I really love designing crocheted items. If I didn't design most of my own projects, I might have gotten bored by now! I'm so glad there are free patterns online. They were so useful to me when I started out, and I sometimes still use someone else's pattern. But in general, I find the creative process so much more gratifying when I'm designing my own pieces.
I thought I'd share my two most recent hats with you, and explain how the design process worked.
The Engineer's niece just had her first baby, a little girl. I wanted to make a hat for her. I had an idea of the types of stitches I wanted to put together so the hat would have a particular "look" and texture. But as I sat down and began working, what was in my head just wasn't working. I pulled out many rounds of stitches and adjusted what I was doing...and pulled them out again, and adjusted more.... I'm not sure how many stitches I ended up pulling out, but this was one hat that required a lot of "re-doing" before I was happy with it!
It did turn out cute...
...but it also turned out big! I didn't want the baby to have to wait years before she wore it, so I gave it to Chickie. I must say, I think she looks adorable in it.
Once it was done, I decided I really liked how the main stitch pattern looked. It's easier to see details in person, but in addition to the "shell" stitches, there are cute little "bumps" around the hat, under each shell row. But I wasn't crazy about the crown of the hat--solid stitches without the open look of the hat body. I thought it would be nice for the baby's hat to have more of a "spring" feel.
So when I sat down to work on the baby hat, I chose yarns that were much lighter-weight than the yarn I originally chose. I also used a net-like stitch pattern for the crown of the hat so it would be nice and open like the rest of the hat. I made other adjustments...pulled out a bunch when I didn't like the result...and finally came up with something I really liked.
Knowing how unlikely my babies were to keep hats on (once they figured out how to take them off), I added an adjustable chin strap and a cute button.
It took a lot of work (and a lot of re-working!) but I love the final product--a cute little bonnet to dress up a baby in the spring! I think it will be a little big for a newborn, but hopefully it will fit The Engineer's great-niece perfectly next year.
There's no magic to crochet design...just lots of trial and error! And it's so fun to see how it all comes together in the end.