How to Design Your First Crochet Pattern II: The First Step & An Easy Start
This is where we actually start setting the path towards your first written crochet pattern. I know, you are excited, you have so many ideas, so many thoughts… but how to start EXACTLY? I’ve been seeing quite often questions like this in several Facebook groups. When it comes to it, what is the very first step?
Writing a Crochet Pattern: Step I
I would say that the first thing you need to do is to decide what is it going to be. Easy, eh? There are two ways you can approach this. First, you can just go with the flow and start designing whatever was on your mind and whatever was that you wanted to make in the first place. But this could be very tricky and overwhelming! Or, you can go with the plan. I would strongly recommend the second option, at least for the first time. It will be much less defeating and confusing, and it will enable you to see your goal clearly and be on top of the situation.
The First Crochet Pattern: Simple is Great
Whatever you decide your first design should be – please, keep it simple! Even if you are very experienced crocheter, and you have already made so many complicated crochet projects – start simple! Very soon the time will come to show all of your expertise, but for now – simple is great! Because once you pass all the steps of pattern writing with the simple design, the world will be much happier place and your next design will be just a matter of time.
By saying simple, I mean do not use too many different stitches (1-3 is perfectly enough), let it be just a few row-repeat and no shaping involved. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying it should be a beginner pattern! You can use front post stitches, shells, puff stitches, single crochet, double crochet… Just don’t use all of them at once! Don’t give yourself to many things to worry about for your first time! You want your first pattern to be a good experience, the one you would really like to repeat.
But… What to Make?
Now, back to the point of making a choice. As a part of crochet community (on FB, Instagram, Pinterest), you’ve had a chance to hear and see what fellow crocheters are talking about. Pay attention to what is that they need, what they are looking for, what is the thing you can give them a pattern for. Is it a good dishcloth pattern or a cup cozy for a craft fair, or useful set of crochet face scrubbies, maybe a sweet pumpkin coaster or it is time to make an over-sized scarf? Spend some time collecting this information and reconsidering it. What colors are being used? What yarns? Solid or maybe variegated? Brainstorm the ideas and decide on one!
Your Crochet Pattern is Your Own Design
I can’t emphasize enough how important is that your pattern is to be your own! Under no circumstances, do not take somebody else’s pattern and pass it off as your own! It absolutely makes no difference if the pattern is paid, or posted as a free one on the blog! Certain ethical, as well as legal guidance we all must follow! Again, we will talk about these things more in the future, but if you have any doubts or questions about this, you should speak to your local legal advisor.
Having this said, I have to remind you to stay away from Superman, Batman, Hulk, Frozen and all the other famous and popular heroes and heroines, because they are all trademarked and copyright protected. By creating the patterns in any way inspired or related to those characters – you would be breaking the law! And, in this case, the consequences could be really, really serious!
You can find more information about about copyright and trademarks on Copyright Alliance site, but bear in mind that this rights are considered to be distinct in each country.
After deciding what you are going to make, you should choose the appropriate yarn (though there’s nothing wrong if the process is going other way around – if your project is inspired by yarn).
Tools and Materials for Your First Crochet Pattern
Now it is time to prepare the rest of the tools and materials. I suppose you probably have the most of it already. You will need a notebook (or 2, or 3), even if you tend to take your notes using your phone or tablet, some pencils, coloring pens, hooks, stitch markers, measuring tape, a gauge ruler (or any ruler), scissors, a camera (your phone camera will do just fine). If you have a printer by any chance, that would be just awesome!
You have chosen your project; your yarn and it is time to see what hook you will be using. And the best way to do that would be to make several swatches and compare the fabrics made with different size hooks. Chose no matter which suits you best.
This would also be a good time to determine your gauge, even though it’s not always crucial for the pattern.
Your Best Crochet Design Friend
At this point, your notebook (or notebooks, or phone notes) are going to become your best friend(s). And, one of the best tips I can give you here is – Write it down! Please, just write it down! What do you mean “What??!”? Write down everything! And start with the hook you are using. Whatever you do, don’t just remember it (tried that, more than once), don’t leave it for later… Just do it now! And then write down information about the yarn you are using: brand, color, weight (it’s not absolutely necessary to go into details here because it’s pretty easy to find all this info on-line, but doing it now will make your process easier later on).
You can add the working title of your pattern now, and voila! You’ve just completed your first step! And the second! Congratulations!
Doesn’t it feel fantastic? Now would be a great time to grab a cup of coffee, a beer or pour a glass of wine (or whatever your favorite poison may be) and give yourself a tap on the shoulder. Sit back, relax and read the next post, where I will just walk you through the steps ahead of you, without going into much details, because that would be a mission impossible! All those steps I will be addressing in the separate posts, providing as much information as possible. For now, I just want you to slowly start thinking about what is coming next and give yourself time to prepare.