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emmilyx3

Learning to design your own crochet patterns

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Hi all!

 

My name is Emily and I have been crocheting for about 6 months now. I just finished my first amigurumi, a Pokemon Umbreon (photo below) and am already working on a Minecraft Creeper blanket as a Christmas gift for my nephew.  :) Despite still having a lot to learn, I am quite obsessed with crochet! I know that I would definitely like to design my own crochet patterns at some point, and after sharing my Umbreon on my facebook I have had quite a few people wanting me to make it for them. Of course I won't be profiting from it as it's not made with my own pattern.

 

Anyways, to get to the point, I would LOVE to start learning how to design my own patterns so that I can start selling things. Like I said, I'm still new to crocheting. I know sc, hdc, dc, roughly know trc but haven't used it much, sc inc & dec, rnds & rows, maybe a few other things, I can't remember.  :P

 

So I was wondering if anyone has any tips for learning how to design my own patterns. Any suggestions on what else I need to learn before I start to design? I have yet to learn how to read a stitch diagram, would that be important to know? This question might be dumb since there are so many ways to make something, but how do you avoid unintentionally making a very similar pattern as someone else? That question may answer itself once I know how to design.

 

Anyways, enough rambling! Thanks in advance for any tips or suggestions! Hope you all have a fantastic day! 

 

:)  :)  :)

post-77412-0-79083500-1463062458_thumb.jpg

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I'm not a designer, so take this with a grain of salt from someone who's been crocheting for several decades.  

 

I think the best way to learn how crochet 'works', how to make a shape or stitch pattern 'look like that', is to follow a lot of different patterns for different things.  Every so often I encounter a pattern direction that I think, 'no way, that can't be right' but follow anyway and am surprised by the result--and learn something new.

 

I personally think stitch diagrams are terrific and definitely worthwhile to learn, and I imagine would be extra useful for a designer to put something on paper to plan something, erase, retry, before grabbing hook and yarn.  On occasion, if I have a problem wrapping my head around a written pattern direction, it helps me to diagram it out.

 

A bit of a warning, though.  I think most people who try don't make money at selling crochet, you will be lucky to recover the cost of your material and an extra couple of $ for a week's worth of work--people don't want to pay for the labor that goes into these items, and will compare your handiwork to what they think they could buy it for at Walmart.  And, although it's fine to make a doll like the one above (very cool by the way, I had to look it up) for yourself, or to give as a gift, you cannot legally sell representations of licensed characters like these; nor can you even legally offer a free pattern for a licensed character.  

 

It is hard to design something unique.  A very gifted thread crochet designer who used to be active on this forum said that she tries to never looked at other thread pattern designs to (try to) ensure that her designs are unique, and they pretty much are - I run across her pieces now and then in magazines (she also has some free patterns available) and can often tell they're hers before I look at the designer's name.  A couple of years ago another person on this forum offered a pattern for a generic pig doll, and was threatened with a lawsuit from the people who owned the rights for a specific cartoon pig character (and, her pig bore little resemblance to that pig).

 

Hopefully some designers will weigh in.  You're off to a great start!

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Welcome to Crochetville!

 

I'm not a designer, either.  GS gave you a lot of great advice.  There are books and videos out there on how to design.  If you're serious, I'd skip the free ones.  Go to places like Craftsy  for videos and Amazon for design books.  That way you can check out the reviews first.  Also, check your local library and talk to the owner at your local yarn shop(s).

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hi Emily, welcome to the ville!

 

I don't know where you live, but in the US, someone who writes a pattern cannot forbid you to sell things made from the pattern.    edit:  well, apparently I was wrong there; some ami patterns fall into a specific category of their own---see Amy's post here http://www.crochetville.com/community/topic/151726-do-you-think-its-kosher-to-sell-a-finished-product-from-a-free-pattern/page-2#entry2633783

 

But in the case of licensed characters, trademarked images, etc as Granny Square said the owner of the image legally can prevent others from copying their character/image.  you can get a start on thinking about copyright and trademark by reading the community policies in the town hall section here http://www.crochetville.com/community/forum/6-crochetville-community-policiesrules/

 

For tips and ideas for amigurumi, the Planet June site has a lot of info http://www.planetjune.com  She sells patterns, and for creating your own things there is a lot of info in her blog and tutorials.

 

For general crochet , Crochetcabana is a good site http://www.crochetcabana.com/html/tutorials.html   for example, under How to crochet in the round, you can find the formulae for making a flat circle in different stitches.   

The Crochet Answer Book  http://www.amazon.com/Crochet-Answer-Book-2nd-Solutions/dp/1612124062/ref=pd_sim_14_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=51q7S6Oua6L&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR113%2C160_&refRID=0CZYJ0QCW5ESB1CMYEMB  is a great reference for all kinds of crochet questions and issues.  

Edited by magiccrochetfan

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I have yet to learn how to read a stitch diagram, would that be important to know? This question might be dumb since there are so many ways to make something, but how do you avoid unintentionally making a very similar pattern as someone else? That question may answer itself once I know how to design.

 

 

 

You don't really have to worry about unintentionally coming up with a similar design to something that already exists, but that you were unaware of or didn't copy.  here is an older thread about that question http://www.crochetville.com/community/topic/125660-copyrights-granny-squares-double-crochets/

 

i also think learning to use stitch diagrams would probably be helpful.  You can look for patterns that have both written directions and symbols, to learn to understand the symbols.  Designer Robyn Chachula has many designs using symbols.  you might look at her books such as this stitch dictionary http://www.amazon.com/Crochet-Stitches-VISUAL-Encyclopedia-Chachula/dp/1118030052/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1463076302&sr=1-3&keywords=robyn+chachula     

there is a good tutorial on the Annies site https://www.anniescatalog.com/crochet/content.html?content_id=708&type_id=S&scat_id=3

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Thank you all so much for your responses! 

 

I definitely know that in the handmade world it can be very difficult to sell items. I remember looking at a blanket on Etsy that was around $200 give or take and I thought that was outrageous! However, I'm not certain how people come up with pricing yet and after purchasing and working on the Minecraft blanket - a) I realized supplies aren't cheap! and b) it's been quite a bit of work to make! I've loved every minute of it but I am starting to see why handmade can be pricey but can also understand where people think "I'd rather just buy something similar or better at Wal-Mart" because who doesn't love a better deal? I would love to have a shop on the side, or heck even if I get the odd time where I sell something would be nice.

 

I never thought about the fact that a diagram would help me visualize better. I just always saw it as a jumbled mess and went straight for written patterns. But I agree, it would be very beneficial to learn. I don't remember how I stumbled upon it last night but I was looking up a bit of information about licensing to sell, I didn't realize you can't even offer free patterns of licensed characters! Good to know!

 

Thank you all for the references, I'll have to do lots of reading tonight!  :book

 

I will try and take a look on my own, but if anyone has suggestions on other books I could purchase to help me learn to design patterns, I would very much appreciate it!

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It sounds like you're well on your way!

 

There have been a few discussions at Crochetville about pricing.  I can't remember which topic they are under, but a search on the word pricing should get you to them.  My personal preference for pricing is 1.5x to 3x the cost of materials, with 2x being the most common.  Unfortunately, you can't charge for the time it took you to make it.  Crafters are lucky if they get 50 cents an hour selling what they make. 

 

Selling patterns is a bit easier, but harder to do up front.  Ravelry and Etsy are great places to sell single patterns.  When you get good you can sell them to magazines, then to books and finally to publishing your own books.  A lot of the big designers are part of the Crochet Guild of America.  You can meet some of them in person at the annual conference.  It's in North Charleston, SC this year.  The conference offers a lot of classes.  I'm guessing that there are a few on designing patterns. 

 

Also, there are standards for pattern writing and crochet charts.  My favorite resource is the Craft Yarn Council.

Edited by redrosesdz

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