I first started this blog about a year and a half ago, I envisioned it as a
resource for others looking to design their own crochet patterns. I also knew I would showcase my published
work and self-publish through the site.
I imagined it hosting many free videos showing how to crochet the basic
stitches. It would be a wonderful
crochet reference, especially for designing.
the time I started it, however, we were expecting our second child and life
happened. Things got busy – really
busy. My magazine designing took over
some months (like last month when I had 7 – yes seven! – projects all due in
the short month of February). I am also
a high school teacher and that gets in the way of crocheting whenever I
want. And, of course, we have two young
boys who are very, very busy all the
time. My husband is very supportive and
helps out as much as he can.
our youngest is 15 months and I am starting to feel like I have a bit of
flexibility in my life again. We have
been trying for a while to have a third child, but until the Lord decides that
the timing is right I am going to pursue other ideas. I want to eat better, work out, design even
more. Soon I am going to start teaching
knit and crochet at a local yarn store. Maybe
even knit again, which I haven’t done since before child #2 arrived. And one thing that has been on the back
burner that I have always wanted to work on was the design portion of this
blog. I didn’t pick the name designing crochet for nothing!
I have started my two week spring break, I am beginning the first of what I
hope to be a very long series detailing how to design your own crochet
patterns. I am starting with sweater
design as that is what I began my crochet design experience with. My passion right now is bags, but we will get
to those a lot later.
first step in any good design is planning.
A lot of planning. I usually sketch out every detail of my
design, first as a sketch showing how it will look flat and with someone
wearing it, then a schematic. I am going
to walk through a very basic warm-weather sweater I am going to make. Here is the sketch:
you can see, it has some ribbing detail and a very open, filet crochet
pattern. This particular sweater has
kimono sleeves so sleeve design will come a bit later. All in due time. When I create a sketch like this, it is
mainly to show someone else what the design would look like. This is a design I might send in to a
magazine, along with a swatch. The
schematic that I draw later gets marked out, redone, and changed a lot and it
is only for me and my information while I am working. I write down every tiny detail as I do it so
I can write the pattern later. Never make something first and then try
to remember how you did it – there are too many places to make a mistake for
that! I’m sure there are some who
disagree with me, but I learned the hard way that it is best just to write it
all down – and I am really good at reading my work after it is done.
getting ahead of myself! Back to the
are many considerations when selecting a design. What yarn should I use? Am I going to use yarn that I have in my
stash or buy new? (Personally I try to
use up my stash but it doesn’t always end up that way!) How much ease do I
want? Will I work the pieces flat and
stitch them together later (what I usually do) or will I work in the round?
are just a few of the things to think about when beginning a design. Start out with a vision – you can get
inspiration almost anywhere. Sometimes I
get a design idea from a sweater one of my students is wearing or from a
clothing store website. Sometimes they
just come to me. It doesn’t matter where
your idea comes from (unless it is from someone else’s knitting or crochet
pattern), just start with a plan.
of the easiest ways to get a professional-looking sketch is to use what the
fashion designers do – a croquis. You
can find free, printable croquis through a google search, then place your plain
paper over the croquis and draw the garment onto the figure. It is important to draw the clothing first, then draw in the rest of the body
– otherwise you will be erasing a lot and you will still be able to see where
you drew the lines.
go ahead – start sketching! My next post
will look at measurements to consider as we continue on our journey and I will
share with you an excellent website for help – maybe one you have already
checked out. Happy designing!