Your First Crochet Design

By Caissa "Cami" McClinton – 15 Comments

Hello, Crochet Spotters! Welcome to your first crochet design! Yes, I said your crochet design. Did that statement strike fear into your heart? Are you incredulous? Or excited?

Crochet pattern designers get a lot of respect from fellow yarn crafters. There is something impressive about knowing that someone has the creativity, knowledge, and skills to create something and put it out into the world. Although I haven’t yet designed here on Crochet Spot, I do have a pattern that is published in a popular crochet book and another that has been accepted for publication. When sharing that news with my yarn crafting friends, I’ve generally gotten one of two reactions – either “I could never do that” or “Hm. Maybe I could do that.”

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Share the Love! Pin me! 🙂

Some people take to crochet design like a fish to water and others feel like a fish out of water when the topic of their possibly designing something comes up. I am here to tell you that all the little fishies can play in the pond. If you’ve crocheted, you are already a sort of designer. 🙂

The thing I love about crochet (much more than other craft mediums I’ve tried) is that each and every crocheter is a co-designer in the project. There is an element of personal design inherent in each and every project. Claire touched upon that in the first few paragraphs of her article here. Think about the choices and changes we all make in our projects – yarn choice, color changes, making alterations in length or width, adding embellishments, etc. Yes, all of that is design.

Now it’s time to get a little more formal and do a design project. Your assignment is to design a scarf! You can do this by combining Rachel’s basic scarf pattern and a stitch pattern.

Here are a few stitch patterns to choose from.

Double Crochet
Climbing Single Crochet
Single Crochet with Bead in Front
Quintuple Treble Crochet
Long Double Crochet
Butterfly Stitch
Linked Double Crochet
Front Crossed Stitches
Back Crossed Stitches
Blanket Stitch

Et viola! You have designed your very own scarf! Let us know how it goes in the comments. And feel free to share pictures and links to pictures there, too!

What do you all think about the design process? Have you ever wanted to design but were afraid to try? What is your favorite part about crochet design or what scares you the most? Please leave all of your ideas, thoughts, and questions in the comment section below. I look forward to hearing from you!

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  1. Jodiebodie says:

    So timely! I am interested to know how you went about having your designs published and what advice you would give about the process, pros and cons, pitfalls and pleasures.

    • Cami says:

      JB, You are always so supportive. So far I’ve submitted designs to books when I knew they were looking for patterns. I also submitted one to a yarn company that didn’t get accepted. You hear that one shouldn’t take this personally but it really did sting. It was my first attempt. I just kept researching and designing. For the One Skein book, I almost chickened out on sending it!!! But I did and I was accepted. Not long after I was accepted for another design (still in the works).

      Rejection can be hard, but you just have to keep at it. Design also takes time, so you have to make sure the pattern is already written or that you have plenty of time to write it and make the sample before submitting your proposal.

  2. Carol Derbis says:

    Well, I suppose I have ‘designed’ a scarf…because I couldn’t decide upon a scarf design I wanted for a yarn I wanted to use for a scarf for one of my daughters. So I searched through a Crochet Stitch book, “The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs” by Linda Schapper.
    I chose a stitch pattern from that book and began work on a scarf. This daughter had expressed interest in a cowl or infinity scarf – but wavered because she might also want a straight, long scarf. So I made an extra long scarf (that she could wrap three times if she wanted) and it will ‘close’ with a choice of scarf pins….thus an ‘infinity scarf’!
    If you have this impressive book, I chose stitch #412 – a bit lacy with a puff stitch worked in.

    Perhaps after Christmas I can post a picture…
    If that makes me a ‘designer’, then WOW! I guess I’ve arrived!
    Lots of beanies made…with various stitch patterns, color variations, etc. – following no pattern, except the standard increases used for beanies.
    It’s been fun – and I feel as if I’ve learned so much!

  3. birgit says:

    I designed a scarf for fun a couple of years ago, which has become very popular at Ravelry. I just made it for fun and was surprised so many wanted to make it.

    (I don’t know how to publish a picture of it here in the comments section)

  4. Darlene says:

    I just designed a scarf for my granddaughter and decided to make it into an mobius. I did not write the pattern down as I consider it the same pattern as lots of others out there. Don’t your worry about plagiarism?

    • Cami says:

      Good comment. Yes, I do worry about plagiarism. It is a long and deep issue. 🙂 Yet every crocheter is a co-designer. Modifications are design elements. This post was meant to empower people to think of themselves as designers based upon things they have probably already done. I hope I’ve done that. 🙂

      Personally, I design based upon inspiration I see in the world and I read crochet patterns and stitch dictionaries. I do not copy and I write my patterns based upon the way my hands move while crocheting the pattern I’m inventing, even if I originally earned a stitch from a stitch dictionary.

  5. fleurdelis says:

    I have modified so many basic patterns by just changing the stitch patterns, changing the edging or using ties instead of buttons. I like to vary the texture with front and back crossed stitches and front and back double crochet stitches that make the ridged waffle design. Hats are very easy to make your own. There are a lot of basic charity designs that can be embellished any way that you like. Beverly Qualheim has a wonderful charity website with easy patterns. Debscrafts is another site. Both crafters are wonderful generous women.

  6. Daelynn F says:

    This is by far the single most informative article I’ve ever read! I’ve been crocheting for over 30 years and didn’t know some of these stitches. I’ve often thought of doing designs of my own. I may very well try it now.
    Thank you so much for the article, blog and emails! All the work you put into this is very much appreciated!!!

  7. Twinkie Lover says:

    To me there is a big difference between simply modifying a pattern that already exists and creating something truly original. Darlene’s question about plagiarism is a good one. There are so many similar patterns out there. There is also a difference between creating a pattern and writing it well. I think writing out a pattern may be another skill in itself. I’ve only been crocheting a couple years and I think I need more experience in understanding how stitches structure together to create designs. I would only want to design my own pattern if I had something really unique in mind.

    • Cami says:

      I definitely see where you are coming from. To me, modifying a pattern allows us to stretch our design muscles. Hopefully through taking small steps in designing, we can eventually arrive at something truly original.

      And I agree with you – writing a pattern down is a skill in and of itself. Thanks for your insightful comments.

      • Twinkie Lover says:

        I like to make teddy bears and while I have one pattern that I particularly like to use, I do enjoy choosing different yarns and hook sizes, choosing the eye color and nose type, etc. I also name each bear. 🙂 When it comes to my bears, I guess I am sort of a designer. This is a very interesting post and I am enjoying reading all the responses as well.

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