Saturday, 8 November 2014

Twists and turns

Everyone has their own method and style when it comes to designing. Some just "wing it" let go and start hooking. Some have a very good concept of stitch count from experience and start with a basic idea and build from that. Some chart it out first. Some, like me, draw a concept picture and then try and match it in stitches.

I thought today I'd share with you a design process that I'm going through at the moment. I'm currently working on two patterns with two variations. The first basic one is done and I'm ready to write it up and get it tested and then I'll publish it here. The variation is proving a bit of a struggle but I had a breakthrough last night so hopefully now it will start to flow a bit more smoothly.

The second one is the one I'm going to blog about today. It all started with catalogues. I look at the world differently to some. I see patterns in everything, I'm not talking crochet patterns, just repetitions of shapes and designs.

I love going through department stores that sell soft furnishings and linen. I LOVE bedspreads lol. I get colour inspiration and design and shape ideas. Even clothing with print designs now inspires me. I see potential in flowers and trees and in potholes and seed pods. Everywhere there are shapes that make my heart sing. Think about it. How many of you have a collection of beautifully photo-shopped pictures of nature? Close-ups of flowers or hummingbirds or peacock feathers or whatever makes your heart sing? The difference between us is not only does it make me think "OOh, I could crochet something like that", I actually go and try and do it. ;)

So, today's pattern that I'm talking about came from a brief glimpse of a skirt in a clothing catalogue (thanks Rockman's Clothing!). There was a mandala like shape on a skirt. It just really appealed to me the way the petals then radiated out. So I got out my sketch pad and started doodling. Now this picture makes more sense to me than it does to you. I know which lines I'm going to try and keep and which ones were a first idea and superseded. When you look at the beginnings of the crochet, you can probably tell too. ;)

So in this current picture, the outer row needs frogging. I wanted more increases because I want to work more design in the spaces either side of the peaks, unfortunately in my enthusiasm, I've added too many, so a frogging I will go, and try again, and again, and again. I know what I want to achieve with this blanket, it's now just a matter of trial and error until I get there.

This design will have two variations. There will be a motif version which will be about the size that it is now. They'll be worked up as large hexagons and I'll design a matching square to go in the middle for a large pieced throw. Then there will be the version where I work this into a much larger blanket/throw which is what I'm doing to start with.

With each of these designs there has been much frogging and swearing and ranting and despairing. For me, that's a part of the process as my personality is so tied up with whatever it is that I am working on. So if my design is a failure, then so am I. I know, it's not rational, but it is what it is.

So, the next time you look at a pattern for sale (these designs will be for sale for minimum prices I need to earn a living so I can stay at home and keep doing this, but I'm not out to rob you blind ;) ), and wonder why doesn't the designer just share it for free like so many other designers - well, there's a lot of blood, sweat and tears that go into these things, and we need to make a living too, so that we are free to focus on our art. ;)

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