Hello my friend! Have you ever heard the phrase “famine or feast”? Apparently that’s how 2021 is going over here at Straight Hooked Headquarters. While I am always busy behind the scenes, either working on a new project or editing a pattern or some content, from your perspective it probably looks like I do nothing a lot of the time. And then there’s April. Pardon my French, but Holy CRAP, I have been releasing a lot of patterns this month! (I really need to make use of a calendar one of these days and start planning things out better!)
So today I have a double pattern release, which is super exciting! I have always wondered how some of my friends can release patterns at such a rapid rate. In case you didn’t know, a lot goes into pattern writing. I can’t speak for all designers of course, but I imagine we all have similar processes. Here is how mine typically go:
First, I play with my yarn for like 6 days, trying different stitches, undoing and redoing until I get my concept and am ready to roll with it.
Next, I work up my design. I have yet to come up with something and just make it without realizing at some point that I hate something about it and having to tear it out and either start the whole thing over or at least many many rows.
As I work up my design, I write down what I am doing in my notebook. If I am lucky, I will use the same page of the same notebook for the entire project. But as a creative person, I do tend to misplace my notebook, or use it to make a grocery list and leave it in my car, so then I have to write down something in a different notebook. This is super convenient when it comes time to type up my draft for my testers and I need to hunt down all of the random places where I wrote my notes, lol! (I am getting better about this, after I did an entire project, lost the notes forever and had to completely frog it!)
So after gathering all of my notes comes the typing of the draft and taking preliminary photos. This can take anywhere from a couple of hours to many many days, depending on the complexity of the pattern and my commitment to my husband to keep our home relatively clean . (Sometimes I let that go and need to spend a whole day getting it back in order!)
Then, I post my testing call and have my pattern tech-edited. Tech editing ensures that my counts are correct and my pattern makes sense to people who aren’t me! I give my testers a timeframe to complete their projects and ask them to provide me with some great photos to share with you, as well as let me know which areas of the pattern were confusing so I can make any necessary edits.
Once my testers are finished, I then create my final draft of the pattern. I include step by step instructions for any difficult parts or the pattern, and finally get it published.
Typically, this whole process takes at least a couple of months. I have on occasion pushed a pattern out within a shorter timeframe, but as a general rule, crochet patterns take a bit of time!
So you may wonder why I didn’t spread these patterns out a bit instead of releasing 4 patterns in one month. Well, the answer is simple, yet a bit amusing. I planned ahead a few months back, and had agreed to do several collaborations. However, I did not write them down in the calendar, so I didn’t realize that all of these events were happening this month until I started getting emails from the event organizers mid-March and I went “oops!” The good news is that my patterns were all ready, or close to it, and just waiting for their big debut day. The bad news is that I’ve blown my wad, so to speak, of pattern releases for a little bit! I do have a couple of really exciting projects on my hooks at the moment, so I guarantee you there will be more patterns coming down the pipeline.
Today, though, it is time to debut two brand new infinity scarf patterns! First, we have the Simply Sparkles Scarf. I used one ball of Lion Brand Mandala Sparkle in Aquila for my design sample, and I just LOVED how it came out!
Second is the Infinite Icing Scarf, which I designed using baby alpaca yarn, and I am thrilled with the final result. I wanted to create something fun and lightweight that really showcased the yarn. I also knew I wanted to make it a gradient look from dark to light.
I really love both designs. I had the Simply Sparkles scarf on Patty my Mannequin (her full name is actually Fat Patty because she is a huskier mannequin, although she’s thinner than I am so her name is pretty insulting, haha!) My daughter saw my design and and asked me why I didn’t try twisting it so it would have a mobius look to it. I was sitting there with my alpaca yarn, in a huge pile after frogging my first concept that I wasn’t in love with, and inspiration struck!
I wasn’t really sure how to twist the yarn correctly to make my mobius scarf, but amazingly enough, I figured it out on the first try! (This was especially exciting because it took a few rows in before I could see whether it was working!)
Isn’t it amazing what we can create with yarn and a hook? Both yarns I used are DK (3) weight, and I used my trusty 5mm hook on each of them. Both are infinity scarves, yet they look so different! The only constant in the photos is Fat Patty’s shirt, because she’s not real keen on personal hygiene and changing her clothes very often. (In all honesty, she used to be wearing all black, but she kept scaring the crap out of my hubby at night, so I lightened her up with a navy shirt!)
Both scarves are perfect for spring or fall since you can wrap them tight when it is cold or leave them long and drape-y when the weather is nice. They are fun to make, just like all of my patterns are (because if I’m not having fun designing, you won’t be having fun either) and they work up quickly as well. Which one are you going to make first?
I can’t wait to see how your scarf turns out. Why not join me and my other yarny friends in the Straight Hookin’ Crochet Community on facebook?
This post somehow became extraordinarily long today, so I think its time to wrap it up! I will see you next time, and as always…