This content uses referral links. Read our Disclosure Statement for more info.

The Ultimate Guide on How To Write a Crochet Pattern

I love writing crochet patterns for other people to enjoy.  I have been crocheting for many years now, and have had my "The Crocheting Mom" business for about 5 years.  About a year and a half ago, I really started getting into pattern writing and I absolutely love it.  It's a great passive income, and you can share your designs with people who need a pattern to create something, because we've all been there.  I know there are people out there wondering, though, "How can I start writing a pattern?"  So I have written this post to help you figure out the whole process.  It's really quite simple, and once you've done it a few times, it will come naturally.

In this section I will talk about whether or not your actually ready to write patterns.  These steps should be completed before you even start thinking about writing your own.

1.  Know your stitches - Make sure you know your stitches.  There are many different ones out there, and for the most part, you should know them all.  You should be able to do these stitches without looking up directions, or even simple reminders.  To be truly ready to write a pattern, you need to be a veteran when it comes to knowing stitches like the back of your hand.

2.  Know how to read other patterns - Understanding how to read patterns is important.  If you can't read someones pattern, then you are not ready.  Honestly, there are some bad patterns out there, written by people who were just not ready, but you should have enough knowledge, that your even able to read these.

3.  Understand abbreviations - This one is slightly obvious but it's important to note.  When you write a pattern, it's common practice to use abbreviations.  For example, writing sc, is a lot quicker then having to write single crochet over and over again.

4.  Have read and understood patterns from a variety of other designers - It is important to have read patterns by a variety of designers.  Look at how they set it up, and how they explain things, what there layout is, and the order that they put things in.  You need to do your research to see what you like the best.  You will be more aware of all the different aspects of a pattern if you have seen a good variety of them.  This will help you create your own style of pattern.

Related Article: Over a Dozen Free Crochet Patterns

In this section I will talk about the actual process of writing the pattern from coming up with the idea, to finally hitting publish. 

1.  Start with an idea -This will take time (or maybe it won't!)  Usually I have a whole list of ideas of new items to make, just from browsing what's already out there and finding what's missing.  It will spark my creative juices and I'll think of something that I haven't seen yet.  Use your family and friends and bounce ideas off of them as well.  Is it something that other people would actually be interested in?  This answer is usually yes.  People are interesting in many different things, so most likely, there is an audience for it.

2.  Take notes as you make it - Make sure your writing everything down as you are working up the item.  It can be frustrating because most likely you'll be taking out the same few rows over and over again until you like it.  That is the number one reason why you have to write it down each time though!  You've done so many different variations, you don't want to get it confused with another and write down the wrong one!

If you open your notes on your computer, it will be easy enough to delete and rewrite as you go.  I also like doing it on paper so I can make sure I'm catching everything.

3.  Make the item a few times - On my second go around, I'll make it again and take pictures this time around.  This way I can make sure I like how looks, and I'll have the pictures for adding to the pattern later.

4.  Write up the pattern -  This part will take some time.  At LEAST a few hours per pattern.  Make sure you include all sections (see below), and that there are no spelling mistakes.  Write it out as clear as possible.  You are writing a pattern because someone else doesn't know how to make it on their own.  Don't just assume they'll know to join  and ch 1, or that you need to sew the eyes on in this particular spot.  Pretend you are writing the pattern for someone who has just started crocheting, and explain everything.

5.  Make the item - Make the item, yet again, this time reading your pattern step by step.  Don't skip and go ahead because you know what's next.  Pretend it's the first time you've seen this pattern and follow it to a T.  You will most likely find things you want to fix by doing it this way.

6.  Have a friend try the pattern - Send the pattern to a friend.  It's easier to hear the hardcore criticism from someone you know, so find a friend who crochets and ask them to make the item.  Ask for their feed back, basically seeing if they thought it was easy and clear enough to understand.

7.  Ask for a group of testers to test the pattern - Go on FB, join some crochet groups and ask for testers.  Now that you've had the feedback from friends, you'll need to get feedback from strangers.  These are the people who would be buying your pattern.  They don't know you, and your prose, so it will be an even clearer picture if your pattern is ready to go.  There are lots of people who would be very willing to test patterns in exchange for the free pattern!

8.  Figure out what you want the price to be - Is this going to be a free pattern, or do you want to charge for it?  Most patterns range in the $3-$6 range, but it can be outside that as well.  Check out Craftsy, Ravelry, and Etsy and see what people are charging for similar patterns.

9.  Where are you going to post it - Is it going to just be in your store or do you plan on posting it in multiple places.  I wrote an article about the 3 Best Places to Sell Your Patterns

Related Article: How to Make Money Crocheting

This section will help you make sure you have all the information you need in a finished pattern. 

1.  Abbreviations- As stated above, you need to know your abbreviations.  In this section, you will include all the different types of stitches, and what their abbreviations are, so the buyer can refer back if needed.  Also, if there is a stitch that is a little more difficult, this is also where you would explain it in detail with words, or better yet, pictures!

2.  Materials - You'll need to have a list of materials so the buyer can refer to this before shopping.  They will be able to find everything needed for the pattern in one spot, and can plan accordingly if they need to go to the store before starting.  

3.  Gauge - Crocheters all crochet at different tensions, so this is where you can address that.  Make a 2" x 2" swatch or 3" x 3" or whatever size you want (but make it smaller) and list the hook and stitches used to get to it.  The buyer of the pattern will be able to make that swatch, and adjust their hook accordingly to get that size swatch with those stitches. 

4.  Directions - These need to be very clear, and concise.  Make them step by step, row by row, clearly marking when you are starting a new piece.

5.  Pictures - There need to be pictures throughout the process, not just at the end.  I suggest taking pictures the second time you make the item.  Here are some tips to take really good pictures of your project: Pictures That Say a Thousand Words

6.  Final pictures - Use the link above for this one as well.  You need to have more than one final picture. Make sure you are taking multiple views of it and in different settings.  If possible, you may also want to take pictures of it in use.

7.  Contact information - Make sure to put your contact information somewhere on the pattern.  The customer may forget exactly where they bought, but have a question about a certain spot.  If you want return customers, make sure to respond to these inquiries.

8.  Copyright statement - You worked hard on this pattern and I know you don't want someone else taking credit for it.  On my title page of my patters I have the name in big letters, then a nice big picture, with this statement underneath:

"Feel free to use this pattern for personal use, or to sell the items made.  If you sell the item, do not claim pattern as your own, and link it back to me on your page.  Do not reproduce any parts of this pattern.  Thank You!"

Pattern writing can be a great passive income.  Once you start writing patterns, it becomes really fun.  I have abut 50 (paid) patterns that I've published and I'm proud of each one.  When I first started, I didn't think that I could do it.  I didn't think that I could write a pattern that other people would actually pay for.  One day, someone asked me about it though.  They really liked my animal security blankets that I make, and they asked if I sold the patterns to them.  At the time I had just different notes on my computer with a pattern written down that only I could understand.  I sat down, though, did some research and figured out the flow I wanted my patterns to have.  After a few weeks, I had my first patterns ready for sale.  That was about 2 and a half years ago, and I'm STILL making money off those patters.  

That's the great thing about writing patterns.  Once you publish it, it's out there, and you can continue making money off of it for years and years to come.  I love making products for people, and I love selling my crocheted items at craft fairs too.  Those profits, though, come with a lot more work.  You have to take time for each and every item you make to get those profits.  Patterns only have to be made once, and you can sell the same pattern over and over again. 

I highly suggest you follow each of these steps to make a great pattern. If you skip a step, or forget to include something, you will get a bad reputation.  People can review you where you sell your patterns.  If you continually have mistakes, other people will see those bad reviews, and decided on another pattern that is very similar.  

 Let me know if you have any more ideas for pattern writing.  I'd love to hear them in the comments below! 


  1. Thanks for this! I have been toying with the idea of writing a pattern and I'm going to try now. Have to start somewhere, right?

    1. Absolutely! I like doing free ones first to get my feet wet, and then start selling them. If you have any questions on it, feel free to ask me!

  2. What a helpful guide! I think the most important takeaway (for me personally) is to continually take notes while in the production phase of the process. Great tips!

    1. It's definitely an important one. I don't know how many times I said, "oh, I'll remember that little part" and then I don't. LOL It just saves extra work for yourself by writing everything down.


Post a Comment