So you want to be a crochet designer? 2

Do you want to become a crochet designer?  Do you have questions?  I thought it was time for another round of FAQs about how you can become a crochet designer and some of the tools that work for a lot of us!


What’s a FAQ?  FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions.

Q.  Do I need to study design to be a designer?  


A.  No and Yes.  No, you do not need formal training of any kind to be a crochet designer. However, you will do far better as a designer and write better patterns if you understand garment construction, how to write patterns and clear instructions, being able to create schematics will help you (those are drawing of the finished measurements of an item).   You can find books, software and classes on design to help improve your skills. Like any professional endeavor continuing education is a good thing.

Q.  Do I have to use the CYCA design standards for writing patterns?

A. Yes and no. If you are going to design for a publication that uses CYCA standards then yes, you will have to use them. If you are self publishing your patterns then NO you do not have to use them.

Q. What’s the CYCA?

A.  Craft Yarn Council of America.  They have a very useful website with standard sizes and tips and hints for writing patterns. Not all of their crochet pattern writing instructions are designer friendly, if you are self publishing your patterns you may choose to not use the guidelines.

Q. If I self publish am I a real professional?

A.  A professional is someone who makes a living or income from an activity they practice. They have specialized knowledge and skills that allow them to produce goods or provide services. Therefore if you sell your patterns then you are a professional designer.

The “industry” will look at independent designers somewhat dismissively on occasion, that being said there are very few designers indy or on contract that have full time day jobs with a company. Most designers, including the names you most recognize, design on a contract basis with various periodicals and publishing houses. Many also have patterns in their own independent e-commerce sites or stores.

As with all professions it’s important to network with your peers and constantly work to perfect and hone your skills.  That’s why I started the CLF Membership Service, an affordable place to gain skills, network with other professionals and learn how to run your crochet based business.

Q.  Do I have to be a member of the CLF or other organization to be a designer.

A. No, you can go solo and just sell your patterns. The advantage of joining a membership service or guild is to meet others who are in the same profession and to network, meet editors, publishers, or learn business skills, as well as gain certifications and continuing education.


Q.   If I make one of a kind crocheted goods aren’t I a designer? Do I have to write patterns?

A.  If you create unique one of a kind items then yes, you are a designer.  There really needs to be a separation between the idea of a designer and a pattern writer.  Designing and pattern writing are sympathetic skills  that go together, but they are not the same skills.


Q.  I keep hearing that “crochet is a business”, if I just sell my crocheted goods or patterns on Etsy, do I have a business?
A. Yes, you do. Who knew? You’re selling things and having fun doing it? Whoa! Business doesn’t have to be icky, hard or cut throat, business can be fun.  In fact, you may even find yourself moving off of Etsy or Artfire or other such places and selling your work off of your own website!


So many people want to be designers or pattern writers, the above are the most common questions I get asked. Do you have a question about becoming a designer? Ask in the comments below!



About Laurie A. Wheeler

Laurie A. Wheeler is a blogger, crochet addict, yarn designer and champion for independant artisans and crafters. She is also known as Fearless Leader of the Crochet Liberation Front.

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2 thoughts on “So you want to be a crochet designer?

  • Clotilde/Craftybegonia

    I know what you mean! I started designing out of sheer need! I wanted to give toys for charity and wanted to crochet them. You grow tons when your heart is in it! I would encourage anyone who loves the hook and is itching to try it, to explore designing their own patterns. Your stuff will not turn out as you expect it, mine never do, it is always an adventure and a lesson, a journey of love and discovery, and I really enjoy every minute of it!