Crochet Business: Testing Patterns in 5 Easy Steps

Previously, I wrote about how I design crochet patterns. Each personsunshine flower has their own method and technique. You will develop your own over time. After the initial process of writing the first draft I’m left with a jumbled mess on a piece of paper that only I can decipher. I also have the first prototype of the completed project. Now I need to make my second draft.

Step 1: Typing up the Pattern
The next step for me is to type up the pattern. I do not follow all of the rules that the Craft Yarn Council suggests for universal crochet patterns but I try. As my first patterns were designed for a customer in the UK I always try to include a chart that explains stitches for both UK terms and the USA terms. If a special stitch is used I explain how to make it. I also include any special notes that will help the crocheter in working up the pattern.

Step 2: Adding Visuals
Like many Americans I did not learn from charts so I don’t include them. I do try and make sketches that explain what I am doing which so far has been beneficial. I also try to include any photographs that explain a difficult part in the pattern.

Step 3: Working the Second Prototype
I now take the time to work up the pattern again using the exact instructions I just made. If any corrections need to be made I notate this.

Step 4: A Call for Crochet Pattern Testers
Now is the time to make a call for testers to see if others can work up the pattern. I usually ask for photographs of the completed piece to add to the gallery. Any questions or confusion regarding the pattern is sent to me via email. I then use this information in my final step.

Step 5: Making the Final Copy
Based on the feedback I receive from the pattern testers I correct anything in the pattern that was unclear. If need be I send the amended pattern back to the testers for a redo. I make a final copy of the pattern including pictures from the testers.

Again, this may seem like a roundabout way to get to a final pattern but it is one that is necessary for me if I choose to sell a pattern. Most of the patterns I have online have not been tested by anyone other than myself.

Many crocheters have made things using my patterns so I’m guessing they were able to understand my instructions. If someone doesn’t understand something I always welcome comments so that I can make the necessary changes. Sometimes I will even make up another sample in order to have a photo tutorial available.

Do you design your own crochet patterns? Do you use pattern testers?

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