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 KnittingFool.com.

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!

Welcome to Archer’s Knits and Crafts! Thank you for stopping by!

The blog is a little bare right now, but my goals for this blog is to document my own adventures in knitting and crafting as I endeavor to learn how to design my own projects, tackle challenging and fun patterns by other designers, and just teach myself in general more exciting and new things. It is my hope that this blog can inspire other people in their own crafting and to try something they may not have thought of before.

Knitgrrl 2 by Shannon Oakey

Knitgrrl 2 by Shannon Oakey

A little bit about me: I’ve been knitting for about two years now. I found a beautiful pattern on a great website, Knitty.com, called the Shipwreck Shawl and decided that I wanted to learn how to make it. So I went out, purchased a knitting book designed for younger girls learning to knit called Knitgrrl 2 (See all Children’s Crafts & Hobbies Books) and some yarn, and taught myself how to knit the Full-of-holes scarf pattern contained within.

I’ve recently developed an adoration for lace knitting. I love the challenge as it is very easy for me to get bored with repetitive patterns. My favorite pattern of late has been the Freya Shawl by Renate Haeckler.

My newest challenge I have set for myself, as I mentioned, is to learn to design my own patterns. As I approach the end of my dissertation for my masters, which means I will once again be thrust into the real world of working and bill payments, I have been looking for something that I could make and sell for some extra cash on the side. From my research, it seems patterns sell better than knitted items, though I’m going to try to do both and perhaps some other crafts that I make along the way.

So please join me in my journey into the world of small business and crafting. Life is an adventure and this looks to be a fun new chapter!

-TheArcher