This is the first part of my “tips for you on how to start designing”. You may read the second part here, where I dive deeper into detail.
***Disclaimer: I am not a professional designer. Here by I share tips and tricks which work for me. Feel free to take them into consideration or disregard***
Crochet is a centuries-old skill that can also be extremely advantageous for your health: it diminishes stress and anxiety, raises your self-esteem, helps with depression, and even lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
What do you picture in your head when think of crocheting?
Do you picture yourself sitting by the fire/pool/TV and making something with a hook and a string of yarn?
What are you making? Do you let your imagination loose or do you use a pattern someone created?
It is sad to see how many people in crochet groups claim they wish they could design something but do not even dare to think of it. They say it is too complicated and find a bunch of other reasons not to even try. This is perfectly fine. Some people are good at other things and just say things like this to support and encourage a designer to create more beautiful patterns . Other people really want try themselves but do not know where to start.
This is my advice on where to start:
1) Start small and narrow your niche.
Determine for yourself what you would like to concentrate on: clothing, accessories, toys or home decor items. If you choose clothing, I would recommend to narrow it down in the beginning to one piece either a sweater or a top, pants and so on.
2) Practice, practice, practice.
Thank God there are so many resources nowadays paid and free to learn from. Watch videos on how to make your desired object. Make as many of those as possible using different patterns. This is so you have an idea how to do increases and decreases using more complex stitches, not just regular single or double crochet ones.
Watch videos and read articles on how to adjust patterns for different sizes. I know, there aren’t many of those and I think this is the hardest part. However, if there is a problem , there is always a solution, keep on scrolling, you will find out more.
The next two are connected and I cannot imagine one without the other anymore.
3) Pattern testing.
Pattern testers help to point out mistakes, confusing moments and even some typos, if there are any, so the designer can improve the pattern before releasing it.
When I designed my first pattern, I didn’t know about such things as pattern testing and tech editing, it lead me to a huge problem. I had a bad review because I had mistakes in my pattern. That review set me off. I stopped designing for a couple of years, and started again when I learned about pattern testing. I have already had one design ready by then which was not published. I had it tested, fixed all mistakes and started selling it. Even though no one complained, I still wish I knew about tech editing.
4) Tech editing.
Tech editor reviews a pattern for accuracy and consistency, checks if the number of stitches is correct in each row and provides suggestions on how to improve the pattern.
So after releasing my second pattern, I created a third one and sent it to test. Thank God one of the testers was a tech editor. She offered her services and I agreed. It was my best decision. She tech edited even my first pattern and I realized how inconsistent it was. If you noticed, English is my second language and it is hard sometimes for me to explain what I want to say. My tech editor corrected my instructions, so they were more clear.
Tech editors also grade patterns. So if you design a sweater in 2-3 sizes or even just 1 size, they can help you to grade your pattern for other sizes. Isn’t it cool?
Even if you are a native English speaker, I find it useful to tech edit a pattern before sending it for testing. While testers concentrate on the instructions, tech editors pay attention to all details.
That’s it guys, I hope you found it helpful. xoxo