This series will help you learn how to design a crochet sweater. Part 1 is all about the planning process for an easy design experience.
My Original Intention
When I first started this blog in 2012, I envisioned it as a resource for others looking to design their own crochet patterns. I also knew I would showcase my published work and self-publish through the site.
It took me a long time to start publishing patterns here and I totally kick myself now that I didn’t start sooner.
I imagined it hosting many free videos showing how to crochet the basic stitches. It would be a wonderful crochet reference, especially for designing.
At the time I started it, however, we were expecting our second child and life happened. Things got busy – really busy. My magazine designing took over some months (like one month when I had 7! projects all due in the short month of February).
I am also a high school teacher and that gets in the way of crocheting whenever I want. And, of course, we had two young boys back then (now four!) who are very, very busy all the time. My husband is very supportive and helps out as much as he can.
Now our youngest is two and a half and I am starting to feel like I have a bit of flexibility in my life again, even though four boys is crazy!
I want to eat better, work out, design even more. I’ve started adding more and more tutorials to the site and I’m even knitting again.
How to Design a Crochet Sweater – the Planning Process
And one thing that has been on the back burner that I have always wanted to work on was the design portion of this blog. I didn’t pick the original name designing crochet for nothing!
I am beginning the first of what I hope to be a very long series detailing how to design your own crochet patterns. I am starting with crochet sweater design as that is what I began my crochet design experience with. My passion right now is bags, but we will get to those a lot later.
The first step in any good design is planning. A lot of planning. I usually sketch out every detail of my design, first as a sketch showing how it will look flat and with someone wearing it, then a schematic. I am going to walk through a very basic warm-weather sweater I am going to make. Here is the sketch:
As you can see, it has some ribbing detail and a very open, filet crochet pattern. This particular crochet sweater has kimono sleeves so sleeve design will come a bit later. All in due time.
When I create a sketch like this, it is mainly to show someone else what the design would look like. This is a design I might send in to a magazine, along with a swatch.
The schematic that I draw later gets marked out, redone, and changed a lot and it is only for me and my information while I am working. I write down every tiny detail as I do it so I can write the pattern later.
Never make something first and then try to remember how you did it – there are too many places to make a mistake for that! I’m sure there are some who disagree with me, but I learned the hard way that it is best just to write it all down – and I am really good at reading my work after it is done.
I’m getting ahead of myself! Back to the planning…
There are many considerations when selecting a crochet sweater design. What yarn should I use? Am I going to use yarn that I have in my stash or buy new? (Personally I try to use up my stash but it doesn’t always end up that way!) How much ease do I want? Will I work the pieces flat and stitch them together later (what I usually do) or will I work in the round?
These are just a few of the things to think about when beginning a design. Start out with a vision – you can get inspiration almost anywhere. Sometimes I get a design idea from a sweater one of my students is wearing or from a clothing store website.
Sometimes they just come to me. It doesn’t matter where your idea comes from (unless it is from someone else’s knitting or crochet pattern), just start with a plan.
One of the easiest ways to get a professional-looking sketch is to use what the fashion designers do – a croquis. You can find free, printable croquis through a google search, then place your plain paper over the croquis and draw the garment onto the figure.
It is important to draw the clothing first, then draw in the rest of the body – otherwise you will be erasing a lot and you will still be able to see where you drew the lines.
So go ahead – start sketching! My next post will look at measurements to consider as we continue on our journey and I will share with you an excellent website for help – maybe one you have already checked out.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post for how to design a crochet sweater. Happy designing!