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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pattern Writing

Since I'm in transition right now, I haven't been able to post much on this blog. I wasn't able to move into my house and therefore had to put my things in storage. At the moment I'm staying with friends and they have said I could stay with them as long as I need to. That is a great feeling and gives me peace. In the meantime, I'll try to post now and then til I get moved and settled. Below is another short article in my designing series for up and coming designers.

Pattern Writing
I've had many people ask me questions on designing and how they can get started. This post will be the beginning of many more to come on this subject. First of all, if you don't know how to read a crochet pattern, you must learn how to do that! Start out by learning the terms and what they mean. I say this because there are many designers who started out making their own designs before they ever learned how to read a pattern.

If you do know how to read crochet patterns and want to have designs published professionally, one of the important things for you to know is to make sure your pattern is written similar to the way each publisher requests. This is very important, because they don't have time to do the work for you. You should use the same format as one of their patterns, and the same kind of wording. For instance, if you say on a purse pattern:

"Finished Measurements - Without handles",
if their wording on most of their published patterns is:
"Finished Measurements - Excluding handles", you'd want to change it. Either way of saying it is fine, but they just prefer their way of wording things.

Other examples are:
End off, end off yarn, fasten off, fasten off yarn. Like I said, any of these ways are correct, but you just need to know what each particular publisher prefers.

They want to make it as easy on their staff as possible. I've heard of publishers or editors turn down a good design because the person's pattern writing skills were not good. Even having the comas, semi colons, parentheses, etc. in the right places is important. And you should place the materials list in the same order that they do.
Each publisher is a little different. That's why I have to change my pattern format with each publisher.

If you are passionate about wanting to become a professional designer who has their patterns in books and magazines, but don't know how to write patterns, it's imperative that you start learning how to do this. You can either learn on your own, by studying the wording of patterns, or you can take a class on Pattern Writing at one of the many conferences that are held all over the country. Some of those events are Chain Link Conference (Knit and Crochet), TNNA (Needlework Association), Stitches East and Stitches West. You may actually find access to a pattern writing class online. It's worth the effort you put into this!

Good luck and happy crocheting! Now I'll get back to working on my design that is due soon.


  1. Great info. Good luck with moving ...

  2. Thanks MaryJane! I look forward to reading more!

  3. Excellent article Mary Jane. Pattern writing is a major subject and with the help of your articles many crocheters will benefit from them so that they can get their patterns accepted for publishing.

    Thanks for sharing. You are always so helpful.

    All the best,
    Paula Daniele