Behind the scenes : 8 steps to design a crochet pattern

Pot bear pattern writing by ahooka

Last week, I presented Pot Bear to you, today I’d like to show you a little bit of my design process while making a new pattern like his. I hope you’ll enjoy it :)

1. Sketches

Pot bear pattern writing by ahooka

(This proves that you don’t need to know how to draw to be a graphic designer :p)

I always start by sketching what I have in mind. Those drawings are far from being artworks, but they help me to see the shapes better. This is the first step but I will keep on sketching during all the process. You can see on this sketch that Pot Bear was first imagined to be standing up. When I realized that he would be cuter sitting down, I made a new sketch to know where I was going to place the legs and what size they should be. It’s much quicker than to make it in crochet right away and then realize that they are too long or to big, and having to start over. 

2. Notes and prototype

Pot bear pattern writing by ahooka

This step is quite random. You may get it right on the first step, or get stuck on details and have to start over and over again. 

Pot bear pattern writing by ahooka

I made this first prototype using very cheap acrylic skeins (1€/100g = approx 1.14$) in order to see what was going right or wrong.  At this stage, Pot bear had way too big shoulders and his head was made separately from his body which was quite difficult to sew afterwords. 

3. Testing and final touches

Pot bear pattern writing by ahooka

New try, with the final yarn (Drops Paris). This time, the arms have a better size and the head is made directly attached to the body to prevent tricky assembling. But the snout is a bit weird and the mouth difficult to sew on properly, plus the head is a bit too large… Try again

 …Until that moment when you look at it and you know “that’s it !”.

Pot bear pattern writing by ahooka

4. The name !

It’s quite the same process actually ! You grope, you write you ideas down, you strike them out, you rewrite others…Until that moment when “that’s it !” too :) 

Pot bear pattern writing by ahooka

5. Photo shoot

Pictures take place during the whole process : during the work for the technical explanatory pictures and at the end for pretty presentations photos. By the way, it determines my work schedule because even if I’ll edit them a bit, I can’t make pictures when the sun is down. 

Pot bear pattern writing by ahooka

For the record, I made this last picture at least fifty times because I wanted a bit of smoke in it… I was blowing candles just before taking the picture but it seems that candle smoke is pretty unpredictable :D 


6. Photos editing

Pot bear pattern writing by ahooka

I’m far from being a photographer and I don’t shoot in optimal conditions. I have a small handmade light box but it’s too small for big projects like Pot Bear, so I have to take the time to edit each and every pictures I make. I crop them, add a bit of contrast, a bit of light (when the sun was to shy at my window !) and finally, my signature. 

7. Felt patterns

I start by drawing the shape directly on the felt, then I cut it out and transfer it on paper with a black marker. Then I take a picture (as I don’t have a scanner).

Pot bear pattern writing by ahooka

Finally, I use it as a guide on a vectorial drawing software to make neater lines

Pot bear pattern writing by ahooka 

I also made a little personalized logo for Pot Bear (and the others to come^^) 

Pot bear pattern writing by ahooka

8. The layout

Last step, and one of my favorite ! I love to organize each of the differents elements that make a pattern : texts, pictures, felt patterns, in order to make it nice, practical and easy to follow :)

Pot bear pattern writing by ahooka

And it’s done !

Pot bear pattern writing by ahooka
You can find Pot Bear pattern and every others in my Etsy shop : The Ahookashop !


See you soon !

Pot bear pattern writing by ahooka

6 Responses to Behind the scenes : 8 steps to design a crochet pattern

  1. Thank you for sharing a sneak peek at your designing process! I love to see artists’ “behind the scenes” shots and read stories.
    I can say, many of the steps you make, I make too when I design my patterns, and make them in the same order :)
    And I love the design of this pattern. It’s so neat and fun :)

    P.S. “This proves that you don’t need to know how to draw to be a graphic designer” – Brilliant :D

    • Thank you !
      I like to read those “behind the scenes” too, that’s what gave me the idea to write this article, I’m happy to see that I’m not the only one to like it ^^ You’re the second pattern designer to tell me that you make pretty much the sames steps, it’s reassuring :D

  2. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this pattern! And to think I was actually thinking of making something similar myself (thinking there wasn’t any around, but would seem I wasn’t the only one who thought of it lol). I like them both, but your prototype (the first one) I like the most. Great job!

    • Thank you so much :) I guess the thing which bothered me the most with the prototype was those big arms ! But I read him your comment and he’s very happy you like him :p

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