Where do you get your inspiration?
As a designer, this is another question I get asked a lot.
Lots of designers will tell you they get inspired by the world around them. They see something in their everyday world and they want to turn it into a stitch pattern. Or maybe they see someone on the street wearing a cool store-bought sweater and think, "I could design that."
While of course the things around me inspire me from time to time, I tend to work a little differently.
Usually I let the stitches inspire me.
I'll start with a basic idea with what I want to design (like a shawl of a certain shape or size). Then I'll hit up my stitch dictionaries and see what strikes me. I have a lot of stitch dictionaries.
From there I'll chart out a few ideas. Maybe I'll swatch. Sometimes I'll change the stitch pattern or combine my favorite features of a couple of stitch patterns to make something a little more unique.
A lot of my inspiration also comes from what I'm currently into knitting. I'm really on a cables and lace kick right now, and that's how Milton was born. I wanted pretty cables and lace on a sideways-knit asymmetrical shawl, so I made it. :)
You'll be seeing lots more cables and lace in coming months!
My system for coming up for designs works great when I'm working on self-published or book designs, but when I'm submitting to magazines and yarn companies, there's often a mood board to work with. I find this a fun challenge and it's one of the reasons I love submitting to magazines and the like!
When working off a mood board, I'll often be hung up on one or two photos on it. Almost always the photos that inspire me are photos of something geometric - something that I could imagine being lace on a shawl.
Whether it's the world around them, the things they see online or the stitch patterns themselves, every designer finds inspiration in a slightly different way. That's one of the many things I love about the job - we can all go about things in our own way.