Crochet designers never cease to amaze me. It seems like they are always coming up with new stitches or techniques that knock our socks off. However, designers are also experts at taking existing stitch patterns and sizing them to create garments, accessories, home dec items, or anything else you can imagine. If you are curious about dabbling in crochet design, this second approach is a fantastic way to get started.
First, you’ll need to find a stitch pattern you love. This is usually pretty easy, given the limitless number of patterns you can get from basic crochet stitches. As an example, I’m going to use a free chevron stitch pattern featured as part of the “Yardage: crochet vs. knit” article in the Weekend Crochet 2013 Issue of Love of Crochet. I chose this fun stitch pattern because it’s engaging enough to keep me interested, but easily memorized and relaxing.
Then, figure out how many stitches are in the pattern repeat. If this isn’t specified in the pattern, I find that the easiest way to do this is to crochet a swatch. I’m using the first chevron pattern in the article, and, as written, it’s the perfect size for a swatch. The repeat goes from either edge of your swatch to the center of the “peak” in the middle. Be sure to count your turning chain as a stitch, and you’ll see that the repeat is worked over 14 stitches and includes the following instructions: 3 dc in first st (one of these dc is actually your turning chain at the beginning of the row), 3 dc, [dc3tog] twice, 3 dc, 3 dc in next st. Add 3 for your turning chain, and you know that your starting chain will need to be a multiple of 14+3.
Next, you’ll need to measure your gauge swatch to see how long your starting chain will need to be. My swatch is 7″ across, and since I’m working over 28 stitches (2 pattern repeats), that means I am getting 4 stitches per inch.
To make a baby blanket 36″ wide, I multiplied 36″ x 4 stitches per inch to get 144 stitches. Remembering that I need a multiple of 14+3, I rounded 144 down to 143 to get the number for my starting chain. If you want a shawl that is 25″ wide, you will multiply 25 x 4 to get 100, then round that up to 101 to get a multiple of 14+3. If you want a full-size blanket that is 54″ wide, you will multiply 54 x 4 to get 216, then round that down to 213 to get a multiple of 14+3. You could make pillow covers, table runners, and even sweaters using the same stitch pattern and formula. The possibilities are endless!
What would you make with this easy chevron pattern? Have you ever designed your own pattern based on a stitch pattern you fell in love with? Tell us your ideas and experiences here or on Facebook. We are looking forward to hearing from you!