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View Full Version : how did you get started designing?


ecuzzacrea
01-27-2006, 05:46 PM
i'm just curious how you start designing patterns?

i'm not nearly up to that type of work yet, but i think it's cool and hope to be able to do it someday.

MrTea
01-27-2006, 05:51 PM
I would assume you start by modifying patterns you are already familiar with.

knitncook
01-27-2006, 07:29 PM
Yep, you look at a pattern that you have done a few times (or in my case more than once - if I even make it that far) and you start tweaking it. Make it bigger, smaller, taller, wider, put a different stitch in it, change the way the sleeve looks. I still can't just say, "Oh I think I am going to knit a ________" and sit down and knit it without consulting some sort of pattern first. Maybe it is that reliance on patterns over the years. Even when making basic socks (which I know for fingering weight on size 2 needles I should cast on 64 stitches to fit my ankles) I will still look at the pattern. Like a hole in the universe might have opened up in the middle of the night and mysteriously caused the gauge to change. :roflhard:

I really think that scarves and socks are two of the easiest things to modify because you start with a basic something and then just modify the parts that can be modified. With socks you just make up a design or pattern for the leg and decide whether or not to continue it on the foot. With scarves you know you are going to make a long rectangle and it is a blank slate.

Julie
01-28-2006, 01:43 AM
I know this sounds kind of obvious, but I think that *wanting* to design is a good start -- some people just don't have any desire to do it, and there's nothing wrong with that...my mom is a master knitter (60+ years, the most complex and wonderful stuff ever) and she has never designed anything to my knowledge. She prefers to work from patterns and rarely even substitutes yarns...it's jut the way she's wired.

Then there are those of us who say "heck, I can make a hat without a pattern, who needs a pattern?" :roflhard: If you find yourself wanting to alter existing patterns, you're partway there already. :thumbsup: I think an understanding of garment construction helps, though it's not imperative -- when you "get" how clothing comes together it's a little easier to envision how a pattern is going to take shape. If that makes any sense.

That said, there are some great books out there that take a lot of the legwork out of writing patterns -- The Handy Book of Sweater Patterns and Style Your Own Kid Knits are two I can think of off the top of my head. Nicky Epstein's Knitting on the Edge and Knitting Over the Edge are two wonderful collections of edgings and cables and lace patterns and fringes that can be added to basic designs to make them your own.

I find myself scrutinizing my kids' clothing all the time, noting how it's all put together and wondering how it would translate to knitwear...if I only had more time (and lots more yarn ;) )...

Good luck! :D

ecuzzacrea
01-28-2006, 02:42 AM
thanks for the insight girls!

i DO have the desire to design right, but am not really too up on all the stitches and how they work together. hopefully soon.

i'm definitely going to read a few books on it though. :D

horve1
01-28-2006, 07:07 AM
The first thing I really designed myself was a backpack for my son. (Full size, water-resistent lining, adjustable straps, carry a ton of books and assorted junk to school every day, etc., kind.) He asked me if I could/would without using any pattern, so I did. It's probably my proudest knitting accomplishment so far.

I guess my answer to the question is: inspiration and desire.

Or: 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration. (Or whatever the old quote is. Anyone know the exact wording?) IT WAS HARD!!!

Lana
01-28-2006, 09:38 AM
...my mom is a master knitter (60+ years, the most complex and wonderful stuff ever) and she has never designed anything to my knowledge. She prefers to work from patterns and rarely even substitutes yarns...it's jut the way she's wired.

Julie, think I need to meet you Mom. :D Does she live in the midwest too?

I knitted from patterns for a few years before I started "improving" on 'em. I also sewed and drafted the patterns for my long legged, slim hubby and daughters. Because I already had a good grasp of what pattern pieces looked like, I could translate that into knitting.

Designing is ART. Turning it into a pattern to knit is ALL ABOUT MATH.
And I do a LOT of this......:frog:

Julie
01-28-2006, 10:58 AM
Lana, so funny that you should say that, because after you left Quietly Wild, I turned to the group and said, "y'all, she reminded me so much of my mother I was kind of freaking out!" :roflhard:

Yes, she's local -- she lives in Wheaton. :D

Lana
01-28-2006, 11:49 AM
.......... I said, "y'all, she reminded me so much of my mother I was kind of freaking out!" :roflhard:

Yes, she's local -- she lives in Wheaton. :D

I hope that's a good thing. :eyebrow:

We use Wheaton Eye Clinic. There's a yarn store not far from there. :roflhard:

punkhippiemom
01-28-2006, 08:59 PM
Then there are those of us who say "heck, I can make a hat without a pattern, who needs a pattern?" :roflhard:

Have you been reading my mind??? rofl
The first thing I designed (knitting) was a pair of slippers... I couldn't find a pattern that looked like what I wanted, so I figured, what the &%^&, I'll just make one up!! :rofling:

The math is the worst part... I don't even mind the :frog: ... it's just part of the process, and is even pretty satisfying in its own way, if you know that what you're making is not what you want...

I agree that knowing basic garment construction is key... and also not being afraid of mistakes. If you're the one making it up, there are no mistakes!!

CateKnits
01-28-2006, 09:03 PM
I make up my own hats, but that's about it. I'm going to have to say that's probably because I understand the "garment construction" of hats, but not yet sweaters or anything. I'll get there someday. :rollseyes:

ecuzzacrea
01-28-2006, 09:18 PM
hmmm - i pretty much stink at math! i might have to rethink this. :??

of course...my boyfriend is a math wizard. hmmm...maybe he'll help me! :thumbsup:

Lana
01-28-2006, 09:47 PM
I think there might be computer programs that do the math for you. I bet Ingrid would know.
Not only is she a fantastic knitter, I think she must have a virtual a card catalog tucked in her brain.:thumbsup:

Sara
01-28-2006, 11:22 PM
I start a class on February 5 at my LYS about thinking out of the box and working from one's own ideas, not just commercial patterns. I should be doing my "homework" right now, I have tons of swatches to make before the class starts. :doh:

nicolethegeek
01-29-2006, 10:24 AM
I started designing mainly because I would have a picture in my mind of exactly what I wanted to make, and I couldn't find a pattern for it. When it comes to crocheting {my main design medium}, I can take just about anything and translate it into a workable pattern. So I guess I started designing out of frustration!

punkhippiemom
01-29-2006, 12:10 PM
And having done both, I can definitely say that designing in crochet is a LOT easier than with knitting... almost no planning involved, just pick up your hooks and go!! :thumbsup:

Jenelle
01-29-2006, 12:16 PM
I started desiging my own intarsia patterns when I needed to get a birthday present for my sister done. I found some knitting graph paper and I just started making the designs.. It was pretty fun and I still find it neat. :)

Good thing I got a three ring binder this morning.. much, much easier to keep my patterns organised :P