This is a second of the series of posts related to creating crochet pattern. In the previous post I explained the Explore-Design-Develop approach. In this post I wanted to share some more details on the first step in the process to help you make your own crochet pattern.
If you haven’t seen my previous post on this topic, have a look at the intro article.
EDD Method use to develop a crochet pattern
I created this approach after months and years of experimenting with creating crochet patterns. More for my own benefit so that I could avoid some frustration, but I also wanted to share that with you. As I mentioned before, I really use this approach to create my own patterns, also available in my Etsy shop.
EDD includes 3 steps in the process – Explore, Design and Develop. In this article I will go over the exploration process and explain in more details how to approach it. To make it more appealing we will use a real-life example.
So, imagine you wanted to make a pattern for a snow man. No particular reason, just because 🙂 Now let’s go over exploration step for this particular project idea.
EXPLORATION of the idea
I start my exploration by looking through illustrated books and kids toys I happen to have at home, as well as I research the web to get some inspiration. I would look at images, cartoons, videos, ready-made items (in our case ready-made toys). Really and truly any source counts 🙂
This helps me determine what type of character I want to make. Should it be cute and huggable or maybe more goofy and silly? Maybe I want to make something scary and angry looking?
After a bit of a research, I made a decision that I want to make something sweet and cozy, kind of looking Christmas’y. Something similar to what is shown on the image.
One note though. Know when to stop the research. If you reach the point when you feel confused and it seems too much then that’s a clear sign you’re done. At this stage make initial decision which direction you’d like to go. Nothing is set in stone yet; you can still make some tweaks later on. Sometimes brilliant ideas come when you start crocheting. Exploration stage of the process should allow you to create a vision of the end product.
Now I would write down all characteristics of my snowman:
Shape and proportions
My toy should be round and chubby with quite a large head.
Here a small hint! In general, humans consider chubby characters with disproportionately large head (within certain limits of course!) to be cute and sweet. Psychologists explain this phenomenon with our natural affection to babies, which, as we know, exhibit both features.
At this stage I note that my snowman consists of two round shapes, small hands, small eyes, and a little chubby nose. It also has two sweet buttons on a belly, which add character to the shape.
My character is off-white, with red hat and scarf and natural wood color buttons. Nose is carroty orange. I also see pinkish chicks and red mouth. Eyes and hands are blackish.
Here another hint! In general, snow-white looks a bit raw and cold. If you want to achieve cozy and huggable effect it’s better to use off-white colors, like cream or vanilla. Same for black – it’s very strong and raw. If you want to soften that effect use dark brown or dark navy-blue (depends on the context and other colors used in the project). Visit may blog post on color matching to get some more ideas.
Character, feel and texture
My snowman is cheerful, maybe a bit cheeky, looks inquisitive and a bit curious. Our toy should be sweet and huggable, bringing smile to your face. It should feel soft, comforting and warm upon touching.
pay attention to details. Small things matter and can make your pattern stand out. In our case, the snowman has a hat and a scarf, which are red and white. If we make them detachable it will make our toy a lot of fun for kids as they can play around with dressing and undressing the toy. If you make few different sets of clothing it will be even more appealing.
From my experience, attributes are one of the most important factors for patterns. If you think about it, there are plenty of snowman patterns out there. What may attract people to get yours are small decorations that are unique. What if we got heart shaped buttons, or add heart shaped tiny feet? Be creative here. Sky is the limit 🙂
It is very helpful to note down your ideas and thoughts while exploring. Especially if it takes you a bit of time to research as you may forget certain things. Also, it very often helps me make a decision on the direction I want to go. Lastly, I keep a repository of ideas which come up while exploring. Even if I don’t use it for the snowman right now, they may come handy when making other projects.
And basically, this is it for exploration. I really hope this will help you make crochet patterns. If some things look unclear – let me know. Happy to help. If you’d like to read the 3rd article of the series you can find it here.
Thanks and stay safe!