Friday, August 11, 2006

Sources of Inspiration

I find inspiration all around me where ever I go. Which is one of the reasons why I have more ideas than I have time to knit.

There's commercial knitwear as a starting point. Sometimes it's nice to have a sweater that's just as trendy as what's in the store, but knit to fit and personalized to your tastes. I found this sweater in the sales rack just waiting for the right person:
I'd rather own a picture of this sweater than the actual garment.

So let's take buildings as a source of inspiration. London has plenty of graceful old homes in the downtown area that are inspiring. Doesn't this wood work look like lace?

And here's a stain glass window that could easily be transformed into a beautiful shawl:

How would you go about it? I might look at lace, intarsia or Fair Isle. What if the white diamond portions were done in a lace pattern and the rest was colorwork? Would short rows work best, or increases, or modular knitting?

Knowing a lot of techniques gives you a wider range of tools to execute your design. This is another reason I don't have time to knit up all my ideas. Part of my knitting time is dedicated to knitting up other peoples designs so I can learn new techniques. I want to stretch and grow my abilities so I can design up my wildest dreams.

So both of those pieces of architecture were pretty easy really. The hardest part is looking around yourself. Here's one that's more subtle:

I see a lot of texture in this building. I also see a pleasant arrangement of shapes. Finally, there's an interesting arrangement of monochromatic colors surrounding that hit of blue in the center.

Finally I'd like to leave you with my latest internet discovery: The Island of Misfit Patterns.


  1. I watched a Simply Quilt show where a woman took a tile pattern from the floor of an English cathedral and made a quilt from it. It was gorgeous. I'd just see a pretty floor.

  2. Love all the inspiration. And thanks for the Misfit Patterns link. Will you be posting the fish mittens there?

  3. They seem to be free patterns at Misfit Patterns.

    In my head I have a sliding scale of what patterns are worth. Simple pattern ideas I give away for free, like Holly's socks. Next time I have a good idea and write it up I might submit it to Knitty (if I remember to keep it secret). Finally really creative ideas or ideas that take a lot of work should be paid for. I feel strongly that the Fiber Fish fall into this last category.

  4. I agree. The fiber fish are worth paying for, seriously. Don't back down, you deserve to be paid what your creativity is worth.

  5. um, what are those frogs doing? Does that count as "yarn porn"? wink

  6. Oh that's a good one Kat!