4 Tips For New Pattern Designers
The wonderful thing about amigurumi is that once you understand the basics of how to achieve different shapes, you can start designing your own creations – no matter how new you are to it.
Are you considering becoming a pattern designer? If so, here are some helpful things to consider.
1. Visualize Your Creation:
Start your design by drawing a sketch. Some designers like to use grid paper to help plan for proportions – I personally use Procreate on my iPad.
Be sure to jot down notes of what you want for your creation. For instance, I might note what yarn weight and hook size I’ll be using as well as the proportions for the head/body if I’m making an animal. I might also note that I want a certain body part rounder, shorter, etc. as well as the colors.
2. Decide What Pattern-Writing Platform You Will Use:
Designing something often takes several trial runs and involves a lot of unraveling/scratching things out! Once you’re ready to share your design with others, you’ll need to determine what platform is best for you.
There are many different programs you can use to make your patterns online. You can keep it simple and use Microsoft Word/Google Docs, or use Pages. You can even find inexpensive templates that are editable if you prefer something a little fancier. I personally use Canva (not a paid ad) and I created my own simple template. If you’re brand new to writing patterns and don’t know where to start, I suggest studying other patterns and how they’re written. Note what qualities you like -and- dislike about them. Sometimes, studying a poorly written pattern teaches you more about what NOT to do!
Then, when creating your own pattern, consider the following:
-Use a legible font (photo example below)
-Use standard terms and abbreviations for crocheting to avoid causing confusion (ex. US terminology differs from UK terminology).
-Include photos (more on this below).
Of course, studying other patterns for how they’re written does not mean copying other people’s hard work!
3. Include Lots of Photos:
Many people are visual learners and having high quality photos that capture your progress can help guide people along each step. It will eliminate a lot of confusion in the long run! The addition of pictures are what make a “good” pattern to a “great” one.
It can be easy to get swept up in the messy design process and forget to take process photos (which includes lots of unraveling, scratching out, and more unraveling!). For this reason, I usually make a second creation solely for photo taking. Working through my pattern also helps me to double check it for errors.
But I don’t always catch em’ all! Thus, the importance of pattern testing…
4. Get Your Patterns TESTED:
Pattern testing is when you have other people try out your pattern and check for errors/confusing parts that need clarification. You could compare the process to doing a test flight on a new plane or a test ride on a new rollercoaster. (Okay- maybe with less life-death circumstances – but you get my point!) It’s safe to say that great patterns start with great pattern testing.
So! I encourage you to get out there and try your hand at designing your own patterns. Everyone starts somewhere. Just as with any skill, the more you practice, the better you will become at it.
One last thing to note is that it’s totally NORMAL for the process to be slow in the beginning! I wish someone had told me that :). For me personally, it took months to build up momentum where others started making my patterns regularly.
Just don’t give up! Don’t hesitate to ask questions along the way.
Stay tuned for more blog posts and tips like these – and be sure to join our email list!
Happy pattern designing!