Monday, June 10, 2013

Writing My First Pattern

It can sometimes be difficult to find the right pattern. Even with the abundance of both online and print resources, it is essential to become confident enough in your crochet that you can alter patterns as necessary. I have often changed patterns to suit my needs. Hats can be made bigger or smaller, details can be added or removed, yarns can be substituted, etc. I have also developed a habit of whipping up my own simple scrap yarn projects, like buttoned pouches and flowers. Because I had done these things, I was under the impression that writing my first pattern would be easy.

I was wrong.

I decided to start my design career by writing instructions for a matching baby hat and blanket with strawberry applique. Pattern writing is a completely different experience than simply improvising. If you don't intend to repeat an action it is easy not to justify it. "Oh, I'll just add a few stitches here to fill it out a little", you may think. The finished product is what really matters. Contrast that to pattern writing. Every stitch needs to be accounted for. Your directions need to be clear and uniform. Not many assumptions about the skill level of your audience should be made, meaning that you must explain everything you're doing, no matter how easy it may seem to you. Pattern writing is like the scientific method of crochet. The formula needs to be repeatable by others with the same result if you want your idea to be taken seriously.

I really learned a lot during the process of writing my first pattern, which took about a week. I intend to carry that knowledge forward so that I may write purchase-quality patterns. This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download. If you would like to critique my pattern I would love some feedback! You can always comment here or contact me at I'm happy with the way that it turned out (especially the strawberry) and have been so thrilled by the positive response it's getting on Ravelry. Expect more patterns from me soon!

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