By Sue Norrad
Have you ever searched and searched for that perfect crochet pattern, but none seemed to be just right, not quite what you had pictured in your mind? If so, then maybe it's time to try your hand at designing your own patterns.
If you can picture it in your mind, then you can create it.
You probably have a good idea of what you are looking for in a pattern. To bring that idea out, find a pattern that is close, but still not quite right. This will help you get your new pattern started.
Get a notebook, pencil and a good eraser (you will be using that a lot). You will also need a ruler or tape measure.
First you will need to know your gauge. Your gauge is important as it determines how many stitches and rows you get per inch and will make your item come out in the correct size.
To find your gauge, crochet a small sample piece of about 10 sts and 10 rows. Use your ruler or tape measure to see how many stitches you get per inch. Write that down in your notebook. Then measure to see how many rows you get per inch. Write that down as well.
You will need to do that with every pattern you design as you may be using a different sized hook and a different type of yarn when designing other patterns.
Now look at the pattern that you are going to alter to find the width and length. Using your gauge results, multiply the number of inches in the width by the number of stitches you get per inch. This will give you the amount of stitches to use in your starting chain.
For the length, multiply the number of inches by the number of rows you get per inch. This will tell you how many rows to crochet.
If you are designing a sweater, you can learn how to shape armholes and necklines by referring to other patterns.
A combination of different stitches can produce some very beautiful patterns. For example, you may like a combination of stitches in an afghan pattern and feel that it would look very nice when used in a sweater.
So in designing your sweater, do the measurements as above, then use the combination of stitches that you liked in an afghan pattern to create your new sweater pattern.
This can be done with almost any pattern. For example, I was looking for a hat and mittens pattern to make for my grandson. I searched but could not find anything that was different and unique. So I decided to design my own.
I liked a stitch combination I had used to crochet a potholder. I could picture in my mind how nice it would look when used in the hat and mittens.
The combination of stitches were 1 single crochet, 1 treble crochet. It produced a cute little bobble effect that looked great and made the mittens seem more warm and cozy.
The ideas are endless as you have many stitches to work with and use in different combinations.
When designing a pattern, you will be trying different things so you will probably be ripping out rows and erasing some of your notes and re-doing them. It takes some time, but that is how you perfect your new pattern.
When you have completed your new design, it's best to type up your pattern from your notes while it's still fresh in your mind. Then, of course, you will want to proofread as it's very easy to make a mistake when typing up the stitch abbreviations.
I hope these tips help. Once you try it, you will find that it is not that difficult to design your own patterns and it can be very enjoyable and give you a great sense of accomplishment.