Crochet fabric is exceptionally versatile and can serve so many purposes. From sturdy jewellery to squishy afghans, to gossamer shawls. Not every kind, however, lends itself to a beautiful garment, and a pair of shorts you created out of granny squares, which you loved so much in an afghan, may not be as wearable as you hoped.
You learn this as you go. Sometimes the hard way. From the moment you figure out the difference between a single crochet and a double crochet to the moment you create something you can actually wear in public without feeling embarrassed, you kiss a fair number of crochet frogs and frog a fair amount of crochet which you would rather not remember so vividly. You learn that what looks pretty and cuddly in a skein will not necessarily translate into a pretty and cuddly crocheted object. That the delicate lacy stitch pattern from a stitch dictionary may not look as elegant rendered in acrylic worsted-weight yarn. That yarn labels with suggested hook sizes are shameless liars.
You ultimately learn that creating crochet fabric is all about figuring out the relationship between three variables: the stitch pattern, the yarn and the hook. Once you get all three in perfect alignment, you are in control. So much that you actually begin to enjoy swatching!
When I am in my designing mode, the stitch pattern is almost always my starting point with the other two variables following close-by. I must admit, I am very fussy when it comes to stitch patterns and there are many popular ones out there I am simply not attracted to. Too lacy, too flat, too clichéd, too irregular. Getting this first variable is always my number one priority, which is why I can spend many hours trying to either modify an existing stitch pattern or simply create my own to get a surface I find visually appealing.
In both cases, I played with existing (and fairly common) stitch patterns until I got the visual result that smiled at me. They both have just the right mix of texture, lace and geometric structure which, in my book, is “garment-worthy”.
P.S. The two sketched garments are now finished and I cannot wait to show them here!