What do you want to do with your finished pattern? Will you sell it, publish it for free on your website or someone else’s? Keep it for yourself? Try to get it published in a book or magazine? I’ll be discussing Step 5 here, and you can see the rest of the series as it unfolds:
(3) Making the Piece
If you want to see the whole series right away, or would like the information in one spot for easy reference, here is a PDF (with clickable links) for instant download! This is text-only, to help save your printer. AND, it has some extras I won’t be sharing here.
You may need to use it as a reference in response to questions or issues.
You might end up needing to take more photos.
If you are shopping your pattern around, companies may want to see your finished piece.
Find a trusted friend (or two) to test out your pattern. Some companies require this.
If you can’t find anyone to test your pattern, wait a couple weeks (so it’s not fresh in your mind anymore) and re-make your project from your pattern to test for errors.
For free: on your own website or someone else’s, on Ravelry
For purchase: on Etsy, Ravelry, Fibermob, Big Cartel, Artfire, Amazon (as an e-book), etc.
Shop your pattern around to yarn companies or crochet publications. These can be paid or unpaid, and all have a set of rules.
Enter a contest. You can either start your pattern by first entering a contest, or do a search for what contests are up-coming and see if your pattern fits their criteria.
How I make charts:
I hand-draw my charts on graph paper (like a Rhodia notebook), using one symbol per square. Then, I scan my chart and place it in Adobe Illustrator as a guide. I use the pen tool and circle tool to make crochet symbols in Illustrator, and re-make my hand-drawn chart into a digital file. I have heard tell of “crochet symbol fonts,” but I have never checked them out. These may be of help to you.
A note on sizing:
Sizing can vary by source, especially for things like blankets, toys, scarves, and dishcloths. Use your best judgement in your research and in real life for sizing. For many items, it can help to look up sizing for fabric clothes and goods at a retailer’s website (For example, check bedding sizes at a couple home stores, or check slipper sizes at a couple clothing stores). Always keep your yarn in mind, too (Will it shrink in the wash? Will it stretch? etc.)
Always think of your end-user.
Even if you are writing an intermediate or advanced pattern, it helps to write in a way that a determined beginner or novice could decipher your pattern easily.
Patterns on my blog are free, as well as many of my patterns on Ravelry. Etsy and Ravelry handle VAT (Value Added Tax for digital goods sold to the EU) on their end, and this is a big plus for me. There are differences, as well as pros and cons to each site. If you are just starting out, and want to sell your patterns independently, I highly recommend starting with Ravelry first, then Etsy. This is just my opinion, of course.
A main reason I like Etsy is that I can sell more than just crochet patterns in my shop. I also sell embroidery patterns, broomstick lace pins, and — sometimes — finished crochet items.
A big plus for Ravelry is its niche market. Ravelry members are there specifically looking for crochet patterns. You can also post patterns for free or for purchase.
That’s it, in a nutshell! There are lots of variables here, and everyone has their own way of doing things. I hope this guide helps those of you who are interested in creating your own crochet patterns. As always, if you have any questions or thoughts to add, please leave a comment, or send me an e-mail directly!