Designers - what's your process?

Though I’ve been making original crochet designs for decades, I’ve only recently started writing patterns for sale. I’m curious to hear about other designers’ process, whatever your craft.

My process is to find inspiration in things I love and imagine how they would look in crochet. I make simple designs on a small scale so I’m looking for iconic, easily recognizeable shapes. My goal is to offer designs for quick projects, profitable to sell or easy to gift, so they can’t be too fussy with lots of fine detail.

Depending on the level of detail, I might jump immediately into crocheting a prototype, or if it is a more complex design I might sketch, write down some notes or draft instructions, or even draft a chart.

Some projects are so simple, like this apple/orange that’s basically a ball, but some, like this banana, go through multiple revisions before I’m happy with this design (the top banana is the final version). :banana:

Once I’m happy with the design I transcribe my handwritten notes from my project journal into Ribblr and proofread. Then I make a test project to check for issues and take pix for my pattern. One more proofread and I’m finally ready for testing!

During testing there usually are only minor adjustments, but once I did a full rewrite to change the direction to top down.

A final proof and then I’m done and ready to publish the pattern!

How does your process compare?

Note-both of these patterns are part of a fruit basket collection currently in testing. I’ll release the full collection in mid February.

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I will usually find inspiration when I’m watching videos on Youtube. I was watching one of Jenna’s crochet videos and I made my headband pattern. I found the inspiration for my fingerless gloves pattern, because I couldn’t find any that I liked. Honestly, inspiration just comes from my everyday life. Usually things that I need or want.

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I love that kind of innovation, finding a gap that I can fill with my craft is so fun and satisfying. :heart_eyes_cat:

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Thus far, I’ve just been freehand crocheting thing I wanna create and then (usually months later bcos I’m kinda strung out between school and work) write it up from memory. Then, I work through what I wrote out at least twice to see what I need to fix. And then I release for testers!

Since I’m doing this casually on the side, there’s been a couple times I’ve found I need to slow down with writing it down from memory and even testing it myself because there’s some things I do automatically without even thinking :sob: the first two patterns I wrote didn’t have any fasten offs or weave in ends bcos that’s just something I do automatically haha, but now I know to include the instructions intentionally

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You must have an amazing memory! If I tried to do that my patterns would be a hot mess. :laughing::exploding_head:
LOL ikwym, something that feels so natural to me can really throw others for a loop if I don’t include specific directions. There is so much technical writing that goes into crochet patterns! It helps that we have a standard jargon, but some things are still variable, especially in amigurumi where we’re making so many different shapes.

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I usually find inspiration in books, or around me. I make it in crochet without writing anythign down. If it turns out, then I’ll write down teh pattern by reading what I have made (like taking it and counting how many stitches i had on this row, how often i did increases etc.) If it’s really nice, I’ll put it into Ribblr, test it, adn then post it.

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I usually find inspiration in something I see or think about, sometimes there is no pattern for what I want to make (this happened recently and the pattern is out soon) so then I try to design that so me and others can make it. I always take notes, on paper or in ribbuild and just try to make it up as I go usually, often that includes makeing a few prototypes before landing on the final design. I read through it a few times and crochet the item following the pattern precicely once, then I have testers test it and fix any small things I might have missed and then its ready for release

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Ill need something and I’ll crochet it.

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I usually find inspiration from things that are made, but not crocheted. Currently found inspiration from a pillow at a grocery store and want to replicate as a crochet pillow, but i made a washcloth first.

If its a smaller item, ill make it first and then tweak if necessary. Then i write it and make it again. Make any adjustments from there and start writing it down.

Writing the pattern down is my downfall. It is usually very time consuming for me and i have to have complete focus. For someone it could take a couple hours to write, for me its days or weeks. (But i also have 3 kids)

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LOL kids are great at distracting you! :rofl:

I agree, making a small piece first to work out techniques is the way to go! I’m doing that now for a bag. So much quicker, plus then I’ll have a cute mini bag, too!

I’m the same way, always asking could I make that in crochet? The answer is usually yes, but sadly for the next question, do I have time to make that in crochet? the answer is usually no. :cry: I’m not a very fast crocheter.

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Im not a fast designer. Im a nit picker, so it if aint perfect, it aint happening. This is why i keep to smaller designs. My brain doesnt get bogged down too much.

I have a cardigan in testing currently, 9 sizes and that took A LOT of mental capactity for me.

I have a ruana that i want to write a pattern. The ruana itlself is 90% done and its been in the wip pile for 2 years.

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I hear you, I love fast little projects as you know. :laughing: Looking forward to seeing your cardigan!

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I like to draw sketch, then break it down into pieces and the amount of the pieces I need. For example, let’s say I’m making a dinosaur (which I am for a friend lol) I will sketch the design, then break it down into pieces like this (picture below)


I love this way, and I always recommend it to newer pattern designers because of how easy it is!

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Oh yes I’m right there with you! Helps me make a complex project into manageable parts. Here are a few pages (of about 20!) for a custom pink bat I made for my sister last year. It was so complicated and getting some of the shaping just right was hard, plus more complex construction than most of my projects. But worth it, she loved it. :heartpulse: I’m sure your friend will love their dino! :sauropod:


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I kinda just draw a sketch or collab witb someone. I go with the flow

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those bananas are adorable!

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Thanks! They were a labor of love for sure but I’m happy with them. Have you made a project that was hard but worth it?

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I made a big octopus, then altered the pattern so that 2 baby octopuses fit inside. It was hard but sooo worth it. Then I made a mini version of it and I am now sellign the pattern in my shop.

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I love things that go inside of things and octos are my fave invertebrate! I’ll be sure to check it out. I’m working on a new toy based off my mouse pocket toy.

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