Pattern Design/Writing Question

My latest pattern is off to testing, and I’ve already started on my newest project. It’s called the ‘Painted Dreams’ Fall Poncho, and it’s another crochet pattern I’m writing.

But I have a couple of questions about this particular pattern, because I’ve never written a stash buster pattern before. I’m basically using random left over yarn from other projects, some of which I’ve had for literally decades. I don’t remember half of the color names from the yarn I’m using… so how do you list colors in a stash buster pattern, if you don’t know the names of the colors you are using?

Also, I have a stitch at each end of the pattern… that is actually a ‘frame’ for the pattern. Meaning you work them, but they aren’t actually part of the pattern, because you need them for the edging that comes later. I’m not sure I’m explaining in a way that’s clear…

I would try to find as many yarn and color names as you can, just for accuracy’s sake, but you can also say something like “other assorted yarns, worsted weight” (or whatever weight).

What is your question about the “frame” stitches? If they are part of the row, they do need to be included in the written instructions, even if they’re not part of the pattern stitch.

@SDMcDaniel , I don’t crochet much, but plenty of knitting patterns have in the general directions at the top a statement like “The 3 sts at the beginning and end of each row are not included in the stitch counts, line-by-line instructions, or the chart.” Such instructions typically are for a border stitch of some kind to prevent the fabric edges from rolling.

I should think you could do the same for a crochet pattern, as long as you make the note very obvious, perhaps by putting it in its own paragraph and putting a border around it. Doing so saves you effort of typing up the instructions on every row, double-checking each row’s instructions for errors, and, as far as I would be concerned, makes it easier to follow the instructions with hook and yarn in hand. In other words, the instructions spelled out in detail (or charted, if you go that way) concentrate on the “important” parts of the design.

As to listing color names, since it’s stash busting, is it really necessary? After all, our stashes won’t all match, and if your project is in shades of orange, your listing color names wouldn’t help me a whit, as I’d never use orange. :rolleyes: If it’s important to the design to say that “25 percent of the oranges were light, 25 percent were medium, and 50 percent were dark,” because of the way they’ve been arranged to achieve the desired effect, then say that. If it really doesn’t matter how much of each yarn was used, then say that. I would definitely include an invitation for people to upload pics of their particular stash-busting version of the pattern to someplace, whether here or on your own website or some other website, so that the visual among us can get an idea of what can be done with different combos of yarn, especially if you can give people the encouragement to keep whatever notes are appropriate regarding the colors and mix that they used (like the previous example of proportions of light, medium, and dark). Again, anything to help the rest of us know how certain effects were achieved.

@ilexedits, that’s a great point about color distribution!

Regarding crochet pattern-writing and things like edge stitches - I do wish crochet patterns could be written more like knitting patterns, i.e. in a way that assumes a certain level of competence on the part of the maker. A pattern written with certain “givens” would be my preference as well. (I would also love to see more spatial-type directions, as opposed to strictly number-based, because that’s how my mind works. But some people thrive on numbers and counting stitches. It’s hard to find a style that suits everyone.)

The trend nowadays is for crochet patterns to spell out lots of details. Where a knitting pattern says “k2”, a modern crochet pattern is likely to say “sc in the next 2 st”. It all adds up to a lot of bloat. (My poor tech editor hears this from me all the time.)

All this to say that my advice to the OP was given in terms of contemporary pattern-writing trends, and was based on what seems to be expected. But maybe more of us should start bucking the trends! :relaxed:

I write my patterns based on feedback I’ve had from testers. As a result, over the years, I’ve written some pretty bloated patterns, because I’ve had some very “beginner” testers. Nowadays, I’m trying to remove some of that bloat, because I’ve also had some testers that get bogged down by all the bloat. I’ve also started providing YouTube videos that show exactly how to do the project, so the real beginners can see it with their eyes, instead of trying to interpret crochet language.