Monday, July 9, 2012

A New Pattern and Some Thoughts on the Design Process

This is Derecho. I had originally named it ‘Fishbone’, but once again I changed it at the last minute. We experienced a Derecho here in Virginia last week while I was working on the 2nd knit of this pattern. I thought the lines were consistent with the definition of this type of storm – a line of sustained, straight-line winds at hurricane speeds.

I’ve had people ask how I come up with new designs, and sometimes I wonder myself, but I do have a theory. I am one of those people who immerse themselves in a new hobby. I call it serial obsession. First it was horses, then gardening, then quilting, and now knitting. For the last 10 years I have read everything I could find about knitting. I have knit All The Things (©Hyperbole and a Half). I have played with techniques and put my own spin on patterns. I have basically filled my brain with So Much Stuff and now I feel like I am reaping the benefits. All the information that I have crammed in my head has been shuffling around, grouping and re-grouping, and every now and then an idea just pops out. Three of my recent shawls – Fabergé, All the Shades of Truth, and Derecho - all seemed to come out of nowhere. Designing Fabergé was a process that took a few days, but the other two pretty much popped into my head fully formed. I just had to draw a picture and do the math. I probably spent 5 or 10 minutes on the sketch for each and worked from that. Very often one design is the starting point for another. Fabergé led to Enamored. City Block inspired All the Shades of Truth which sparked Derecho. Derecho inspired the design I am working on now. I have a long enough list of patterns I want to write to keep me busy for another year or so. Hopefully the ideas will keep coming and keep me going longer, but you never know! You have to make hay while the sun shines :)

Much thanks to my friend Vicki for helping me recover my lost post! Take that Blogger!