Sweet Bird Crochet

10 Tools Every Crochet Designer Needs - Sweet Bird Crochet

In today’s article, I’m going to share with you 10 tools every crochet designer needs. These programs can really be a game changer when it comes to creating incredible crochet designs and patterns. I have used every one of these programs and I have to admit, I do have a personal favorite. However, each one has a purpose and you may find your own favorite program after trying these out! 

As a crochet tech editor and designer, these tools have been a great investment in my business and designing process. I am not an affiliate of any of these tools so anything I share in this article is my own honest opinion! Let me know in the comments which tools you’re familiar with and which one you’re looking forward to trying out!

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Tools for crochet designers



Microsoft Word:

I know, I know. You’re going to say that most new designers use Canva to create stunning crochet patterns and you want your patterns to look just as stunning! I have nothing wrong with patterns looking stunning as long as they are well written and tech edited! While it is true that many crochet designers use Canva to design patterns, most of those designers first write their pattern in a Word document.

Most laptops these days come pre-built with this handy software tool and it’s quite inexpensive to purchase the bundle. You can buy the complete Office 365 and get Word, Excel, Publisher, and One Note. All of which I use for my crochet business.

There are so many different benefits to using Microsoft Word when designing and writing your crochet patterns. First off, you can save your documents to your computer to use on or offline. If you’re in the middle of writing a pattern and the internet goes down, you can safely save your pattern and not lose one jot or tittle! Whew! I’ve been there and done that!

Microsoft Word

Another benefit of using Microsoft Word is that the day you begin to type your pattern, that document is time stamped. If ever there is a dispute about your pattern, you can clearly show WHEN you wrote the pattern. The timestamp does not change every time you open the document. If you right click on your saved file, then click ‘properties’, it will show you when the document was first created, when it was last modified, and when it was last accessed. With so many copycats out there, this is an invaluable tool to use!

The last benefit I’ll mention is that Microsoft Word is 40 years old. This tool has been around forever, and it will remain to be around for even longer. It is tried and true and it only gets better with age!



Canva:

Canva is a great tool to use when it comes to design. That’s what it was created for. This cloud-based graphic designing tool was created in 2014 and Canva’s mission is for anyone in the world to design and publish anything. I think they’ve accomplished their mission! This program is very easy to use and it’s free! There is a paid version called Canva Pro and it’s worth the money to invest in. You can use this design tool to make pretty patterns (I have to say though, a pretty pattern isn’t worth its weight in gold if it’s not an edited pattern.) You can also create great graphics for your blog, social media posts, Pinterest pins and just about anything!

Canva

The one thing worth mentioning about Canva is that this is a cloud-based graphic designing tool. Key word….cloud-based, meaning everything editable is saved in a virtual file. You cannot save your documents to the computer to edit them later. Yes, you can save your designs on the computer, but you can’t edit them. You will have to go back into the app to edit anything you design. If, for any reason, the internet goes down, the app crashes, or Canva decides to close its virtual doors, you’ve just lost everything. Please, for the love of makers everywhere, use Microsoft to write your patterns.

I use Canva for various graphics for my blog and socials. I love it and it’s a great tool. However, I don’t use Canva to design my patterns at all. I write and design my patterns in Microsoft Word. The nitty gritty is this: No one cares about a pretty pattern. They appreciate a well-written, edited pattern. Just saying!



Adobe Illustrator:

If you love math, then Adobe Illustrator is for you! This is another tried and true designing program that’s been around since 1985! You can use Adobe Illustrator to create vector graphics. Vector graphics are computer images created using mathematical instructions to create lines and shapes. These vector graphics can be scaled to fit on a business card or billboard without looking gritty or distorted.

Many designers will use Adobe Illustrator to create graphs, charts, and illustrations of their crochet designs. This is very helpful to offer in your pattern for the more visual makers. Illustrator is not free and offers several plan options. I personally have tried Illustrator and it’s a super cool tool to use. However, I needed a more cost-effective program, especially because I needed to learn more about vector designing before making the commitment to cost.



InkScape:

Inkscape is another vector graphic editor and it’s free! What I love about Inkscape, besides the cost, is that you can download it and literally start learning how to use it right away! The website is loaded with tutorials and a community forum so if you ever need some help, you can reach out to others. Best of all, they have a MANUAL! Yes, this is a book I have sitting on my desk. I’ve been reading this hefty manual and using the desktop program to practice.  My goal is to create stitch illustrations for all my crochet designs!

Inkscape

I learned about this program from a designer friend who uses it to create graphs and illustrations for her own patterns. I’m definitely not an expert at using this tool, but it comes highly recommended from designers. What I’m learning so far, I really love it!



Google Workspace:

This tool has everything you need in one place! If you have a Gmail account, then you already have access to the other workspaces like Forms, Sheets, Docs, Calendar, Meet, Chat, Drive, and more! There is so much you can do with these workspaces.

Google Doc/Sheets

For example, you can create a Google Form to have testers fill out when you need testers for your new pattern. You can use Google Sheets, like you would with MS Excel, to create spreadsheets to keep track of a number of things like pattern releases or use it to grade your pattern to multiple sizes! Google Workspace is a tool I use just about every day for a lot of my business needs!



Stitchwork Software:

This is a fun tool to have and it’s completely free! You can download the program right to your computer and start creating charts and diagrams for your pattern. I have searched for in-depth video tutorials that teaches everything needed to use this software, but I haven’t found anything. However, it’s really easy to learn! I mean really easy!! You can create a stitch diagram is rows or rounds. You can change the height of your stitches, you can slant them, move them around, and so much more!

Stitchworks

 

This program has just about every crochet stitch symbol you could imagine! I would recommend getting familiar with crochet stitch symbols before using any software program to create stitch diagrams for your patterns.



Stitch Fiddle:

If you want to design tapestry crochet patterns, this is an amazing tool to use! You can literally take upload a photo from your camera or drawing you created, and this online software will create a graph for you! It will fill in all those tiny squares with the colors from the photo and you can then edit it to your liking. You can also start from a blank graph and create a design one square at a time! There is a free version that comes with limited access to certain tools within the software, but the full paid version is only $5.00 a month or $30.00 a year. With this online software you can also create graphs and stitch diagrams but it’s not as great as Illustrator or Inkscape.

Stitch Fiddle

Stitch fiddle is not just for crochet designs. Knitters and Stitchers can use this tool as well! When you begin a new chart, it will give you an option to choose the craft you’re wanting to create for. They give you 7 different options, including Tunisian crochet. Once you chose your craft, it will give you an option of yarn you want to use, and you can use ‘no preference’ if you haven’t decided yet. Once you pick your yarn, then you choose if you’re creating your graph from a picture or not. Then you’ll pick your gauge. I told you (IN MY PREVIOUS POST) that gauge was important! Click the gauge calculator to fill in the necessary information. Next, you’ll choose how big you want your grid. Then, click Create Chart and you’ll be on your way to create a neat design!


Crochet Studio:

Crochet Studio is an app that launched in 2022 by a mother and son team. This is such a neat app that keeps growing and developing. I was honored to be a part of the beta users when this app was in development. Did I tell you how awesome this app is? So let me tell you a little bit about this wonderful tool.

Crochet Studip

It has a palette creator. You can choose from different yarn images of various brands and arrange them into palettes to see how they all look together. If you have no idea what colors to use but have an image of your inspiration, upload the photo and let the app do the color and yarn choosing for you! I love this feature!! You can use the pattern generator to design a blanket or (and this is a new feature) create a granny square! I was playing with this feature this week and it’s really neat! You can create one granny square with various colors or an entire blanket of squares!!

You’ll find all these features in the toolbox along with a staring chain calculator, row counter, and stripe generator. It was about time someone created an app just for crochet! This app is free with ads, but you can purchase the ad-free version and I believe it’s worth it!


Trello:

Trello is a project management tool that helps you organize any and every project you could think of. I use Trello for every day “to dos” for my home and bigger projects like my tech editing schedule or pattern designs. There are so many features to this app that I don’t have enough space to write about them all! I’ll cover some of the basics.

Trello

Trello operates with boards. These boards are places where you can create and organize all kinds of projects. Whether it’s a daily household routine, pattern design flow…you name it, you can make a board for it! Once your board is created you can create lists. These lists are like a roadmap to get from one point to the next. You can create as many lists in one board as you need. Within the lists you can create cards which are like sticky notes of things you need to do to accomplish the list. You can move these cards all over the board as needed.

What I love about this app is that when you create a board, it can be as simple or complex as you’d like!


Last but not least

Pen and Paper:

There is nothing like taking a sheet of paper and your favorite writing utensils to draw and write and create. Writing sparks creativity in way that a computer can’t. Did you know that there’s a scientific link between the fluid arm movement and its ability to enhance creativity? For most of us, typing is so second nature that we can do it with great speed. However, writing by hand makes us slow down, think, and process which allows the brain to become more creative. I wrote about designing and creativity while designing in this ARTICLE.

Pen and Paper

Have you used any of these programs? Which tool are you most excited to learn more about?

 

 

[This blog post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, AT NO COST TO YOU. Please read my DISCLOSURE for more information]

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