Thursday, March 28, 2013

Designing your own crochet patterns (Part 2)

Last time, I wrote about paying attention to patterns and the way many patterns are put together. Today's post is all about inspiration.

Inspiration can come from just about anywhere. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. When someone (or myself) says, "I wonder if I can crochet [x]?" I see that as a challenge to do just that. (Maybe it's too much How I Met Your Mother watching, but that's how I see it.) I might be tempted to see if someone else has made whatever x is already. If not, I get the pleasure of playing scientist to see if I can do it. If they have, I might skim through their pattern and wonder "How would I do that?" or "That seems like a weird way to do this part (or the whole thing). I wonder why they didn't do it this way?" etc.

2. Sometimes I like going to manufacturers websites to look for inspiration. I may look at jewelry, for example, and think "How would you crochet that?" or "How would I get the same effect if it was crocheted?"

3. People in your life. Many people in my life (sorry if you're reading this, but you know it's true!) are a little quirky. I tend to use those quirks to inspire my crochet. For example, one of my friends is a big Star Trek fan. Knowing that, I knew I wanted to make her something related to Star Trek. Thus my Star Trek pillow collection idea was born. (See the patterns link on the top of my blog if you'd like to see them.)

4. Books. This may sound lame, but lately I've been really into books that have "stitch patterns" in them. I like to see how the different combination of stitches work to create different effects. Looking through them, I always find at least a few (okay, typically more than a few) that I really like. I instantly go into "what can I make with that" mode. Something really lacy, for example, wouldn't make a very sturdy purse/bag without a good lining.

5. Yarn colors. Ever look at a yarn and think, that's the perfect color for Kermit the frog or something else? That actually happened to me the other day. I was teaching a student and we were working on the crocodile stitch. She was using her red yarn, and I thought "If I ever make a hand puppet, that color with the crocodile stitch would make a great tongue!"

6. Movies. Yup! If you look closely enough, you'll almost always notice something in movies or television shows that is knitted or crocheted. Ever notice the blanket that's draped over the back of Amy's couch on Big Bang Theory? It looks like it's made entirely of granny squares. You can catch a glimpse of it here.

I'm always surprised where my inspiration comes from. To keep track of my ideas, I try to write them down on whatever paper I have handy. (I know, a better method would be to keep a little notebook with me at all times. I always manage to forget the idea before I dig out the notebook from my purse.) Sometimes it's a note card that I have on my desk, or another pattern that I'm currently working on. Either way, sometimes these notes get "lost" for a bit, but I always manage to find them later. I guess this method makes me feel like my ideas don't overflow and overwhelm me. I can work on or think of one as I stumble across it later.

The next post in this series will be about my thinking during the designing process. (This will likely be next week, as my next blog post will be about and for the National Crochet Month's blog tour organized by the amazing people at Crochetville.)

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