How to create a crochet pattern – part one

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My husband’s cousin is getting married in July. While planning what to wear for the wedding, along with what patterns to create for Yarn Obsession I had an epiphany! Why not design a dress that I would wear to the wedding as part of the Yarn Obsession 2014 Crochet Pattern Collection?! Brilliant!

Then there was the question of what my daughter would wear. . . again! I can do her dress too! Awesome! Only challenge: I have two months to design and create these two dresses. . . So, with limited time I decided to create the patterns in public! That’s right, you can look over my shoulder and see how I do it and we’ll both learn in the process. Now, this is between us, so don’t go running off and telling everyone (wink).

How to create a crochet pattern on Yarn Obsession

This is part one. This is where I tell you that I’m starting with my daughter’s dress. So, for the next 4 weeks (the rest of May) I’ll be working on getting her dress designed and completed so she can wear it for the wedding in July. Each week I’ll share with you the steps of what I’m doing, along with corresponding photos, and by June 3, 2014 I’ll have a completed dress for you to see and be well on my way (if all goes well) to having a completed pattern to put in the Yarn Obsession shop!

I’m excited so let’s get started!

[wp_ad_camp_4]First Steps

Step 1 – Have a general idea – When I set out to create a pattern I usually have an image in my head of what it is I want to create. It doesn’t have to be detailed just general. In this case I know I want (and need) to create a dress for my daughter who is 3 for a wedding.

Step 2 – Gather inspiration- Once I know I want to create a crochet pattern for a toddler dress I start looking at various styles of dresses. Maybe I take one element from one dress and think how it would look with an element from another dress. This is the step where the creative juices begin to really flow! Have fun and let your imagination run wild! For myself I just keep a picture in my head of how I want my little girl to look and that helps me weed out the images I don’t want.

Step 3 – Sketch – This is where I flesh out my idea by sketching. No, you don’t have to be a good artist! Believe me. 🙂 If you can draw basic shapes, you can sketch out the crochet piece you want to create. I may sketch out two or three ideas that stand out in my mind and begin to narrow down the exact elements I want to have in the final crochet pattern I’ll design such as appliques, beads or buttons etc.

Step 4 – Stitches and material – After I’ve sketched out what the dress will look like it’s time to pull out my stitch books and begin scouring the pages for stitch ideas and go stash diving for yarn material ideas. Selecting the yarn depends on what the item is and when it will be used. For example, you don’t want to use a merino wool yarn for a summer dress. For the dress I’m designing for my daughter I found a bamboo yarn in my stash that’s perfect for summer and she loved the color! Score! Sometimes, though, you just have to go yarn shopping. 😉

[wp_ad_camp_5]Step 5 – Swatch and measure – Once I determine the yarn and stitch I’d like to use, it’s time to swatch and gauge. I have to admit this isn’t something I’ve always done. I used to just ‘wing it’ and got lucky quite a bit. But now that I’m designing more clothing items and selling the patterns, I do the swatch and gauge because it makes things easier for me and for those who purchase the crochet pattern to know they are on the right track.

That’s all for today. Your assignment for the week is to create a pattern, let’s do it together! It doesn’t have to be complicated, it can be a scarf. But go through the steps outlined above and design your crochet pattern while following along each week! If you do this now, the next time you’re ready to design a crochet pattern you’ll feel a lot more confident!

CLICK HERE for Part 2 and if you’d like CLICK HERE for Part 3

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