Vashti's Crochet Inspirations

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About Crochet Designing

How to Design a Crochet Pattern

“I would love to be a crochet designer like you. I am really impressed with how many patterns you have published; my family used to get the crochet magazines, and I never knew that so many patterns were by one person. That yellow and pink rose sash/skirt set is just beautiful.” ~ a Ravelry community member

Picot stitch scarf
Cashmere Picot Filet Scarf: A luxurious
experiment using 1,367 cashmere picot
stitches packed into one scarf.

It’s easy and fun to design a crochet pattern. Many crocheters dream up wonderful designs without realizing that they could be published in a crochet pattern magazine. Crochet naturally lends itself to creative improvising, and some published crochet designers have only been crocheting for a short time.

Designing crochet patterns is also hard and sometimes perplexing work. Some common issues for crochet and knit designers are: writing their patterns clearly and accurately; writing a sweater pattern for more than one size; understanding the yarn weight system and how different fiber blends and yarn plying will affect the finished design; and knowing that their design is truly original (not overly influenced by another designer’s).

Chelsea and Vashti
A young new crochet designer,
Chelsea Norquay, met up with
Vashti at her first
crochet conference.

One of the high points of my life has been the day that I found out how to design a crochet pattern and get it published. I’ve met other crochet designers who feel the same way. I had been designing ever since I learned to crochet at age nine, but I didn’t know it. (Even if I had, I wouldn’t have known how to get it published.) I meet many crocheters who are already doing some degree of designing and don’t know the next step to take.

Inspired by yarns, colors, the natural world . . . and even simple stitches

Like many designers I'm inspired by yarns, colors, the natural world, and by even the simplest of crochet stitches. Inspiration for me also comes from wanting to wear stylish crochet in a southern climate and from my young son and his friends. I've been designing professionally since 2004 and have had fashion, home decor, and children’s designs published in a variety of pattern magazines, such as Crochet!, Interweave Crochet, Crochet Today!, Hooked on Crochet, and Knit.1. My designs can also be found in pattern books edited by Carol Alexander, Kim Werker, Jean Leinhauser, Rita Weiss, Kathleen Greco, Terry Taylor, and Linda Kopp; and in the Vogue Knitting on the Go series.

1. Designing sketch  2. Tabard sketch  3. Buttercup sketch
1. A "eureka" moment while getting design thoughts on paper for the Tokyo jacket. 2. Design proposal sketch for the Baroque Tabard. 3. Both 'Buttercup' purse designs were ultimately published in 100 Purses to Knit and Crochet edited by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss.

This part of my DesigningVashti website is for the crocheters who might like to try designing their first crochet pattern, and for those who would like to take more steps along this exhilarating, rewarding journey. Here in one place is all the help that I received, or wish that I did, when I started out designing. See below for a list of the resources you’ll find around my site.

Below is a collection of Free Mini Articles on Crochet Designing which will be available soon for instant download. Ssubscribe to my Newsletter to find out when these and new articles will be available.

Tokyo jacket detail
Sleeve detail of my
award-winning Tokyo Jacket.

My revamped DesigningVashti Blog: a special resource for aspiring designers because it chronicles the day to day of a crochet designer’s life. This is my first and longest continuous blog. If you’ve visited it in the past, you may know that it had an all-purpose approach to crochet for the general public. Now that I have this website and newer blogs with their own specific purposes, I have sharpened the focus of my original DesigningVashti Blog for crocheters who may be interested in specifically what it’s like to design--the truth, the straight scoop, the juicy details.

Michele, a reader of the DesigningVashti Blog wrote,
I visited your blog and I am amazed!!! I have been making simple afghans for 20 years. And love it. It keeps my hands busy and I get to see the results quickly.
You have really inspired me to work beyond the afghans and see what I really can do.”

Some new features of the DesigningVashti Blog

I've been meeting up with fellow crochet designers at conferences for over five years and we talk about our projects and creative process because it enriches our own crocheting. At the DesigningVashti Blog you're included in the conversation. I’ll be adding designers’ stories, tips and insights into the creative process, and basic business advice.

Lace experiment
This is a June, 2010 lace experiment
that is coming along nicely!

The DesigningVashti Blog is the door to my virtual design studio in which I experiment with new stitches, materials, tools, and ideas. Designers always have many more projects in their studios than the public ever sees. I love to see these projects and be included in the artist's creative process. Some of them are unfinished experiments and other creative possibilities. Sometimes the reason a project is the artist's personal favorite teaches me a new way of seeing. For all of these reasons, I want to share my design process with other crocheters.

Strongly Recommended Links
for Aspiring Designers

Mentoring Program for Associate Professionals of the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA). This program is dear to my heart and is maintained by the national guild’s Professional Development Committee. It is the only program that is specifically for crochet professionals of every kind, from designers to technical editors, teachers, contract crocheters, pattern testers, and more. Remarkably, it is 100% volunteer driven and is available at no charge to qualifying CGOA members.

Industry Standards & Guidelines for Designers courtesy of the Craft Yarn Council of America (CYCA)
Ravelry, especially the forums for new designers. Ravelry is a community site, an organizational tool, and a yarn & pattern database for crocheters and knitters.

The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA) A trade organization serving primarily local yarn shop owners, other needlework shops, and their suppliers. Designers can join as affiliate members.

Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) A trade organization serving primarily national craft store chains and their suppliers. Designers can join as affiliate members.

Intellectual Property and Copyright information This Knitty.com 2003 article by Jenna Wilson is a wonderfully readable and thorough summary with valuable links.

Cochenille Garment Designer software I use this software program for sweater crochet designs.

 


© 2010 Designing Vashti All Rights Reserved