Writing Crochet Patterns – An Insight

Writing crochet patterns

I am Ling, the crochet pattern designer at Hooked On Patterns. I wanted to talk about the process I use for writing crochet patterns. The image above is my current WIP (Update: Check out the result of the above WIP here).

WRITING CROCHET PATTERNS

It begins with an idea, a mental image. I don’t draw my ideas onto paper – I reach for a hook instead of a pencil. I find that if I put it to paper, a part of me feels that it is complete and I lose some of the drive to create it in crochet. This also means I can change my mind at any stage without feeling it’s not what it was meant to be. This allows the design to develop organically.

The cool thing about crochet is that you can just about make anything you can think of. 

I knew I wanted to make another piece of clothing; a cardigan. I wanted something that was different from my last cardigan design, something that was looser, more casual fitting and yet elegant enough for evening wear.

THE CROCHET STITCH

When writing crochet patterns it’s important to use the correct stitch. For this WIP I wanted a waistband that was rigid, yet decorative. This would be a function of the stitch pattern. I also wanted the garment to have an open lace design and a slight frill to the hem.

Finally, I wanted to use a stitch that I hadn’t worked with before. I like doing this as I enjoy trying to make something unusual and interesting – it also allows me to continue to challenge myself.

Once I had my checklist, I begun researching the stitch formations I would use. I went through my Crochet Stitch Books and the browsed the internet.

I selected 3 different stitch patterns which use an interesting combination of Chain Stitches, Single Crochet, Double Crochet and Treble Crochets.

CHOOSING THE YARN

The qualities I wanted from the yarn:
1. To have some weight so as to help the garment fall to shape.
2. To provide clear stitch definition.
​3. A finer yarn to complement a lighter, lacy design.

I thought a cotton yarn in a sport weight should meet these qualities.

I had an idea of how much yarn I would need due to my previous experience of crocheting similar items. I guessed at somewhere in the range of 400g for a Small size.
I then had to choose a colour, and I thought a plum shade would complement the design I had in mind.
I purchased 8 balls Lana Grossa, Cotone 50g from LoveCrochet in colour no.45 Dunkleviolett (Dark Violet).



CHOOSING A HOOK

I checked the Cotone yarn band for a recommended hook or needle size: 2.5-3.5. I simply chose the size directly in the middle of the range as my starting point, 3mm. I was happy with the look of this tension, so settled with a 3mm hook.

MAKING IT!

I expect clothing items to take up to a month to create – From the moment of inception until publishing. That said, I don’t work to ‘deadlines’. I want the crochet pattern to be as good as it can be – by not setting deadlines I can rework it as many times as needed.

With the vision in mind and the materials in hand, I began to work it up! I am currently on week 2 – I have worked up samples of the stitches, calculated the repeats needed, experimented with the stitch changes, change my mind a few times and experimented with different stitch patterns, gone back to my original idea and now have nearly finished the first prototype.

This crochet pattern, as with most clothing items, will require working out different sizing options. When writing crochet patterns, I take the time to ensure the sizing is correct for each and every size. 

A time waster, which may be unique to me, is derived from the fact that I do not make distinct plans before starting. I rely on the scientific process of trial and error. Hoping for fewer errors!

I hope you have found this interesting and/or useful. The new crochet pattern will be available soon. If you have a question or comment please add it below in the comments box.

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©​ Copyright L.Ryan, Hooked On Patterns.com

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I am the crochet pattern designer here at Hooked On Patterns.

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