I still feel like I’m only just getting started with crochet designing, particularly if judged by the number of my projects which get started and scrapped. But I wanted to write this series because I’ve picked up a few things along the way which I think will be helpful whether you’re a designer or someone who likes to follow patterns – because even following a pattern it can be helpful to pick up on why something has been designed a certain way, or you may just want to modify the pattern for your needs.
Ideas for projects come from many places – but most often mine start from either a particular yarn, a stitch pattern, or from a desire to make a certain item (scarf, basket, sweater, etc). Once a yarn or stitch pattern has caught your eye or an idea has sprung to mind, you’ll still need to figure out the rest, so this series is designed to give you some tips on what to consider as you go about creating or modifying your pattern.
Stitch Pattern Selection
Stitch patterns come in all shapes and sizes, but the important thing to consider is how the resulting fabric moves (or doesn’t!). If you’re looking at a pretty lace then it will make a light, stretchy fabric with drape – best for lightweight scarves and shawls. Something with a closer stitch pattern to plain old double crochet will have less stretch and drape, but may be more suitable for sweaters and mittens. A denser pattern with a bit more structure may be suitable for 3D items like flowers or items where you want more coverage like bags and Christmas stockings. Finally, a pattern with multiple layers of stitches such as post stitches will be better suited to items like baskets and purses.
And while we’re on the subject of adding structure – think about the way the stitches link together also. One of the reasons Diamond Trellis Stitch works well for baskets is the crossing action of the post stitches – they are worked diagonally across the fabric, restricting stretch, and act just like cross bracing on scaffolding. Great for a basket but rubbish on a sweater!
The converse to adding structure to your fabric is also true – sometimes you’ll see an apparently dense stitch pattern which drapes like lace, perhaps because the links between blocks of stitches are delicate, such as in wedge stitch. These stitch types can be used to make warmer scarves which still have plenty of drape.
Look out for upcoming posts in the series and let me know if there’s an other area you’d like my tips on!
Yarn Weight & Hook Size
Yarn Fibre Composition
Yarn Colour and Texture