Behind the Scenes
5 Secrets You Didn’t Know About My Bestselling Amigurumi Pattern

5 Secrets You Didn’t Know About My Bestselling Amigurumi Pattern

If you’ve been crocheting for a while, you’ll know that it’s a journey of ups and downs, successes and frustrations. There are some projects that you’ll be proud of until the end of time and some that you’d rather stayed in the closet forever. And sometimes you’ll look back on your first projects and laugh at all the silly mistakes you can spot so easily now. Well, I’m here to tell you that this is all true for designers as well. That’s why I want to share 5 secrets you didn’t know about my bestselling amigurumi pattern.

5 Secrets You Didn’t Know About My Bestselling Amigurumi Pattern

Context

I’ve been crocheting since 2016, but it wasn’t until October 2019 that I randomly decided to enter a craft fair to sell some of my amigurumi. I was probably the least put-together booth at the whole event because honestly I was just there to have fun and see if anyone was even interested. But I had a surprisingly good time and I decided I would sign up for a bunch of craft fairs in 2020.

Well, we all know how that year turned out.

So with all my plans canceled, I started dabbling in writing my own patterns and that’s when Anton the Armadillo was born. I wrote him up and published him in my Etsy shop in May of 2020.

prototype of anton for 5 secrets you didn't know about my bestselling amigurumi pattern
Image of the original prototype of Anton by Chanel of cbfiberworks.

To be clear, Anton wasn’t an instant success. I actually made a whole $0 that entire year. It wasn’t until I began writing more patterns, slowly trying to grow my Instagram following and generally just getting better at being a designer that Anton’s unique cuteness began to shine.

So now that you know a bit about how Anton was born, let’s get into the nitty gritty details and frankly embarrassing truths behind Anton. You’ll see why I am so incredibly happy about updating his pattern.

1. Inside Out

original anton image for blog post
Image by Chanel of cbfiberworks.

Sooooo, yeah, when I first made Anton, I had no idea there was a ‘right’ side and a ‘wrong’ side to amigurumi. I can see it plain as day now, but back then I was still learning the basics and there were surprisingly few video tutorials that explicitly pointed it out.

This experience is actually why I created a short video on the topic over on my YouTube channel. It’s one of those topics that gets glossed over and I’m not sure why because to a new amigurumi maker, it’s definitely not obvious.

Thankfully, this is something easily fixed in the new version of the pattern.

2. Construction Choices

Like I said in the last section, at the time, I was still figuring out the basics of amigurumi and I had no idea you could create a magic ring with less than 6 stitches to start.

See, for Anton’s ears and tail, I wanted the tips to be pointy. However, when I started with a magic ring of 6, they looked too round at the tip. So my solution was to start instead with a chain, connect it into a ring and then decrease down to a point. And while this technically works…it’s also like the most annoying way of going about it.

This isn’t just me being critical of my own work. I have had a few people on Etsy message me and leave reviews stating that they loved the pattern, but the ears and tail were the only difficult part. So I definitely added it to my list of things to fix when it came time to give Anton a refresh.

3. Photo Quality

Now this is definitely me just being hard on myself, but I have to say that my photography skills are WORLDS better in 2024 than they were back in 2020.

Both images were taken with my phone (left: Samsung Galaxy S7 and right: Google Pixel 7 Pro), but now I understand how important lighting and editing are. Not only is the image on the left blurry, but the lighting is awful. With the image on the right, I used natural light and Canva’s amazing editing tools to really clean everything up.

Side note, if you want to learn more about photographing your projects, check out this article on How to Take Better Photos of Your Amigurumi on a Budget.

4. Style Guide

If you don’t design patterns, you might not know what this is, but essentially it’s a template to ensure consistency in a designer’s patterns. This means everything from formatting to the types of abbreviations and writing style a designer uses.

For example, here’s 2 different ways to write the same round instruction:

Rnd 2: [inc, sc] 3 times. (9) vs. R2: *inc, sc* repeat from * 3 times total. (9)

When I wrote Anton’s pattern originally, I didn’t have a style guide and I was basing my writing style partly off of Craft Yarn Council standards and partly off the way I had seen other designers write. So it was a bit of a mish-mash. I did end up fixing this in 2021 when I converted all my older patterns to the new formatting I had adopted.

Now when you buy a cbfiberworks pattern they are all formatted the same with the same style of writing. However, once again I find myself making small tweaks to the language I use to make things even more clear, so that’s another thing that is updating with Anton’s new version.

5. Testing & Tech Editing

This is the one that’s perhaps the most embarrassing to admit, but until this year (2024) Anton had never been tested. I’ve established that as a budding designer I had literally no idea what I was doing, so of course I didn’t realize I was even supposed to get my patterns tested.

And it’s unfortunate because if I had known, testing would have actually solved a lot of these little missteps. But you live and learn, as they say.

So when I decided to revamp Anton’s pattern I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to get him officially tested AND tech edited. And boy did my testers deliver!

  • tester image 1 of Anton for 5 secrets you didn't know about my bestselling amigurumi pattern
  • tester image 2 of Anton for blog post
  • tester image 3 of Anton for 5 secrets you didn't know about my bestselling amigurumi pattern
  • tester image 4 of Anton for blog post
  • tester image 5 of Anton for 5 secrets you didn't know about my bestselling amigurumi pattern
  • tester image 6 of Anton for blog post
  • tester image 7 for blog post

Not only did they give me excellent feedback, but they created absolutely stunning armadillos and it was so much fun to work with them. Plus my tech editor, Candice Klyne, helped double check all the little details so that this new version of Anton would be flawless.

Pattern writing is a team effort and I couldn’t do it without the help of Candice and my fantastic testers!

What Does All This Mean for Anton?

You might be wondering why in the world I’m admitting to making so many mistakes with Anton. And it definitely would be easier to pretend everything went super smooth and I’m just that awesome. But that’s just not reality. I love learning more about crocheting and designing every day and I’m definitely not perfect.

I’m laying all this out for 2 reasons. For one thing, it’s important to know that designers are human and our work grows and improves along with us. So if you’re a budding designer feeling discouraged, just know that you can always go back and change things to suit your new knowledge and style.

Secondly, I have completely refreshed Anton’s pattern and I think it’s important to show all the improvements. Not only does the formatting and language now match my current pattern style, but there are totally new photos, a video tutorial, and sections have been re-worked to flow better. Plus there’s now some fun bonuses too!

what's included in the pattern graphic for 5 secrets you didn't know about my bestselling amigurumi pattern.
Graphic by Chanel of cbfiberworks.

You can get this updated version of Anton the Armadillo in all my shops: Etsy, Ravelry, Ribblr and Ko-Fi!

What if I already have the old version of Anton and want the updated one?

Great question! If you’ve already purchased Anton’s pattern, you do NOT have to buy him again (unless you just want to).

If you got Anton through Ravelry, you should have received an email automatically with the updated pdfs. However, if you purchased him through Etsy or got him via a special event (blog hop, bundle sale, etc…) you need to email me at chanel@cbfiberworks.com with either your Etsy order number (for Etsy) or your email (for special events). I can help you out from there.

Summary

I hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes look at my designing journey and Anton’s evolution! Have you ever made any of these mistakes? I’m curious to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

If you liked this article, share it with your amigurumi-making friends and don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter so you never miss an article, new pattern or special event!

Have a beautiful day and happy stitching!

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