A little while ago I asked yarn crafters one simple question on Ravelry. “What are your pattern pet peeves?” I got an overwhelming response. Thousands of answers from knitters and crocheters who needed to express their frustration about patterns, designers the the knitting process.
What do crafters really want
Crafters want to be able to accurately duplicate your design. The last thing crafters want is to be frustrated by a pattern. They want to know that all the information they need to knit a successful garment is right there in front of them.
They need to be assured that if they follow your instructions they’ll be rewarded with an end product that looks extremely similar to your design. Crafters want a garment they can be proud of wearing and giving as a gift.
I know a lot of this depends on the skill of the crafter, but as a designer, you're in the perfect position to give them every opportunity for knitting and crochet success.
Why does their answer matter
Always remember that the crafter is your customer. She is the person who purchases your pattern. Your business lives or dies according to your talent and their goodwill. It’s in your best interest to be the best designer you can be and to give them what they want.
Your ability to know who your customer is and what they need from you is paramount to the success of your pattern design business.
It takes a lot of time to hunt through all those patterns just to find just the perfect one. And, contrary to popular belief, yarn crafting can be an expensive hobby. It takes money and a considerable time investment to hand knit or crochet a sweater.
When you make your customer happy you’ve gained a loyal fan who’ll tell their crafting friends about YOU and how easy it was to follow your pattern. Treat them the same way you would want to be treated. Design your patterns with crafters in mind.
Pattern Designers Matter Too
You, as a designer are the backbone of the yarn industry. Without you, there would only be a big pile of yarn and a bunch of frustrated crafters shaking pointy sticks at each other.
What you do matters to the person who has been looking forward to their relaxing knitting or crocheting time all day. Write your patterns not for your peers or yourself, write your pattern for your customer. Construct your pattern in a way that ANY knitter at any skill level can come away from the process with a garment that closely resembles the pattern they purchased.
Information Crafters Need
- Yarn weight and fiber content information for easy substitution
- Schematics are important for sizing and fit issues
- Knitting is a worldwide activity; use both standard and metric units of measurement
- Adhere to industry standards and guidelines for:
- Body measurements
- The information you need can be found at the Yarn Craft Council website
What Crafters Don't Want
Your customer doesn’t want any fancy art work, ads or promotions on the pattern. They just want clear, complete instructions with 360° photos of the garment that aren't obstructed by the model’s hair, arm positions or decorative props.
Knitter’s don’t really care how many pages they need to print. If they don’t care, why should you? Just give them the best, most complete information that they’ll need to recreate what you’ve designed. And, be sure to add page numbers.
What you can do
Use quality, highly recommended support staff. That means, tech editors, copywriters, test knitters, photographers, etc. Remember, they work for you. Expect and demand a high level of service for you and your customer. And remember, this is a business and you usually get what you pay for.
So, make sure your designs are fabulous and give your customer enough clear, industry standardized information to create something they would be happy to purchase yarn, notions and spend countless hours knitting. Give your customers the best crafting experience you can give them. Believe me, you’ll be rewarded for the effort.
Feel free to share this article with your designing friends and I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Post your thoughts in the comments.
Sticks & String,