all sizes. You can find a great, affordable yarn scale here!
Pattern Writing Software – Canva
I’ve tried a few different methods of pattern writing and my absolute favorite is Canva! Canva is a free, simple to use graphic design website that allows you to design stunning pattern templates, as well as things like Pinterest Pins, Business Logos, Etsy Listings, etc. The possibilities are truly endless with Canva! If you want to give Canva a try, get my FREE crochet pattern template here!
A tech editor (technical editor) is somebody who analyzes your crochet pattern with a fine tooth comb to catch any errors you may have missed. They use spreadsheets to make sure your work is correct. Honestly, tech editors are a game changer! I used to think “Oh I don’t need a tech editor, I’ll just make sure to REALLY double check my patterns myself.” I was wrong. No matter how many times you check your crochet pattern and even have it pattern tested by dozens of people, there will ALWAYS be mistakes. It’s sooooo worth it to have professional crochet tech editor look through your pattern and make sure it makes sense and the math is correct. My tech editor is Emily from Fiat Fiber Arts and she is so lovely and catches everything, so if you’re on the market for a tech editor, check out her page!
The key to design crochet patterns = HAVE FUN!
Your crochet design business, no matter how big or small, is an important creative endeavor that means a lot to you. There is a huge audience out in the world that would LOVE to see your creative passion and designs in the world. So be bold, get out there, and start designing! But most importantly, HAVE FUN!
I hope you loved this tips on how to design crochet patterns! Be sure to stay tuned for lots more of your favorite crochet business tips!
P.S. I absolutely LOVE seeing your makes! If you make any Herr Stitches patterns, then tag me and then I’ll share them!
P.P.S. If you love this design, don’t forget to Pin It to save for later!