So You Want to Design Knits?

Posted: June 13, 2011 in Design, Knitting
Tags: , , ,

Fun! So do I. But I haven’t found a specific website or blog that really covers the design process very well. As such, that was one of my goals with this blog: to track my own design process in hopes that other aspiring designers might find some inspiration. I should state, there are of course lots of books on the subject. I’ve been eyeing Shannon Okey’s The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design myself; its available in hardcopy, PDF, and eReader formats. But as I’m attempting to get started with this craft business venture on a shoe string budget, I’m flying by the seat of my pants for now!

First things first: the basics. If you’re like me, you’ve been knitting for at least a little while now and understand some basic things about knitting, such as the basic stitches, casting on and binding off, and of course, gauging. Hopefully you’ve picked up some basic ideas on how certain garments are constructed.

The easiest way I have found to learn about construction is to simply read through other people’s Ravelry.compatterns. I highly recommend joining Ravelry; this is a community for knitters and crocheters with wonderful tools to organize your yarn stash, your library, as well as a huge pool of premade patterns ready to be cast on! Many you need to purchase, but there are loads of patterns available for free. Knitty is a great webzine that publishes beautiful, free patterns quarterly for all proficiencies of knitters. Looking through these patterns can also give you ideas for your own designs (but please don’t just rip off other people’s patterns!). Another article I have found with some great references on shawl construction is here: Designing Lace Shawls.

I wish my pen was that nice...

Next, I definitely recommend getting your hands on a sketch pad, pencil, and good eraser. Also a measuring tape! If you get an idea for a design, it really helps to draw it out so that you can start to see what kinds of construction details you’re going to need to plan. If you plan on designing any type of close fit clothing, you’ll need to have measurements to make it fit correctly: that’s what the tape measure is for. Having those measurements also helps you get an idea of how many stitches you’ll need to accomplish your effects. Check out this page for more on that concept: eHow: How to Design Knit Patterns.

Something else that will be of immense aid will be a stitch encyclopedia. These are exactly what they sound like: a complication of different types of knitting stitches to achieve different effects. Once again, there are loads of books that you can buy. But for the shoe string budget, the internet always provides! I have been using Knitting on the Net and

Finally, last but most certainly not least, you’ll need some inspiration. Inspiration can come from anywhere! You could be inspired by a certain yarn, another pattern, a certain stitch. You could be inspired by your environment, a poem, a song. Really, the possibilities are endless!

So from here on out, I’ll be tracking each of my own design ideas (what inspired me, how I started designing it, resources I used, etc.) to give other aspiring designers insight into the process. Hopefully, I’ll also be successful with my designs! So stay tuned and follow me down the rabbit hole!

Do you have any recommendations for pages that can help the aspiring designer? Leave a link in the comments!

  1. […] might remember from my introductory post on knit designing that I made reference to a book by well established designer Shannon Oakey called The Knitgrrl […]

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