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My Design Process

How do I start a design:

First I decide what type of item I would like to crochet. There are so many ideas in my head, this doesn't usually take too long. For an example I will use the Hexagon Sampler Blanket that I'm working on right now. (It will always be free on this website.) I have so many scraps and 1 skeins of colors that need to get used for something. Rectangle blankets can be boring lol, so I thought this time I would do a Hexagon.

I found the stitch diagram for the center on Pinterest (another amazing place to find crochet stitches). If you can't read diagrams I would strongly suggest that you learn. It opens up a whole new world to crochet! There are a lot of videos on youtube & blog posts on how to read diagrams.

So - that part was easy. Now the fun begins. A blanket that is only double crochet is boring..... I have a very short attention span so need to change stitches/stitch patterns often lol. Because the blanket will be growing with each round, I needed to find out how many stitches there are per "side" so I knew the multiple I had to work with. The sides will always be an even number with this blanket.

Spreadsheets are a great way to keep track of how the blanket grows and what multiples you have to work with. You can plan ahead a bit.

This might only make sense to me.... but it works lol (the column on the left is the row count). I also use a spreadsheet when I design a triangle shawl to make sure I have the row count & stitch count correct as the shawl grows.

It was easier to start with a stitch pattern that uses 2 stitches to create the texture so I started with one of my favorite stitches - the XBDC (crossed back double crochet). Love the texture you get with this stitch! Plus it's easy to write out the rows lol

When I finished round 14 I realized that the blanket was pulling inward a bit, so changed the corner stitches for the next couple of rounds to flatten it out. Can't do it for the whole blanket because then it would be wavy. So many variables and decisions to make! Very seldom does anything work the first time.

After a few more double crochet rounds to break up the textured rounds it was back to the stitch books and pinterest to see if I could find a stitch pattern that would work with a multiple of 4. It's hard! Working with 2's & 3's is the easiest and there are a lot of options. Trying to make a multiple of more gets more difficult, especially when working in the round.

It took at least 45 minutes for me to find stitch patterns that were a multiple of 3, 4, 5 or 6 that I might want to use for future rounds. Since it's so hard to work with 4's, I will probably try to make the corners double crochet rounds with (2dc, ch 2 2dc) so that I can always work in other multiple stitches for most of the blanket. There are fun stitch patterns that will create a pretty blanket when working with 3's or 6's.

A poll was posted in my FB Group on how large I should make the blanket. The responses where anything from lap size to very big lol. I will keep going until I'm happy with the size.

After the adding more dc rows to what I had above, I ended up with a multiple of 7.... oh dear..... well it's 6 + 1, maybe that will work.

The blanket ended up being 63" from point to point across and a bit more wavy than I would have liked. It's cozy and warm though :) Might have to keep this one.

It was nice to use up some yarn. Still have a lot of the Bernat Premium left..... what do I make next?

Next week: My Favorite Crochet Tools!

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