Friday, 15 April 2011

My design process (such as it is)

Various patterns are in various stages of testing:
  • Pie Crust Shawl -  being tested 
  • Waterhouse fingerless mitts - awaiting revisions and tech editing
  • Tortile beaded hat - awaiting revisions and tech editing
Although the testing period for the mitts and hat ended on April 10th I've been very busy at work and personally with the shock of my Dad having a heart attack midweek so for obvious reasons I've had to put these on hold temporarily. That doesn't stop me thinking ' what next?' whilst on the bus to the hospital or sketching out possible designs whilst sitting with my Mum so I thought I'd try to map out my design process over a few blog posts given that I won't have much time for actual knitting and designing.

1. Inspiration:
I get inspired by lots of things: interesting colours, shapes in nature or architecture, textures and patterns. I'm rarely inspired by existing patterns or by things I see in shops - I don't seem to have the urge to recreate or reverse engineer things. A while ago I started working with the lovely Jo of Dodoknitz who has recently started an online business dyeing yarn. I had a very vague idea for a circular shawl incorporating lace and cables and I knew I wanted it to be green. Not just any green but a vivid late Victorian green - somewhere between 'yallery-greenery' and acid green. So this is what I sent Jo:

As well as the colours you'll see some hints as to the textures I'm going for in the design,  particularly the twisted lattice columns and the fan detail. Given that I'm planning a design with lots of texture I wanted a yarn that would give good stitch definition and would block well for lace. So working with Jo I settled on a heavy laceweight (a new base from Tall Yarns) in a silk/ merino blend. And this is what Jo sent me:

which is just lovely. Now because I am considering a cabled, knitted on border which will just eat yarn I decided I needed two skeins so Jo dyed two more for me (so it would be the same dye lot) and they are even more vibrant:

My pictures don't do them justice, they are wonderfully, virulently green.

So now I have yarn, a general idea and some rough sketches so I need to start plotting out the detail and DOING MATHS which will take quite a while. Updates to follow at a later date

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