Before you share a pattern

There are lots of pattern sharing sites out there, you know the ones, share a knitting/crochet/cross stitch pattern to earn coins, spend those coins on other shared patterns, you can even BUY coins. I have heard all the reasons people think it’s OK, “it was a free pattern” then why not link the pattern, “it’s only like sharing a book” if there is only one copy being used at a time, “what harm does it do?” emmmm, “it’s only a crochet pattern” OK, enough.

The process of writing a crochet pattern (I assume it’s pretty much the same for knitting, sewing, cross stitch, etc.) starts a long time ago.

Learn to crochet

OK, so you are buying a crochet pattern so this bit you did too, but be fair it still needed doing. You do have to up your game a bit and develop exceedingly even tension, the neatest techniques, and (this is the tricky bit) self confidence.

 

Read patterns

Yep, obvious, but hay there you have it, you need to have read, understood and followed quite a few patterns, you need to be able to eat, sleep, and drink abbreviations and punctuation. You can look up the standard abbreviations on the Craft Yarn Councils website  but you still have to use them.

 

Have an idea

This may sound like a “doh” moment, and something that everyone can do, but I have found that there are people who can’t do it, who can’t envision a pattern in a different colour, so, you know, we are all different.

When I have an idea it sits in my list for months, then I buy the yarn, and this is the fun bit, I look at the yarn, put it in my stash, look at it some more, squirrel it away again, think about stitch patterns while I walk Donna, work out shaping while I cook meals, fine tune ideas in the bath, I LIVE a design for weeks or months (I am currently working on a pattern that was birthed about a year ago). Eventually a pattern is ready to be worked.

 

Sit down and work

Off we go, it helps to have a handy model to try things on now and again because all the measurements in the world are no substitute for a warm body. You can swatch, crunch the numbers, and start from there, but, I like to fly by the seat of my pants and just start hooking. Either way there will be frogging, oh the frogging, and expletives, lots of them, often. I write each row in full on my tablet computer, when I started I used a pad and pencil and let me tell you, it is much easier now. If I need to frog back 20 rows to change 3 stitches the rewriting is a small matter of changing the numbers now, before it would involve rewriting each step, plus I am not a fan of writing by hand, I struggle to read what I wrote today never mind three weeks ago.

 

Sizing

This can be simples like for a hat or scarf, a pain in the… neck like for The Helena  which has 7 sizes, or non-existent like the Amigurumi patterns. There is also spell checking, spacing, and all the lovely formatting. Not my favourite bit but I get to feel all smug when it’s done.

 

Testing

These days I do my own test crocheting by leaving the pattern for a few days and then making a different size, not an ideal situation but the few times I have used testers I was greatly let down (there is one pattern that, two years later, I still have not had any feedback from the testers), thankfully my memory is sketchy at best. I would probably find better pattern testers if I could pay for the work rather than just “and you get a free pattern” but I simply don’t sell enough patterns yet. Those designers that do use testers have to wait on feedback as it arrives at the speed of the testers crocheting.

 

Photos

oh dear, I have a limited supply of models and can not afford to pay, generally I bribe a (slimmer) friend with the promise of a new hand crochet goodie, model myself, bully Crochet Widower, or withhold food until The Hellions stay still long enough to photograph them. I am still developing my amigurumi style but am leaning towards “at the park” photos.

 

More formatting

Adding the watermarks to photos, cropping, positioning them on the pattern, muttering that I could do with condensing things to move that ONE line on the last page up to save that page. Now, more financially secure designers can get people to do this for them, but do remember that mostly designers are doing it all on their own.

 

So please

respect the time, energy, and spirit that goes in to a pattern design. Share links on social media, but do not share patterns. Share your work and your photos, but credit the designer if you use their photos. and please, please, don not use the pattern sharing sites, someone else is profiting form all the hard work the designer did, plus it is illegal.

 

 

TTFN

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