5 TIPS FOR NAMING PATTERNS

One of the hardest parts in the design process for many designers is coming up with a pattern name. I reached out to my friend and fellow designer, Karie Westermann, to ask her for her tips.

  1. Make It Memorable. You want your pattern to stand out, so you need a name to match! This means staying away from generic names like "Pretty Lace Hat" or "Sweet Rose". You want the name to stick in people's heads so they can talk and write about it to their friends. Going too far in the other direction can be dangerous too - would you be able to remember or pronounce "Mezhdurechensk" or "Helligdomskipperne"? Would other people? Avoid words with strange letters like" Móðir" or "Nørresundby".

  2. Tell A Story With The Name. Think about what made you design the piece in the first place. Did the yarn colour remind you of a beautiful sunrise? Or maybe you came across a stitch pattern that made you think of a garden trellis? Maybe you designed the pattern with someone in mind? Try to look at your design and figure out what story you are telling people. 

  3. Search Ravelry. So, you designed the hat for your baby girl who's called "Daisy"? A search on Ravelry reveals SEVENTEEN PAGES of patterns called "Daisy" something-or-other. This makes finding your "Daisy" pattern really difficult. Your baby girl's middle name is "Georgia"? That name pulls up just three pages on Ravelry. You want to make it easy for people to find your pattern, so spend time making sure people don't have to go through page after page to find it!

  4. Wikipedia & Google Are Your Friends. Look up a pattern name to make sure it is not inadvertently offensive to a whole country or demographic. Maybe that cool, unique word means something really rude in Turkish, or that flower name is used as slang for something naughty in Italian. Or maybe that hip, ironic song title refers to an atrocity in Argentina. You don't want to land yourself in the middle of a big controversy, so read up on what your pattern name may mean outside your own culture. After all, the knitting world is global!

  5. Think Outside The Box (Wikipedia & Google Are Your Friends, Pt 2). So, you are still stuck on "Daisy". Go to Wikipedia and look at the Latin names for the flower. Turns out the seaside daisy is called Erigeron glaucus .. and "Erigeron" happens to have no matches on Ravelry! "Daisy" in Japanese? "Hinagiku" - which has one match on Ravelry. I like to click around on Wikipedia - their different categories or lists often contains a huge amount of names. I also like Google Maps where I will 'spin the globe' and zoom in until I find a cool sounding name. 

Karie Westermann is a fantastic designer whose patterns always have great names, even if I can never remember how to pronounce them. You can see her designs here.


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