My Business Architypes are Explorer, Muse and Advocate. This means I love to learn and experiment with techniques and textures, I yearn to inspire others to artistic endeavours and I always look for the WIN WIN option in any scenario.
So it may come as no surprise that I have ideas falling out of my head at all times of both day and night. Not every raw particle of inspiration which hits is a great idea but I do my best to trap them all before I forget.
You never know when an idea will have its moment!
Welcome to Lesson 2 of the Create a Knitting or Crochet Pattern Mini Course! Today, we are going to talk about inspiration. Where do all the ideas for new designs come from? Is there a specific process or special resources?
You might have guessed the answer: no, there is no fixed process.
Every designer seems to have his or her own way of approaching what I call The Muse; their own personal journey to inspiration.
Here are a few of the methods I find inspiration striking me.
Find The Muse: Personal Needs
Ever walked out the house on one of these mornings in early autumn, spotting the first frost and regretting not to have started earlier with knitting this one warm sweater you planned to wear when it gets colder?
That’s the situation I meet the Muse by personal needs: I’m cold and need a sweater fast. Why not start designing one?
At the moment I’m sad to say that yet again I have missed the prep for Christmas knits and that Elf Hat and boot set will sit on the shelf for another year until it can be released.
Find The Muse: By Yarn
Yarn is a great source of inspiration and the starting point for many of my design projects. Yarn base, weight, color and yardage available define most of the project already:
Lightweight lace yarns are suited well for airy lace shawls or cardigans, eventually. An independent dyers inspiration can become your inspiration as they pass forward the fruits of their labours.
Heavier weight yarns call for other items like sweaters, or hap shawls eventually.
Sock yarns can become…. light weight cowls, hats, boot toppers and of course socks.
Find The Muse: Stitch Patterns
I own a lot of stitch dictionaries for both knitting and crochet. I’m even compiling an online knitting and crochet stitch dictionary for members of Yarn Academy, a long term project.
They are all a constant source of inspiration.
Pinterest is also an excellent resource for discovering popular stitch patterns. When discovering stitch patterns as lots of people pin their favorites and dig out treasuries. I use my Pinterest board Stitch Patterns to collect beauties I find along my way (I’m collecting not only knitting stitch patterns but crochet ones, too). My favorites always involve amazing textures; some are even available for free.
For me the free form version of crochet is stunning and something I aspire to.
Find The Muse: Trend Spotting
During fashion weeks, runway shows are another good source for finding inspiration for knitwear design, especially if you want to be a trend setter. Lots of labels have knitted items in their collections – look books are available on the websites of the brands and labels, usually.
Don’t forget the pantone guides which are created for the coming year. These can create a pallet for your designs, particularly relevant around the early months of the new year.
Find The Muse: Taking from Nature
This is where I create my own design inspiration boards, pintrest is perfect for this, from nature herself.
Scales, waterfalls, rocks, the sky, tempests, buildings, fur, the sublime colours found in reptiles and birds can all be amazing sources of inspiration.
Where does your inspiration come from?