Because it's been around for a while and many stitches and patterns have already been created, I don't know how likely it is that we're creating crochet stitches and patterns that no one has ever thought of before. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't go on creating. We may only develop different variations or add our own twist to things. We might excitedly believe that we've invented something completely new...only to discover that someone else has posted the same thing on Pinterest. Yet for those of us who have creativity coursing through our veins, designing, developing and creating are as important to us as are breathing, eating and sleeping.
Scrapbuster Crochet Cat Toys I made for my furry friends so they would be entertained (and so I could use up some leftover yarn). Despite how it begins or ends, my crochet design process tends to go something like this:
- An idea is born based on a need I want to fulfill or from inspiration. Inspiration comes from fashion photos, nature, from yarn play and from other crocheters.
- Being the writer/researcher that I am, I immediately search the internet to see what others have made. Sometimes I find dozens of similar designs and that may lead me to alter my ideas. Most of the time, I like my ideas for specific reasons and go with my gut throughout the design process.
- My supplies are gathered, and I begin to write out the pattern as I envision it. Along the way, I'll alter the written instructions to correspond with any changes I make.
- I crochet, crochet, crochet...sometimes unraveling two, three or four times during the process. This is not the most fun part of the process, but it's necessary to end up with a beautiful, functional finished product. Keywords: beautiful and functional. One without the other will generally lead to a yarny object that sits unused in the closet or hidden on a shelf. I think crochet items should be used and enjoyed repeatedly.
- Throughout the process I photograph and take notes, documenting the entire design process and pattern creation.
- Finally, the most joyous step of all...the Big Reveal. I love showing, sharing and using the crochet items I design. One of the things I love most about the crochet community is how supportive and enthusiastic everyone is about each others work.
Some of My Crochet DesignsSo, You'd Like to Try Your Hand at Designing a Crochet Pattern
First of all, congratulations! Secondly, breathe in, breathe out. It's a lot of fun and, dare I say that once you design one crochet item, you're bound to do it again and again. Here are my recommendations to you:
- Start with a crochet item you're already very familiar with. If you've made a lot of hats or love to make scarves, it makes sense to have your very first pattern design be one of these. You're familiar with the crochet process, your stitch options, yarn choices and possible embellishments. Go with what you know.
- Determine who you're designing for. If you want to make something for a specific person, size may come into play and will impact your design.
- Choose your crochet supplies. To be honest, there have been times when I've created designs based on yarn I've found. But, most often, I have an idea first and then find the yarn for it. This is where you'll decide if you want to use a cotton yarn, like Deramores DMC Natura Just Cotton yarn which comes in 50 different scrumptious colors, or something a favorite acrylic. You'll choose the hook size you feel is best and gather any other supplies needed.
- Sketch, doodle or write your ideas. They are likely to evolve before and during the design process, but keep documenting your ideas, thoughts and steps in the manner that suits you best. If you save this for after your crochet item is completed, you run the risk of forgetting bits and pieces or of feeling overwhelmed by the process of backtracking. It's so much easier to document along the way.
- Begin to crochet. Using your ideas or pictures and the prior knowledge you've accumulated while crocheting other items, begin crocheting your design. If it doesn't look as you envisioned or isn't working, unravel back to the last point you were happy with and try again with an altered version of your plan. Trial and error is the best way to learn when designing.
- Be patient with yourself, focusing on your accomplishments instead of your mistakes. This is a biggy because, if you allow your mistakes to get you down, you're not likely to ever design another crochet item again. When I designed a poncho recently I miscalculated the measurements and ended up having to unravel the entire project...all 5000 double-crochet and V-stitches. I could have been devastated, but instead I chose to focus on how beautiful I knew my poncho would be once I made it correctly. (And it was worth it; I wear it all the time and get lots of compliments.)
- Celebrate with a "ta-dah" moment or "big reveal". Your creation is finished! It may or may not be perfect, but it's yours and you designed it. Display or wear it proudly, knowing that you have indeed accomplished something special.
Have you tried designing your own crochet pattern and items? What have you created? If not, what would you like to design and what inspired your idea? I look forward to hearing from you and am happy to have you reading this blog entry which is my submission to the Deramores Blog Awards 2014. Deramores is the UK's number one online retailer of knitting and crochet supplies.