Since Dora Does began, I have found that I receive the same or similar questions over and again. These apply to my patterns specifically and to crochet more generally. In response, I have created this frequently asked questions (FAQ) page as a useful resource for you.
Note that this is a separate resource from my ‘jargon buster’ which is a glossary of crochet terms which may cause confusion.
If you have a burning generic crochet question not answered below, you can ask me anything crochet related here (this does not include pattern support, for which I have a separate email address – discussed below).
I will be regularly answering questions in me weekly email bulletin, the WiP Tip (sign up here) and posting answers below.
Dora Does FAQ’s
What crochet terminology do you use?
By default, I use US standard crochet terms in all of my patterns.
Although I am British and based in the UK, I use US crochet terms because those are what I learned to crochet with. And honestly, they just make a bit more sense to me.
My patterns give the UK equivalents in the abbreviations list, so if you are used to working with UK terms then this can be referred to to ‘translate’ the pattern.
(note that some of my older patterns may only have US terms, I am working on standardising all older patterns with my current format.)
Sometimes, where I have designed patterns for UK publications and gone on to make those designs more widely available, I may offer a UK version in addition to a US one. These are few and far between however.
How can I see all Dora Does patterns?
You can see a portfolio of all of my crochet patterns on my crochet pattern home page.
You can then click on the image or title to visit the specific pattern page. This page will include a description of the pattern and its requirements and specifications (skills used, materials and sizing etc.).
If the pattern is available to read on the site, then the pattern instructions will either be on the pattern page itself or clearly linked to from the pattern page.
Where can I buy dora does patterns?
On each pattern page you will see text links to the respective product listings and buttons (as shown below) which will take you to your preferred platform to purchase the pattern.
Where do I find ‘free’ patterns?
You can filter my pattern list by selecting ‘free patterns’ from the drop down menu under the crochet patterns heading.
This will show you which patterns can be read at zero cost on this site.
Some of my free to read patterns are offered on the site in a single size or variation, with all sizes available in the full paid PDF version.
Can I print free patterns from this site?
Patterns written on this website are not intended to be printed.
I offer the option to purchase an ad-free printable PDF version of most of my patterns. This includes those which are also available free to view on this site.
These PDFs will offer a better, print optimised experience than trying to print web pages.
Note that the content on this website is copyrighted and may not be copied or reproduced without my prior written consent.
How do I know if a pattern is suitable for my experience?
I have chosen not to mark each pattern with a difficulty rating because I find these too subjective.
Instead, I add a ‘skills used’ section in all of my pattern descriptions. This which gives you an overview of what skills you will need to complete the pattern, allowing you to make your own assessment as to whether the pattern is suitable for you.
It may state the pattern requires working in rows or rounds, what stitch types it uses and whether it uses any special techniques such as seamless foundation rows or seaming. That kind of thing.
My patterns are all written for crocheters with a knowledge of basic crochet stitches, terminology and techniques. However, I typically offer a full written explanation of any special stitches or techniques.
Where I have them available, I link to tutorials for techniques used within the pattern.
Just because you may not have tried one of the skills listed, it doesn’t mean you can’t try the pattern. I am all about encouraging you to try new things in crochet and step a little out of your comfort zone! But I aim to give you the necessary info in advance so you can make an informed decision.
If you are unsure whether a pattern is right for you, you can always email me to discuss, seek clarification or elaboration of what’s involved in the pattern.
I also offer pattern support for paid patterns, so you can also email me if you get stuck.
Will you help me if I get stuck on one of your patterns?
On the front page of every PDF pattern I include an email address to contact me for pattern support.
I will do my best to help you through any part of a pattern if you get stuck.
I also do my best to set boundaries between my business and personal life, so tend to reply to support emails during UK working hours. If you email me at a weekend, I will be unlikely to respond before Monday.
I do also offer pattern support on free patterns. You can email me or leave a comment on the pattern page so that others can also benefit from the response.
Please do not message me on social media or Etsy for pattern support. It is a lot harder for me to track these queries and respond to them in a timely manner.
When I receive a pattern support question I may need to revisit the pattern file in order to help. I only have access to these files on my computer, so if I get a message on instagram on a Saturday afternoon, it may have got lost in my DMs by the time I sit down at my computer to address it on Monday.
You will get a swifter and more detailed response by emailing me.
Do you have a video or photo tutorial?
If I have a tutorial to support a pattern, it will be linked to or included in the pattern.
Generally speaking I do not make video tutorials for an entire pattern. Especially more involved ones like garments.
I tend to make tutorials which cover stitch patterns or specific techniques.
If a pattern has a part which some may find challenging, or I have specific tips to share then I may create a specific tutorial.
You can check out my video tutorials on the Dora Does YouTube channel.
I quite often (but not always) include progress pictures to help with construction and act as a visual aid so you can check you are on track. Photo guides are more likely to be included in garment patterns or designs which require construction.
I can only crochet from videos, is there another way I can make this pattern?
I offer patterns predominantly written format. Per the previous question, I do not make full video tutorials for my patterns, though I do make shorter videos to help with potentially challenging areas.
I strongly encourage all crocheters to learn to read crochet patterns as it will open up a whole new world of possibilities.
This post talks about the structure of crochet patterns and how to approach them and this one goes into more detail about how I approach pattern writing. The latter is especially useful if you want to work with patterns written in multiple sizes.
Do I have to use the same yarn as you use in a pattern?
In short, no… however…
- Using a similar yarn, in terms of weight and fibre etc., will increase your chances of creating a project that looks like the sample.
- Using a different fibre (what the yarn is made from) will create a different look and impact how the fabric behaves.
- Using a different yarn weight will create a different look and different size (unless you still match gauge and drape).
If you’re switching yarn, it helps to understand how this will impact your project. I wrote this post to help you understand what factors to consider when choosing yarn.
Creating a gauge / tension swatch is the most practical way to test if your yarn choice is suitable.
It is a subjective decision, but swatching will allow you to assess whether you like the drape and texture of the fabric you’ve created, as well as checking the tension. This will enable you to make an informed choice based on your personal preference.
I explain the concept of gauge / tension here (these words are used interchangeably on this site).
Can I make the pattern in a different yarn weight?
As touched on in the previous question , using a different yarn weight is likely to mean that you will crochet to a different gauge and your finished item will be a different size.
If the project you’re working on isn’t size sensitive then this may not be an issue. For example, making an amigurumi in aran weight instead of double knit will result in a larger finished project, which may be your intention.
However, if you want your project to be a specific size then you will need to understand how to adjust the pattern to accommodate your chosen yarn weight and subsequent change in gauge.
This may include adjusting the stitch multiple you work with. For example if you’re making a blanket in a different yarn weight then you would likely need to increase or decrease your starting row by the pattern multiple to accommodate the stitch pattern.
Ideally you would also make the adjustments by working a gauge swatch and then doing the maths. This is key if you are making something that needs to fit.
Can I make the pattern in a different stitch?
This is one I get asked more often than I would expect.
Someone may see an item that they like the shape or style of it but want to make it in another stitch.
Whilst this may be possible, it will be creating a different design and there are a lot of factors at play. These include gauge, stitch and row multiples, methods of increasing and decreasing and how the stitch pattern behaves in terms of stretch and shaping, all of which can all vary between stitch patterns.
It’s not something I recommend unless you’re up for experimenting or have an understanding of the design process.
Do your patterns have charts, stitch diagrams and schematics?
The answer to this is sometimes. I tend to include these if they add important additional information which the written pattern does not cover or if they provide key visual aids.
For example, I am likely to include colourwork grid charts for patterns involving tapestry crochet or similar techniques.
I am still learning to use the technology to create stitch diagrams electronically. Generally speaking most of my patterns do not include stitch diagrams, though some do (normally if I think it provides essential visual information) – some of these diagrams may be hand drawn and scanned in. It is my goal for this year to create more digital charts and include them in patterns with more complex stitch placements.
Generally I will include a schematic with garment patterns to help with construction and share additional size info, but not always. For some constrictions step by step photos may be more useful than a diagram.
I typically indicate whether a pattern includes a schematic or chart in the pattern description, but please do drop me a line for clarification if this is important to you.
What if I find a mistake in a pattern?
Although I endeavour to ensure my patterns are error free, I am human and occasionally they do slip through the net.
If you think you find a mistake in a pattern, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
I am always open to feedback on patterns, so don’t be shy – I really appreciate being alerted to any potential issues with my patterns so I can correct them if needed.
Does it matter which pattern platform I buy from?
Sometimes I get asked as a designer whether I have a preference as to which site people buy from.
Overall, I would say which ever suits you best as a maker.
However, it may interest you to know that currently the fees are lower on Ravelry (so I take home a marginally larger proportion of the sale) compared the Etsy and Love Crafts. But in the grand scheme of things it’s not a huge difference, so you must use what suits you best!
Love crafts and Ravelry handle pattern updates better than Etsy. (read about pattern updates here).
Are your patterns accessible?
Accessibility is something I am becoming more aware and mindful of. Ensuring the contents of this site are accessible to anyone who wants to access it is important to me.
It’s also a huge learning curve to understand those requirements and the technical requirements needed to meet them. So it’s definitely a work in progress rather than a finished result.
I have always kept my pattern PDFs relatively simple and free from a lot of graphics. They may not be so pretty, but they are as free from distractions as possible and won’t cost you a fortune in printer ink (I try to set them up so you can print just the pattern pages without having to print a lot of images).
My PDFs use 12 point text and 1.5 line spacing (though some of my older patterns may vary). I am learning to use the accessibility checker on the Adobe program which creates the PDFs to ensure the documents are as accessible as possible.
I’m working through the process of updating my back catalogue of patterns and working on accessibility is part of this.
The images on this website have alt text for screen readers where applicable or possible and the chart images have accompanying simplified PDF files to make the data they contain more accessible.
If you have any questions about accessibility or struggle to access any part of this site, please email email@example.com and I will endeavour to address your needs.
You can read my accessibility statement here.
What are your policies?
Information given on this website and in associated crochet patterns and products is for reference only. Any reliance on information given on this page, website and associated reference materials is at your own risk. By using this website, you accept its terms of service and disclaimer.
Why do you have ads on your site?
This website displays advertisements. This means that I earn an income when you spend time on the site reading the articles or patterns because you are viewing adverts. It’s a bit like TV has ads (unless you pay for a streaming service which doesn’t).
Dora does is my full time occupation, so this income is a vital part of my living.
It is also a way to make many patterns and articles available as a zero cost resource, making them more accessible for crafters on lower incomes. If I didn’t have ads I would have to charge for all of my patterns, tutorials and articles.
This is how a huge chunk of the internet is funded, as I’m sure anyone who has ever googled a random question and found the answer on a blog has realised.
I do make my free to view patterns available as ad-free PDFs as an alternative if you prefer not to view the ads. This is one of the reasons I do not encourage attempting to print patterns directly off the site and do not permit screenshots (though I have no actual control over the latter).
I work with MediaVine, which is a very reputable ad network. If you ever have an issue with an ad, please do let me know. Sometimes gremlins get in the machine, but I will work to get such issues fixed.
Are you paid to use or promote certain yarns?
Occasionally I will be ‘gifted’ a yarn from a yarn company and I will always endeavour to make it clear that this was the case. However it really doesn’t happen very often and I buy almost all of my yarn from public retail outlets or websites, like most people.
I do have affiliate links on this site, so if you click on a link to a product (which may be yarn, hooks, notions, books, courses or other products) and go on to make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read my full affiliate disclosure here.
I do not add links to products or services simply because I could earn an income from them. I link to products I think may be of interest to you or that I have used myself.
To date I have never been paid by a brand to write a blog post or yarn review, however, if that arises in the future, the post will be clearly and appropriately marked.
Transparency about this stuff is important to me!
Got another question?
If you have a question not answered here, please do drop it in the comments or use my anonymous ‘ask me anything’ option.