Monday, March 25, 2013

Designing your own crochet patterns (Part 1)

I designed my first pattern over almost two years ago now. It was a Yoshi scarf for my friends daughter. Looking back on it, I wish I had written down the pattern, as I would have loved to share it. When I first had that thought - the I want to design my own pattern thought - I wondered how most people go about making their designs. I did a Google search hoping to find some help getting started. (I laugh at how silly that sounds now.)

What I managed to find was limited and didn't seem to work for me. Some people suggested drawing out their ideas. Sure, that's great in theory. What if you don't know what you want to make, but you want to make something? That's the boat I was in. I was clearly going about it all backwards. I had, well I guess, the crochet equivalent to writer's block. I didn't think I had any creative ideas at all.

This post is going to be the first in a series of posts about my start into and process of designing my own patterns. I'm hoping that it will help someone out there who was like me and looking for someplace to start.

For today, I'll simply add this bit of information. There are many ways of doing things with crochet, but there are many "patterns" within patterns you find. For example, a flat circle is typically done with a round of single crochets, followed by a round of increases in each stitch. After that the round is a pattern of either (a) an increase, followed by one (or more depending on the round) single crochet stitches, or (b) the inverse (i.e. one or more single crochet stitches followed by an increase.

To find these patterns you have to do a few things.
1. Start looking for the patterns! If you aren't paying attention to the patterns and repetitions within a pattern, you won't see them.
2. Crochet outside of your comfort zone. Try patterns for different things. If you normally crochet one thing, try something else. Like amigurumi, afghans, or apparel, etc.
3. Try to remember some of the patterns you notice when working on new patterns. Eventually you'll see that most circles are made the same way, squares, triangles, etc.
4. Crochet a lot of different patterns! There are many ways to do anything in crochet. Take granny squares for example. How many different granny squares are there? Way too many to count! Working on different patterns will help you figure out the different ways to accomplish different (or the same) results. You'll be able to figure out which way you prefer to do something. (Which is key for when you decide to write your own patterns.)

Next post will be about finding your inspiration for projects.

If you design your own patterns, what else would you add to this list? If you don't design your own, what would you like to know about designing? I'd love to hear what you have to say. Add your comments below!

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