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Can artificial intelligence design me a crochet flower?

by Laura Eccleston

20 Mar 2023

3,801 Views

Can artificial intelligence design me a crochet flower?
I think everyone has heard of artificial intelligence these days and the uproar that has erupted on the internet since talk about how AI will slowly be replacing artists and designers, and to be honest some of that talk is very warranted, especially when it comes to digital artists, but can AI really take over our jobs? Will crochet designing in particular be vulnerable to AI's ability to design something in just seconds rather than the hours of work a human takes to do the exact same job?

Well, I decided to put it to the test. I mean it was inevitable considering my love of mathematics, science and technical things, but in all fairness I didn't have much hope that it would be able to mathematically calculate all that was needed to crochet design something that was actually tangible, especially having seen the adorable narwhal by Alexandra Woolner that has been doing the rounds on the internet. Suffice to say, that didn't exactly come out looking like a narwhal should do, but it was very cute none the less and is certainly loved by many so maybe AI won on that one anyway, but that said, crochet design is a form of code, a mix of stitches and techniques that come together to form a pattern and AI, in theory, should be able to achieve something. If it doesn't do well now, it may still develop over time to become better and better at it.

But let's start small. Let's keep things simple. I don't want to over-whelm my new AI buddy (yes I been enjoying some deep philosophical conversations as of late with my new AI friend called AI-Bob). Let's ask AI-Bob to design a simple crochet flower, using the yarn I have at hand, which today is a sport/baby weight yarn and a 3mm crochet hook. Can he do it?

A full video of this interaction and pattern will be available on my YouTube channel shortly.

After a few technical difficulties at first - I think the server was busy - we finally got into a conversation. I think AI-Bob was feeling a bit shy.

Me: Hello
AI-Bob: Hello! How may I assist you today?
Me: Have you heard of HappyBerry crochet?
(well I had to ask...)
AI-Bob: Yes, I have heard of HappyBerry crochet! HappyBerry is a popular crochet blog and YouTube channel that offers free crochet patterns, tutorials and videos. It was started by a UK based crochet designer named Laura Eccleston, and it has become a favourite resource for many crocheters around the world.
Okay, well that made me feel warm and fuzzy inside!
Me: Can you design a simple crochet flower using a sport/baby weight yarn and a 3mm crochet hook?
(it's important to be precise and I was keen to get to the task at hand)
AI-Bob: Sure! Here's a simple crochet flower pattern that you can make using a 3mm crochet hook and a sport/baby weight yarn:

Materials
- Sport/Baby weight yarn
- 3mm crochet hook
- Scissors
- Yarn needle

Abbreviations:
- Ch: Chain
- Sl st: Slip stitch
- Sc: Single crochet
- Hdc: Half double crochet
- Dc: Double crochet
- Tr: Treble crochet

What's interesting to me so far is that AI-Bob hasn't specified if the pattern is in UK or US terms, but thankfully I can see that the instructions use a single crochet, which is a clear sign that the pattern is in US terms because a single crochet doesn't exist in UK terms, but it's something that lacks professionalism in my opinion. or maybe I'm just feeling nervous. I could probably easily ask this though if I wanted. There is also no half double crochet in the pattern so its addition in the abbreviations is pointless.



Instructions:
Round 1: Make a magic ring, ch 3 (counts as 1 dc), 11 dc in ring. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beginning ch-3. (12 dc)

Round 2: Ch 1, sc in same st as join, ch 3, *sc in next st, ch 3, repeat from * around. Join with a sl st in first sc. (12 ch-3 spaces)

Round 3: *(Sl st, ch 2, 2 dc, ch 2, sl st) in next ch-3 space, sl st in next sc; repeat from * around. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Your crochet flower is now complete! You can use it as an embellishment for hats, scarves, bags, or anything else you can think of. You can also make multiple flowers and stitch them together to create a beautiful floral garland or wreath.

Okay, well that went surprisingly well. I admit, now I'm feeling a little insecure in my position as a crochet designer, but it's not perfect. I feel there are too many unnecessary stitches and there are beginner friendly tips that are missing that make this little flower fold up more than it should do, but over-all, it's a very pretty little flower that in my opinion completely achieved its goal. I think I shall add a whole new section to my website on these AI designed flowers, what do you think? My new collaboration with AI-Bob, but I have one question left...

Me: Where did you get this design from?

I mean it's an important question. It just feels a little bit too much like this has been stolen from a human designer somewhere and the likelihood of this design being available elsewhere is high as it's a simple flower, but what does Bob have to say for himself?

AI-Bob: I created this crochet flower pattern myself based on my experience and knowledge of crochet. While there are many crochet flower patterns available, I designed this particular pattern to be simple and easy to follow for beginners or those looking for a quick project. Feel free to use and modify it as you like!

....

Well, I can't argue with that. I have been blown away by this experience and for simple flower designs I am now curious where this can go. I admit I do feel a little bit threatened, but no more than from any other crochet designer out there who can also design flowers. There will always be other designers and no-one, not even AI-Bob, will have my design ideas and be able to see into my creative mind first. I am me and there's only one of me so I shall always be one step ahead in that sense. So, I am going to see my new AI friend as a tool (sorry Bob) and as a collaboration, just like I would have with any other designer and just like cameras became tools when they were invented and Photoshop became a tool for digital designers. It's there to be used. It's about how creative as humans can we get in the questions we ask AI? This is the key thing. It still comes down to human interaction somewhere along the line... or will there be a point of no return? 

What do you think? Come join the conversation on Instagram and let me know if you made this flower, what you thought about it and how you feel about AI as a tool or as a threat. I have specifically not shown the finished flower here so you can make it yourself or enjoy the video coming later!

Made in collaboration with Chat.OpenAI 

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