Bringing Out the Crochet Designer in You

By Claire Ortega-Reyes – 9 Comments

Do you think of yourself as a crochet designer? No? Think again…Have you ever tweaked a pattern to suit your liking? Maybe you thought of a different handle for a bag you were crocheting, or finished an item all in one piece instead of sewing it together as written in the pattern.

If you had done something similar, you ARE a crochet designer. It doesn’t matter if you had designed an entire garment with spectacular fit, or just tweaked an existing pattern to fit your needs– either way, you thought of a new way to crochet something regardless of size or complexity. Here are a few tips to bring out the crochet designer within you:Dentelliere1

  • Own it. Acknowledge to yourself that you can design. Sometimes the only thing standing between you and your designer counterpart, is yourself.
  • Approach crochet projects methodically. Remember those experiments in school? For each one, a problem had to be solved in a logical manner. Prove your hypothesis to make a successful conclusion.
  • Take notes. When you think of a possible design, always note it down before it goes away–write it on your design notebook, or take note of it in your phone or other gadget.
  • Be inspired by others. Beautiful crochet work and limitless inspiration abound–don’t be scared to take old ideas to create something new.
  • Don’t stop learning. You may think you have everything down to pat, but crochet is such a vast craft. New stitches and methods are invented virtually every day! Whenever you get an opportunity to learn something new, always take full advantage of it.
  • Share. It’s always good to do so, specially in pattern writing. Something you write may be perfectly sensible to you, but seem vague to others. It’s always good to learn how others read your designs, so you know where you need improvement.
  • Never give up. Every problem has a solution. Never lose hope–you WILL get it. Of course, frogging also counts as a solution. IF all else fails.

I hope that helps let loose the crochet designer inside you! Happy crafting (and designing, wink wink).

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9 Comments

  1. Ika Masume says:

    Wow. I never thought about that before. Thanks, Claire!

  2. Peggy says:

    O often take stitch combinations from patterns for afghans and turn them into scarves or shawls for Special Olympics scarves, Prayer Shawls, or gifts for family and friends.

  3. Shellie Dunn says:

    All my friends laugh when I start a new pattern. The joke is:

    “How long will she follow the pattern before venturing off on her own thing . . .”

    Yes, I can’t crochet anything without changing SOMETHING!

    Whether it’s the finishing, or an entire revamp, I rarely follow a pattern line for line. :)

  4. Lynne says:

    I made a few pair of fingerless gloves ( from patterns) for my niece … and then went NUTS
    designing my own! First I “tweaked”, but they are so simple that I was designing my own
    in no time! Put me down as a designer now (I have done the same thing with hats I donate
    to the local hospital for chemo patients).

  5. Peggy says:

    Once I started doing it, I just loved making changes to adjust a pattern for a different yarn, a different size (especially older patterns that seemed to be designed just for flat-chested people), or just a stitch design in a different application.

    Occasionally I actually follow a pattern and use the yarns it calls for — when they are interesting and not ridiculously expensive.

  6. Dana says:

    Improvising is pretty fun and often necessary. I’ve followed my latest pattern pretty much exactly, but can’t manage the ears. Plus the recipient would rather a different style of ears, so I’ve got to wing it. ^_^ The eyes and tail aren’t interesting to me either.

    Every budding artist has to start by coping someone else and making alterations to suit your liking is a good way to start creating designs of your own.

    Very nice post. Cheers.

  7. Liza says:

    I have change pretty much every pattern I’ve ever used, and more often than not, just use the pattern as an idea of how I can make something myself.

    I do the same thing when I’m cooking. I generally use recipes as guides rather than rules.

    It’s good to know that I’m not the only one!

  8. theresa catlett says:

    OMG I thought I was the only one changing, adding, subtracting and just plain going “off-book” with patterns…. I have been crocheting for over 40 years and I’m only 50 this year, and to tell the truth I think the only time I followed a pattern start to finish “on-book” was the first lesson I read in the Coats & Clark Learn to book I picked at a yard sale that booooorrrrring summer sooooo long ago when Mom was looking for old jeans and mens shirts to have woven into throw rugs and I was wondering what I would do with myself 12 hours a day on summer vacation from school(3 whole months!!!!!) Then I taught myself to crochet with the cheap, itchy yarn the lady at the yard sale threw in with the purchase of that book and the size G hook I still have…….. then I taught Mom and Grandma because the dog blanket I was making for our Boston Terrier looked EASY yes it was my first “off-book” pattern>>>>>>>

  9. gatyamgal says:

    I crocheted a small hat once and sold it on ebay as a hat for a preemie. To my surprise, the lady that bought it said she got it for her sock monkey. She asked if I could crochet a matching dress and booties! I had never crocheted a doll sized dress before. I just pictured in my mind what the top would look like and I knew to make a full skirt I would have to increase stitches and I surprised myself by creating my first “doll” dress. And since Sock monkeys don’t have feet, just “stubs” I crocheted a couple tube like socks that folded over with ruffles on the edge. She LOVED them. I found out that she made greeting cards with pictures of dressed up sock monkeys and that outfit was featured on one of her cards. I haven’t crocheted anything like that since. Maybe it is time to try it again! Thanks for the thought provoking article.

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