Friday, July 30, 2010

What Makes a Good Pattern?

I have been thinking a lot about my patterns lately. I want them to be the best they can possibly be, and work very hard to make them so. I worked for two years as a technical editor for Annie's Attic, where I learned the basics of pattern writing. But since I have been self-publishing, I have not followed the style I was taught exactly, but changed and added whatever I felt was needed to make the patterns better and easier to understand. Using testers has given me new insight into what crocheters like and want in a pattern. More stitch counts at the ends of the rows/rnds is one thing they suggested, and so  I have added more of them to my patterns.
I also add pictures whenever it is a little tricky to explain just exactly what I am trying to get across. This is something I learned from the old Elizabeth Hiddleson patterns, which can be a challenge to follow, but her clear pictures always help show just what she wants you to do. And I write notes of explanation whenever I feel they are needed.
Do you have any suggestions or ideas that might make my patterns better? I am always willing to try new things to make them easier to follow, and I love getting feedback. Thanks for any suggestions!


Gloria Beatriz said...

Beautifull crochet my friend!!!

Happy friday....

Sheltie Times said...

The stitch counts make such a difference as a crocheter when I move from designer to designer. While I may "think" I have understood the intentions of the directions, a quick count at the end of a row or round, quickly lets me know if I am correct in my performance.

I have also learned a great deal from visual cues people leave in their directions. I find people can use the same language and mean very different things with different outcomes. A demonstration leaves the crocheter with a clear example to follow.

Ana Luisa said...

I've mentioned this before, but for me, a symbol chart/diagramme is very useful to get a clear image of the finished project, especially if it's a doily. No matter how much a person explains in words, some things are hard to describe without an image.
And, yes, a close-up of the finished project is always very helful.
One thing, though: TOO much explanation, or words, can sometimes confuse us, even the experienced once!
HTH! your designs are lovely, keep up the good work!

eezelifeinbc said...

one thing that I have a hard time with, when you have a row/round with several steps. It is very helpful if the steps are written as a,b,c or 1,2,3 etc.

Ann I know that you have done this on a couple of your patterns and I find it very helpful.


crochethuahua said...

I like stitch counts at the end of rows when the row has a lot of different things going on in it.