The Designing Process – Part Four: Finishing Up and Final Touches

As we near the end of this crocheting how-to series, I hope you are feeling inspired and confident to venture out and discover new crafting abilities.

If you missed the rest of this series, find them at these links:
Today we’re going to talk about finishing your project and adding the final touches.

How Far Is Far Enough

You have the size you want already planned out but now, after long hours of crocheting, you are anxious to have it finished so that you can use and/or display it. Such temptations may occur in crocheting a scarf or blanket. This can be reasonable because after all, the reality of a project will differ slightly from the original idea. As I mentioned in part 3, Beginning and Tweaking, your project will inevitably expand as you work. Without making a science out of it, you just simply will not know exactly how the finished piece will turn out.
However, don’t let impatience keep you from giving it your best. You simply won’t regret the extra time spent in order to achieve the exact thing you want from your design.

Finishing Up

Now you are done crocheting. Whether it was a complicated design which you invested many long hours, or a simple one that worked up in 30 minutes, it’s a good feeling to have your idea now a visible, physical item. But before you can present it to the public as your glorious achievement, there may be a few additions needed.
FourSquare Baby Blanket
-Borders
For example, you’ve made a baby blanket with a variegated yarn in a lovely stitch pattern, but maybe it could us a little more. Add a ruffly border for a girl, or a smooth, straight one for a boy. I have a theory, in fact, when it comes to designing baby blankets that helps to bring balance to the project. If I use an elaborate stitch pattern for the blanket, then I choose a simple border, so as to not override the other. Conversely, and more importantly I feel, if the stitch pattern I have chosen for the main body is ordinary, then I choose something unique for the border. And maybe consider adding extra elements, like crocheted appliques or ribbon lacing. Borders are like picture frames to your design, they better display your work of art.
-Bags
Not every bag needs a liner or special made straps, but sometimes you might want it. In my opinion, a liner is a very important element in a bag of any sort because it ensures nothing falls out. Market bags are the exception, however.
And yet, even when the piece is finished and you’ve completed everything you intended in your original design, you may feel like there is something to be desired. That’s when you need a cherry on top, a component not essential to the design, but flattering, taking the quality to the next level.
I encountered this exact difficulty when working on the Bridgette Bunny Pillow. The panels were joined, the eyes were stitched, the nose was embroidered, but I didn’t feel satisfied. I needed something to make my bunny just a little bit better. The answer was as simple as tying a length of floral ribbon around her neck, and voila, I was pleased as peach, and positive that my pillow was completed.

Amigurumi

When talking about the final touches, it would be unfair to leave out amigurumi. Although personally, they are a little out of my line, I know of many designers who do wonderful work in creating sweet looking amigurumi. For instance, Stephanie Lau and her husband Ryan, of the blog All About Ami, have created many uniquely adorable designs with their own special methods. Her kawaii-stylized amigurumi stand out in the crowd, and do you know why? Because she takes the time to add perfect little features with special stitching, felt and an number of other simple materials and techniques. If you are not familiar with All About Ami, I definitely recommend you give the blog a visit!
Snuggle Bunny Pillows at All About Ami
I especially love her recent Snuggle Bunny Pillows. The expressions on their faces are precious! (Thanks to Stephanie for the permission to use her lovely picture!)
Other designers with an art for creating cute amigurumi are Clara of C Yarn Hut and Jenn at Croochet, to name a few.
What qualifies as a finished product is up to you in the end. What is it you like? Don’t be afraid to let your own character come out in your designs — it’s what makes yours special! 
And experiment! If you don’t yet know what your style is, look around and experiment with many different styles.
It’s good to look at others way of crocheting and learn from them. It is very important to crochet other peoples patterns every once and a while (I give a handful of reasons for this in my post, Why It is Good to Crochet Others Patterns and Rustic Mountains).
I hope you have learned a lot in this series! Come back next week for the final post, Going Professional!

See other posts on the series:

Intro: Crocheting from Scratch
Part One: Developing an Idea
Part Two: Planning and Supplies

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