5.19.2016

Design Inspiration

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.
Knitting Like Crazy: All the Stitch Dictionaries!
 Knitting Like Crazy: All the Stitch Dictionaries!
 Knitting Like Crazy: All the 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. :)
Knitting Like Crazy: Milton Shawl
 Knitting Like Crazy: Milton Shawl

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.

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