Finding the Perfect Design Ideas
Do you look at a beautiful pattern and think, “That’s amazing! How did they come up that?” Design ideas can come from just about anywhere. The the beauty of designing a crochet pattern is that there is no right or wrong, just your imagination – with the exclusion of copyright. In fact, pattern ideas can be found anywhere. Each designer has a different approach as to where they get their ideas from and sometimes they get their ideas from multiple sources.
Welcome to Part 2 of the “Designing Your Own Crochet Pattern” Series. This series is going to guide you through some of the basics of crochet pattern design. If you’re just joining us and would like to start at the beginning, read Part 1 – the 6 Basic Steps of the Design Process. Even if you have no desire to be a designer, you may enjoy this series. It will give you some valuable insight into the work that goes on behind the scenes of designing crochet patterns.
Finding the Perfect Design Ideas
Below are 6 basic places where design ideas can come from but you are not limited to just these. Imagination is key.
Let crochet stitches be your inspiration. Battle of the Stitches (BOS) is a perfect example of this. If you’re not familiar with BOS, it’s a designer challenge. They give all the designers the same stitch to use, in addition to a theme. Then they have to come up with a design and make something in a specific amount of time. I designed my Gray Skies Gradient Shawl for that challenge with only the stitch they specified and it has become one of my best selling patterns.
My Winter Berries Infinity scarf pattern was created with just the yarn. I had a friend who wanted me to make a scarf for his girlfriend, but all he gave me was the color of the yarn, no other ideas. Once I had the yarn it was up to me to create something with it. This is a great way to come up with ideas!
This is probably the place that I personally get my inspiration from the most. If I know who I want to make something for I can come up with a design idea that will be perfect for them (or at least I hope so).
I recently designed my Vintage 60’s Prayer Shawl for my Aunt Leslie. If you knew my aunt the one thing you would know about her is that she’s the #1 Beatles fan ever. No, really! I believe at one point she was president of their fan club and she has photos she took of them at their house (not stalking them, like relaxed photos of them like she was hanging out on a Sunday afternoon with them). Anyway, it was on my heart to make her a prayer shawl and I knew it somehow had to be Beatles related. How do you incorporate the Beatles into your design?? As soon as I saw Paul McCartney’s vest from their Magical Mystery Tour I knew that was it. Please note: If you have inspiration from something like this, make sure you’re not infringing on their copyright!
Look around. God has created so many masterpieces that we can use as inspiration. From a sunrise or sunset, as well as all creatures great and small, nature is the perfect place to come up with ideas. For instance, my Frog Pond afghan pattern was designed from just that….a frog pond. I created the afghan itself to look like rippling water then I created lily pads and a frog to go on top.
Another example is to use a theme as your inspiration. For my Play Ball Sports Fan baby set I used sports in general as my theme. You could also narrow it down to just one sport or pick a different theme like princesses. There are so many options!
Another place designers find their inspiration is architecture. Whether it’s a building they saw in New York, or an archway in Paris there is inspiration all around you. For example, Sonya from Blackstone Designs saw a certain stitch that reminded her of a Colosseum and her Colosseum Cowl was born.
As shown above, design ideas can com from just about anywhere your imagination can take you. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box! Just remember, no design idea is perfect – which means, in addition to the fun part of designing, there will also be problems and kinks to work out. Determination as well as problem solving skills will be the 2 things you will need for more difficult designs.
For more on this series, read:
Part 1 – 6 Basic Steps of the Design Process
Part 3 – Finding Your Designing Niche
Part 4 – Creating Your Brand
Part 5 – Steps to Publishing Your Crochet Pattern
Part 6 – Basic Copyright for Crocheters
Part 7 – Should You Charge for Patterns? The Free vs. Paid Dilemma