How to Design Crochet Patterns Part 2: Pattern Repeats

Last time I looked at selecting the right stitch pattern for your project.  Well what’s next?

Once you’ve selected your stitch pattern(s) and identified what you’ll make with it, it’s worth having a think about the repeat of the pattern and your design.

Multiplicity Shawl Stitch Pattern - Click image for free crochet pattern

Multiplicity Shawl Stitch Pattern with a repeat of 8 sts- Click image for free crochet pattern

Make it adjustable

I like to make my items such as baskets and hats size customisable.  So if the stitch pattern uses a multiple of 4 sts, the foundation should start with a multiple of 4 stitches and add a multiple of 4 stitches each time (if it is a project which grows such as a hat).  When considering Diamond Trellis Basket, this was the case, but I also thought ahead to the fact that I’d want two evenly spaced handles, so needed the number of repeats to be even each time.  Therefore I needed a multiple of 8 stitches in each round of the base so that the pattern would always work out for any size of base!

I want to make this!

Diamond Trellis Crochet Basket – free crochet pattern – stitch pattern uses a repeat of 8

Combining multiple stitch pattern repeats:

The pattern repeat is also important if you are combining multiple stitch patterns.  For example, one pattern may have a repeat of 6 stitches, and another may have a repeat of 4 stitches.

If you’re making a straight sided piece such as a rectangular scarf or a blanket, you’ll need to find the lowest common multiple (LCM) of both the pattern repeat numbers.

If you’re afraid of maths, don’t worry, because you can always find the LCM using this calculator.  In this case, the lowest common multiple of 6 and 4 is 12.  Begin the piece with a foundation which is a multiple of 12 stitches – such as 24 or 36 – easy!

Stitch pattern repeats of 4 and 2 are combined on this  diamond infinity scarf - LCM=4

Stitch pattern repeats of 4 and 2 are combined on this Chunky Diamond Infinity Scarf – LCM=4

LCM works for any number of stitch patterns – see what happens if you want to combine 4 pattern repeats – the more different repeat lengths you add the bigger your foundation length will likely need to be, something worth bearing in mind if you are aiming to make a skinny scarf rather than a blanket!

Don’t forget that if you are working in rows, you will need to add a +1 stitch to your foundation to anchor the final repeat.

Next time: Shaping & How to Increase and Decrease in Stitch Patterns  – do let me know if there are any topics you’d like me to cover in this series and I’ll do my best!


10 thoughts on “How to Design Crochet Patterns Part 2: Pattern Repeats

  1. This is a wonderful series. Keep up the good works. There are so many fellow designers who need direction. Thanks again and I’m passing on your series to friends…along with your link.

  2. Pingback: Part 3a: Shaping in Crochet Stitch Patterns | Make My Day Creative

  3. Thank you so much for taking the time to share what you’ve learned (obviously well) about designing! I’ve recently picked the hook up again after a couple of decades and discovered quite a passion for the art and process of the craft. I’ve already noticed an interest in designing patterns myself, but the practicalities of the process — such as what you share — are hard to find. You have encouraged this hooker very much!

    -A Grateful Follower in Texas

    • Hi Ivanda! I’m glad you are rediscovering crochet :) And that my series is helpful for you. You’ll be writing your own patterns before you know it!

  4. Votre serie est très intéressantes est mériterait d’être publiée en petits livrets dans plusieurs langues; sur les blogs français, on ne trouve pas se genre d’article. La traduction google est mauvaise c’est dommage. Merci encore pour ce partage

    • Hi Sandre! I’m glad you’re enjoying this series. I’m afraid my french language skills are entirely dependent on using google translate, so this will only be available in english for now!

    • Hi Sangita! I’m glad you are inspired to learn! My favourite blogs for beginners are Moogly and Planet June. So you can check them out for help with learning. I’d recommend beginners start with an Aran (worsted) weight yarn and whatever hook size is written on the ball band (about a 6mm hook usually).

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