Sunday, 28 July 2013

Forging the road to design

While I'm not new to the whole designing thing (I spent a couple of years studying fashion design in my whimsical youth) the process of designing knitwear is a new and sometimes daunting prospect. I've been altering patterns and knitting on the fly for a few years now, but I made the decision that 2013 was the year I would put these ideas on paper and unleash them on the unsuspecting public.
That said, I sometimes feel like the process of taking a design idea through the stages to complete garment and then written pattern takes forever! I'm going to admit here that I have serious designer envy! So many designers out there seem to churn out pattern faster than I can even knit a sample. How the heck do they do that? (Clearly they are all stay at home mums with no responsibilities to attend to!* ;-) )
I'm sure that with time and practice the whole process becomes much easier and even faster and the math becomes less daunting. This week I have finished the prototype of a girls dress design that has been bouncing around my head since about January of this year. It has changed a bit from my original sketches and after a few false starts I have a finished garment that turned out exactly as I'd planned. The next step for me is to take this one dress and write up the pattern for a variety of sizes including a few different sleeve options and varying lengths. I want to make this pattern as appealing and as saleable as possible to as many people as possible as I feel like having options makes the finished garment far more versatile and fun to knit.

Knitting the sample really is the easy part. Trusting that the math works and that the graded sizes will also look great and fit well, well that is a giant leap of faith for me! Trusting that I can actually do the math is also a giant leap of faith! (Oh, if Mrs Denham could see me now! haha)
Another hurdle is working out how much yardage each size will take. Knitters need this information before they knit a pattern to know how much yarn to buy (or dig out of deep stash) After driving myself almost crazy on this one, I found this link which outlines a really easy way to calculate the yardage. At first glance, all those number made my eyes glaze over, but once I sat down and worked through it I was astounded at how simple it is. I drew a rough schematic with all the sizes and measurements and was able to apply Kristen's formula and it works! Magic!

It will be interesting to see where this road takes me. I'd like to think that in a couple of years I'll be as awesome as the likes of Georgie Hallam (aka tiKKi). All I know for now is that as long as I'm making things up, I might as well write them down and hope that other people like them too.

* disclaimer: Please don't launch an assault at me! While I am envious that you may get to stay at home, I don't think for a second that you actually get to knit all day. If you do, then I hate you and I may kidnap you and force you to be my knitting slave.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh I feel your pain. Although I am a stay at home mum, my life is WAY too busy (six kids..yeah..busy) which means pattern designing takes foreeeever.
    Very exciting though, and I'm wishing you luck with your designing!