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Monday 23 June 2014

My crochet design process

Don't you just love it when a plan comes together? This was my feeling Thursday afternoon when I had an idea *ping*, I made a few sketches scribbles, picked up a hook and the yarn I had in mind and hey presto, it worked! Sometimes this happens, sometimes not. However, for me it happens more often than not and I think it has something to do with my design process. I'm in no way a pro-designer, but I like nothing more than to dream up ideas (and I mean that literally) and play about a bit until they become a finished object that I can look at, hold and marvel over the amazing things that can be done with a stick and some string!

Everyone works differently, and this is how I work.

1) Start with some inspiration 

I find that I always work better if I have some sort of inspiration- I cannot just think up an idea out of thin air. This inspiration can be all manner of different things....a gorgeous yarn, a particular colour palette, a photo, the garden, a person you envisage using or wearing the item. More often than not for me I am inspired by colour and the yarn, although with my current WIP I was inspired by the fit and style and the yarn came later.

2) Think, dream, and think some more

When designing I don't work well under pressure. I can't force an idea to come to me (maybe this is due to lack of experience of designing), and I actually struggle when posed with a brief. My style of designing is much more organic and really, I just wait until an idea chooses to come to me. I don't think about a design all day every day until it comes to fruition, I think about it in fits and starts....when I'm walking to work, when I'm in the shower, in the last few minutes before I drop off to sleep at night. On many occasions an idea comes to me in the night and I'm ready to get started in the morning.

3) Have a play around

I usually have the yarn I would like to use in mind so I have a little play, mess around with different stitch patterns, see how the yarn feels and whether it would actually suit the purpose of the project I have in mind. At this point I may make a little sketch of what I would like the item to look like, or jot down a couple of potential starting points.

4) Does it all add up?

In many projects a little maths is required. This is not always necessary, and for most of my projects the maths is pretty simple. For example, I want this star motif to have five points so how many stitches should I start off with?? To be honest I often work this out my trial and error, combined with the point above when I'm having a play around with the yarn.

5) Have another play around

Try things out, see what looks good (or bares any resemblance to how I imagined it to look in my head), rip back, start again, try things out another way. Sometime this process can take me a whole day, other times 10 minutes depending on the project or whether I hit on the perfect stitch pattern straight away.

My Top tips:

Go with your instinct- if you don't think it will work out start again to save wasting precious time and yarn

Learn from your mistakes- if something looks wrong- why? This process means you will be less likely to make the same mistake in the future but also you may discover something new that could be used in another project

Try not to rely too heavily on Pinterest or Ravelry for inspiration. For one you may end up accidentally copying someone else's design, secondly it can be very overwhelming (so and so is way better than I am etc), and thirdly it can cloud your own imagination.

Take notes as you go along!!!This is probably the most important thing to do when designing, and will make the process far easier. To be honest I don't always practice what I preach-  I'm very guilty of getting carried away and then having to work back to fathom out the pattern due to my lack of legible notes. 

I hope you enjoyed this little insight into how I work!


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