Design Process: from inspiration to idea

As you know the three of us work very differently when it comes to our own designs. Today I want to show you how I start with something new (and as I am the one with the many many WIPs, starting is the easiest thing for me).

I actually don’t think that I am a creative person. I cannot really draw or decorate and my pictures are generally rather OK than inspiring. So why should you be interested in what I have to say on the matter?

Because there are a million ways to get in touch with your creativity and all of them are wonderful but the best one is the one that feels perfect for yourself. Just yourself, nobody else. Mine does feel perfect for me and I want to share it with you so you can see that there are different ways to start with an idea.

For me there are three ways which start the inspiration process:

  1. Visual input
  2. Need
  3. Yarn

When I talk about Visual input I mean everything that starts the wheels in my brain to spin faster. I love looking at pictures. Seeing different things that are handmade are a form of inspiration for me. I don’t want to make exactly the same thing but start getting an idea of what I might like. That is one of the two ways where it starts for me: seeing some rough form of something that I like.

The second one is that there is a need I need to fill. For example: one of my kids wants another hat because theirs is getting too small. Or there is a birthday coming up and I need the right gift. That way I start with what the person wants and adapt to it.

The last one (and it’s the worst) is when I just find yarn that is so beautiful and I NEED to make something out of it without first having a plan Of what I want to do. Mostly when I start like this I am doomed to run out of yarn or make something that doesn’t really go well with it. I try to be better about it but in general I just love yarn so much that I will – in the end – keep buying more that I don‘t need (but really, who am I kidding I will always need yarn…)

for example those beauties…

I can give you two examples of ideas I am currently working on.
The first thing is a poncho. I was working on a project from littleboxofcrochet (which I love and buy for myself). It was a shopping bag and worked just like a giant granny square. I thought that this could be an easy way to work a poncho and the idea got stuck. So I took something I had worked on and made it into something very different even though the main concept has similarities.

Looking at the corner you can see the similarities, the end product though is completely different.

The other thing I am working on (yes there are WIPs I am actually working on) is a hat for Sarah. This one got started by a need. Sarah dyed beautiful yarn for me and I decided to make her a shawl out of it. Just her hat wasn’t matching because it was a very different color. So it started out with the need for another hat. My inspiration was based on the shawl I made where I took the parts of the pattern that were useful for a hat and adapted it to the hat form. More than that I asked Sarah what kind of hat she would like to have. And then I started (and needed to order more yarn).

So for me it all starts with something that I have either seen or someone needs or I have the need to actually use the lovely yarn I bought. Then I take my inspiration and start turning it into an idea that might go on.

As I am a very hand on and just do it kind of person, I sometimes just start with the things in my head and see how I go on from there. Sarah‘s hat is an example like that. I know how to make hats, they are and have always been my go-to thing. I love making them. So starting a new hat isn‘t the problem. On the way I just had to take what I wanted out of the pattern that was useful for me. So I left all the wholes out because that won‘t help Sarah when she wants to wear it during winter… I will go on with this until the right shape is done and it will be wearable.

Other times I start to scribble first. And no, it is not a real plan or correct measurements and I tend not to do the math on anything… (I despised math in school and still try not to do too much of it – if I ca help it). It rather looks like this picture…

This is my plan for my poncho. And if you can work with it, you are very welcome to try it out!

So this is me, my somewhat not-as-chaotic-as-I-hought method how I come up with ideas. How are you starting your design process?

Have fun today! Christina

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