Are you ready for a new knitting or crochet challenge and do you want to make something that you absolutely love? Then design your own pattern! How amazing would it be to see something completely new emerge from your very own hands? We hear you thinking: but how? How do I do that? We asked our designers Annemarie and Monique for some tips and tricks.
Design your own pattern - We've all been there. We've had something specific in mind that we would like to crochet or knit and spent hours scouring Pinterest, Ravelry and Instagram for the perfect pattern, with no success. Or an image from a book, a movie scene or a walk through nature has captured our imagination and our fingers are itching to recreate it in yarn. What to do? Design your own pattern! We met up with Annemarie and Monique, our crochet designers, to get their take on the design process.
The start of something new
Of course you could just get started and see where the wind takes you. But if you have something specific in mind, look for a picture of it. In a book, a magazine or on the internet. Maybe you want to surprise your little one with a cuddly flamingo, then look for pictures of this fun, pink creature. What are the shapes and proportions? Which color combination would work best? By the way, we don’t mean look for pictures of crocheted flamingos! You could of course sneakily work up an existing pattern and personalize it to create something unique, but why not challenge yourself to start from scratch?
Convert ideas to a new knit or crochet design
Are you sufficiently inspired? Then you’re ready to let your hands do some work. For this part, knitting or crochet experience is an absolutely must. You need to know what the stitches produce. For example, if you crochet 3 double crochets in the same stitch, your work with fan out. The more knitting or crochet experience you have, the broader your knowledge of different stitches will be. And then it’s just a matter of try, try, try! See what happens if you just wing it. If you don’t like the results, then go ahead and unravel it. Even seasoned designers like Annemarie and Monique sometimes need to restart four or five times. Annemarie: “You really want it to look exactly how you imagine it. Perfect, that is, ha-ha!”
Is there a step-by-step process to designing a new knitting or crochet pattern?
There is no real step-by-step process to devising and designing a pattern. As we said, what you really need is some experience. And—when it comes down to it—a good idea. For some, this simply comes naturally to them. What they see with their eyes, their hands can make. But of course, we do have some tips to help you along the way:
? Gather your toolkit. Make sure you have all the materials you need to hand. A row counter is a super handy device to have when designing.
? Make sketches of your design. This way you have a clear picture in mind before you begin.
? Choose the yarn and needles/hooks that best suit your project. Think of the color, the structure, the thickness… these are all important. Not to mention, the price! As a beginner you are bound to make mistakes. Our tip: go for the budget-friendly brand Budgetyarn.
? Write everything (yes, absolutely everything!) down. How you started, how many repetitions of which stitch you crocheted, when and where you added the eyes. Even if it’s just on a scrap piece of paper, make sure it is clear and detailed. It would be such a shame if you no longer knew what that one scribble meant. You can fine-tune the notes at the end of your project.
? If you want to share your project, then take some photos during the creating process. This will make it much easier for other crafters to follow your pattern.
? Do you want to convert the written instructions into a symbol chart? There are various free programs online which you can download and use to create crochet and knitting charts. Super handy!
Finally, what do you love most about designing a new pattern? Is there one project that stands out for you?
Annemarie: “To me, it feels like magic with a ball of wool. To create something out of nothing is both challenging and incredibly cool. One of the most fun projects I’ve designed is the Yarnplaza Rainbow Collection. The ability to create so many different items from a single design. Yes, I’m really proud of that.”
Monique: “Wow, that’s a really difficult question. I recently sat down and counted all the projects I’ve created and came up with around 85 designs! The first thing that comes to mind is the Dream Blanket 3.0. I incorporated so many different stitches and I think it turned out really well.”
Feeling inspired enough to design your own pattern, whether crochet or knitting? Share your creations with us on our Facebook page or on Instagram with #yarnplaza.