How to design crochet pattern

How to Design Your First Crochet Pattern I

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You just love everything about crochet, you have a room full of yarn, your hooks and stitch markers are all over the place, you have so many WIPs and still, you have been thinking about a new project! You’ve just got this fantastic idea and you’d love to get on it right away! You want to create something of your own, something that has been on your mind for a while recently!

Has the time come to design and write your very own, very first crochet pattern? Sounds like it has, but let us just take a step back and go through a few things before you get into the process.

how to design your first crochet pattern

Before You start: What Does it Mean to Write a Crochet Pattern?

In my opinion, designing and writing crochet patterns are two tightly connected, but yet separate processes. One is leading to another. While you design, you actually create something using different stitches and techniques, something original that hasn’t been made by anyone else. When you make a scarf without following any patterns, combining the stitches to get the result that you have pictured in your mind – you have designed your scarf! But you still need to write the pattern for it, don’t you?

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So, what does it exactly mean to write a crochet pattern?

It literally means to translate or convert your project, your design, into the words and numbers, in the clear, precise and detailed manner, so that anyone can make exactly the same thing just by following your steps and instructions.

Exactly the same?!? Yes, exactly the same! To be honest, most of the time, crocheters would change something: yarn, color, size, length, even a few stitches here and there… But that is their choice. Very often people would like to recreate exactly the same project, using the same yarn and color, all in all – everything the same. For that reason, you should provide them sufficient information in your pattern in order to enable them to do that.

Can You Speak Crochet?

Please do not take me wrong if I need to take a few steps back again and begin with listing the obvious, but extremely important thing.

Before you start thinking about writing your own pattern, you obviously need to learn and understand reading other crochet patterns. And charts as well. Standard crochet language can be really confusing. It’s not only that you need to learn it, but also to become a fluent speaker. And yet the best (and maybe the only) way to learn reading patterns – is through crocheting from them. It would also give you the idea of what you like and what you don’t like, as well as how you could successfully communicate pattern instructions to others. It will help you develop your own writing style in time.

It doesn’t really matter how you learned to crochet, even how long you’ve been crocheting – for 30, 20 or 5 years only, as long as you feel confident in reading, understanding and following through other peoples’ patterns. You should know the stitches and recognize them when you see them. You should know their symbols and abbreviations. Do not worry, since I’m not saying you should know ALL the stitches (after all, there are sooo many of them), but the basic ones at least. And you should know where to find the information you need. I will let you know more about standards in crochet later on, but for now you can visit Yarn Council where you can find what the global guidelines and standards which are used worldwide are, and freely take a look around.

If You are Totally New to Crochet

Now, if you’ve just learned to crochet, and you are still adding to the bulk of saved YouTube tutorials to watch later in addition to downloading every single pattern you seem to like, not to mention your excitement to find yourself in those designer’s shoes you’ve jumped right into, without giving it the second thought –  I would like to ask you to give yourself some more time in order to gain some more experience and: work through enough patterns to become a confident crocheter before you start designing.

Are you Ready for Your First Crochet Design?

But if you have already passed that phase, you are proficient and confident in reading and following crochet patterns, you know your way around crochet stitches and abbreviations and you just can’t stop thinking about all those ideas you would love to bring to life … well, in that case you just might be ready for you first crochet baby.

How to Design, Write and Publish Your First Crochet Pattern

In this series of posts, I will try to bring the entire pattern writing process closer to you by breaking it into somewhat logical steps, relying on my own experience and my own mistakes, trials and errors. 

When I wrote and published my first design (which was just about a year ago), I had no idea what I was getting into! I just followed my passion, searched along the way for answers, reading everything and anything about the subject… and I did it, but the end result of it was that now I have the very first pattern of mine deactivated on Ravelry. Do not worry, I did not break any crochet laws! The thing is that I really like that one and I want to redesign it and correct all the mistakes I’ve made with it!

Learning Experience 🙂

Since then, my learning curve was so intense, that I’ve learned a lot more and developed a few new skills (both writing and technical – though the technical part can be a real challenge!) compared to long wake of 15 years or more of regular schooling.

That is why I would really like to help you avoid that kind of scenario and provide as much information as I can, so you could start creating your crochet patterns without fear, stress or confusion.

I will be sharing everything I have learned with you (even though it is a never-ending process), along with some tips and ideas how to overcome the obstacles, avoid frustrations, trying to give you clear image of what is ahead of you. Once you realize that making an actual item (even with the notes written) is just the first, and most often the easiest and best part of the process – it can be really intimidating.

I want to show you that, despite everything, writing a crochet pattern is not a rocket science and if you know how to crochet, read patterns and you are willing to learn – there’s nothing that can stop you, except your own self.

You Can Write Crochet Patterns

I also want to encourage you, to show you that you are not alone, that you can do it! Being a part of designer crochet community is amazing experience!

So, if you are still here, and still reading this long post – you must be completely ready! Jump on-board and let’s get on it together!

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  1. Hi Katarina,
    Thank you so much for your articles on how to design! It is really helpful. Also I have been trying to subscrive to your newsletter but it keeps failing, I have not receive any emails from you. Would you please help me? Thanks!

    1. Hi Jerome! Thank you very much! I’m so happy you find it helpful! There are a lot more to come :). I ‘m not sure what seems to be the problem. Would you mind sending me a message to [email protected] and we’ll sort it out?