Making Designing Easier

A fabulous crochet top, a stunning knee-length skirt, a sweet baby sweater, a charming hat, or a cozy afghan—we all have a brilliant idea for a crochet pattern or project we want to design. So pull out the sketches you have been making, and let's look at the design process.

If you don't already have a sketch, the first step is to create a physical drawing of your idea. Make a quick sketch of the front, the back, any design details you are imagining. These sketches can be as detailed as you care to make them, but I have found that the more detail, the better.

The best, and sometimes scariest, step of the design process is the yarn choice. Rifling through your craft-room stash or standing before shelves stuffed with skeins at your local yarn store, there are so many choices. Do you choose chunky, worsted, DK, or sportweight yarn? And how much yarn will you need.

One skein of worsted may contain 103 yards, while another brand contains 150 yards, and a skein of sportweight may boast 456 yarns. Single-skein yardage varies significantly with each yarn, so how do you know how many you will need?

Whether I am in my craft room or my local yarn shop, my phone is always close. And easily accessible on that phone is the Crochet Handy Easy Yarn Calculator. In a few quick steps, I can find a reasonable estimation of the yardage I will need for my project.

This is the same method we use to determine the amount of yarn designers will need for projects, such as the Grove Park Tank (above), created for Interweave Crochet.

First, select your project type. There are nine choices, from baby sweaters and bags to hats, tops, and skirts.

Set your size information—depending on the project type this could be bust, age, size, etc.

Then choose your yarn weight.

Finally choose your crochet stitch. There are four options, from single crochet to treble crochet. Taller stitches use less yarn, so you will notice a significant difference in the amount of yarn needed for a sweater worked in single crochet as opposed to one worked in treble crochet.

Determining the amount of yarn you need for an undesigned project may never be an exact science, but the Crochet Handy app will help you make an educated calculation. Download your copy today and create some of your own original designs this year.

Best wishes,


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