How to Make Your Own Crochet Pattern

By Rachel Choi – 8 Comments

As a designer of many crochet patterns, I’m often asked how I design my own patterns. The design process is probably different from designer to designer and there’s no one right or wrong way to design. Outlined below is what I do each time I make a new crochet pattern. My process probably isn’t as strict or structured as you may think! It is a fairly simple and easy process.

Get an Idea
It all starts with an idea. My ideas normally come from a reader who requests a pattern or may be something I want to crochet for a friend, family member, or myself. Your ideas can come from anywhere! If I have a hard time visualizing an idea, I try to draw a rough sketch of what I want. You don’t have to be an artist (I know I’m not) to make a sketch, your sketch doesn’t even have to make sense to anyone but yourself. Once you have an idea, even if it is very vague, you’re ready to turn the idea into crochet stitches.

Convert Idea into Crochet Stitches
I believe that turning an idea into actually stitches is the most important part. The more thought I put into this step, the less frogging (rip-rip-ripping out crochet stitches) I’ll have to do later. This is where I decide which crochet stitches will give me the shape and texture I want. Determining what stitches to use becomes easier as you crochet more and more, so don’t be discouraged if you’re not sure what to do if it’s your first attempt. I try to visualize the stitches as best as possible. I normally don’t write the stitches down, or draw any sort of diagram, unless I’m afraid I’ll forgot. This is also a good time to determine which crochet hook will give you the tightness or looseness you want in your fabric.

Crocheting is the fun part! Grab your hook and start crocheting. Once I start crocheting I relax and enjoy it. Most of the thinking has already been done so I simply crochet along with the idea and stitches that I’ve already put together in my head. While I’m crocheting I write the pattern down row by row, so I don’t accidentally miss a step. If I’ve thought out my stitches well, everything is smooth sailing from here, but if not, I’ll fix and perfect anything that’s needed.

Fix and Prefect
Making mistakes is human, I do it all the time. Most of the time all I need are some small adjustments: changing hook size, using a different stitch, adjusting number of stitches, subtracting rows, etc. Dreadfully, I must admit there are times when I frog everything and start over. Whiling fixing and perfecting the pattern, I try to remind myself to be patient through the whole process.

As I mentioned earlier, there isn’t just one way to make your own crochet patterns. Feel free to try some of my pattern making process, but also add in what works for you. If you’ve designed a few patterns, I’d love to hear from you! What is your process like? What works for you?

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  1. Bethintx1 says:

    Nice article! I have a page on my website that has the anatomy of a crochet pattern. It will help you to remember details you may forget when writing your pattern. I also wrote the article so beginners can find their way through reading patterns.

  2. Varsha suraiya says:

    I can create various patterns as I crochet.I would be grateful if u could guide me as to how to record the pattern on paper so I can re- use it later.can u pl help me as to how to go at it?

  3. Melissa L says:

    Thank you, Rachel!
    As I become more experienced with crochet, I begin to look at patterns and think: Oh, if only there were X stitches in the center, and Y stitches around the border, and maybe a little Z stitch for trim….although I have not yet begun to create my own patterns. But this has given me a LOT of encouragement!

  4. Ryan Ann says:

    Very interesting and a little inspiring! Maybe I will start to turn my ideas into patterns? I love your patterns; they are VERY easy to read, understand, and follow which is not true of all patterns!

  5. DeSire says:

    Hi Rachel,

    Your “Create a Crochet Patterns” is very helpful, however im stuck with adding letters and pictures to my pattern. I have a picture that I would like to crochet and im not sure how to do it. Please help.

    • Rachel Choi says:

      De Sire, for adding pictures and letters, you might want to use a color chart for it. Here’s a tutorial: How to Make a Crochet Color Chart

      • DeSire says:

        Thx Rachel,

        I think I got it…. Question 1, if I want my picture in the middle of my afghan than do I replace the main colored squares with the colors in my picture? I’ve already coverted the picture to a graph. I just froozed up once I printed it out because of course the picture is smaller than the afghan would be.

        Queston 2, on the printout (graph) the colors start fading (REDSKINS & picture of a halmet) do I still use the choosen color before it started fading. In other words between each letter the letters starts fading to the main color than back to color for the next letter. I guess this is where the trial and error comes in. I should probably use the main color just to identify/separate the letters from each other.

        I hope Im not being difficult and my questions are clear enough for you to understand.

        Thx again for your help.

        • Rachel Choi says:

          Yes, your are correct for question 1. For questions 2, you’re also right that it may take some experimenting. Give it a try and feel free to adjust it as you go!

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