Have you ever wondered how to design a crochet pattern? I’ve been designing for the last year and I’ve learned SO MUCH! While there’s been a lot of successes, there have also been some challenges along the way, so I thought I’d share some quick tips and tricks for you if you ever thought of designing. I’m sure in another 5 years I’ll have refined these design tips even further, but for now, I hope this beginner guide on how to design a crochet pattern helps you on your designer journey.
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First, and foremost, you should be SUPER comfortable with reading a pattern and understanding the “why” behind the steps of each pattern. The best way to do that is to MAKE OTHER DESIGNERS’ PATTERNS. I can’t stress this enough. 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 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!
Invest in a Stitch Dictionary
One of the cornerstones of crocheting is, of course, knowing a wide variety of stitches! To help with that, invest in a good stitch dictionary. A stitch dictionary will teach you stitches you didn’t even know existed, and might even be great inspiration. My personal favorite is the Crochet Every Way Stitch Dictionary. The reason I love this one is that it has 125 beautiful stitches and it explains how to increase and decrease for each of them. Since I primarily design garments, increasing and decreasing is SO IMPORTANT. The book also explains each stitch in an easily understandable way and provides a picture of what each stitch looks like. Part of my design process usually includes skimming through this stitch dictionary for inspiration. When I find a stitch I like, I dive right into my design process.
Anyone who knows me knows I’m a sucker for fancy stationary organization at work (I would die without my Rifle Paper Planner!). But I also utilize that organization in my crochet business, as well! I keep a a small notebook with ALL my crochet inspiration, notes, patterns, etc. I listen to a lot of How I Built This podcasts where the world’s leading entrepreneurs are interviewed, and MANY of them write in a notebook anytime they have an idea or are struck by inspiration. So whenever inspiration strikes, write. it. down.
Your crochet 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!
P.S. I absolutely LOVE seeing your makes! If you make any Herr Stitches patterns, then tag me and then I’ll share them!
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