Better Pattern Writing Ideas

Crochet patterns are wonderful tools for fellow crocheters that allow them to replicate results of a design they like.  If written well, most crocheters should be able to follow the instructions and be happy with the final product.  It goes without saying that mistakes should be minimal (though nobody is perfect), and that photos also help with any tricky parts along the way.

However, pattern ratings could be scaring off potential users/buyers of patterns.  And they have to get past that point before they will invest in a pattern.  Unfortunately, rating a pattern as Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced is really rather vague when you consider it.  There are many crocheters who have crocheted for years but have only made afghans or flat work.  There are many newer crocheters who have only made amigurumi, but are able to pick up new techniques rapidly.  So rather than rate my patterns as Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced, my recent patterns and all going forward will now simply state the skills needed in order to complete the pattern.

For example if it is an amigurumi pattern, I may state that the skills needed are the ability to work in the round, to make an adjustable ring, to single crochet, invisible decrease, etc.  This way, whether a crocheter is new or experienced, they will know right up front what skills they may need to learn or to brush up on before attempting the pattern.  There are many existing videos and tutorials online that can be taken advantage of to be sure they are ready to take on the pattern, no matter what skill “level” they believe they are at.

The bigger the audience for a pattern, the better for a designer.  And the more confident the crocheter, the better the results will be.  We all start somewhere and many may not give themselves enough credit.  But why should one technique or skill hold someone back from making a pattern?  Even crocheters with years of experience may sometimes need to learn a new stitch or brush up on a technique.  It’s a great way to discover and learn along the way and be able to make the patterns they love.  So this just seems to make much more sense all around to me.  Does this make sense or am I just plain old mad?


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9 thoughts on “Better Pattern Writing Ideas

  1. I have a real problem rating patterns as I see everything as easy once you have your tension sorted, a list of stitches in the pattern description is the best way (and I will get round to updating mine one day.

    • It sounds like we are on the same page. I don’t know if I’ll go back and change my older patterns – maybe sometime. But it definitely makes more sense to me to just let people know what skills they need to have, rather than calling it Easy, Intermediate, etc. As you said, anything can be considered easy if you know all the stitches and techniques in the pattern. 🙂

  2. Such a wise woman! I could here your brain cells working from over here 😉 You make perfect sense to me, infact if i ever write another pattern i will defo adopt this idea, I never felt comfortable with rating advance, easy, etc. Thank you oh wise one (Y)

  3. If you’re mad then so am I. I break down EVERY pattern I work on to individual stitches and sequences, so I see everything as easy. What you’re describing is the style I already adopt for the patterns I write – offering a “shopping list” if you like of the materials notions and skills required to complete the pattern. Looking forward to seeing more from you 😉

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to comment MumblesMummy! It just seems to make more sense to me, just like you said, a lot like the shopping list of materials and notions so you know ahead of time! I started doing it a while ago, but the more I see of patterns that still do the ratings, it made me think maybe we should promote this way instead. Do you have a facebook page I can visit? I know I’ve seen you around on mine and would like to return the visits! 🙂

  4. You’re not plain old mad.
    Well, actually you are of course 😉 but you’re making sense here. It says more about the pattern when the stitches being used are listed. When a special stitch is used, the designer could describe it or refer to a YouTube tutorial for example.
    The rating as shown on some sites are helpful, because your peers give the level at which they think the pattern resides. But it’s a bit of a shot in the dark when the designer rates their own pattern.

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment, Ellen! I also think it’s confusing for some crocheters to decide what their level is. When looking at something that is intermediate and all they know how to do is SC, they may feel they can’t make the pattern. But if it is just a DC or a picot that makes someone rate the pattern as intermediate, then anyone could quickly master those and still complete the pattern. That’s why I am thinking that listing the skills and techniques is a better way to go – the crocheter can then decide for themselves how much they have to learn or brush up on and doesn’t have to feel boxed in or labeled. 🙂

      • It’s not just the stitches needed but also the way the making of the item is described. It’s very convenient when the designer indicates where you should start to increase or decrease for example. I’ve followed patterns where it wasn’t clear. Turned out, I was doing things on the side instead of the front, so the whole thing went askew.
        Maybe the rating should be on the designer rather than on the design 😉

        • Ha! I think that is getting out of the scope of this post. A pattern should indicate where to start increasing or decreasing as a matter of course anyway, in my opinion. Here, I am talking about even before you get into the pattern itself, but in the info you get before you even see the actual pattern.

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