Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Selfish Designing

I consider myself a pretty good designer.  Not that I've been in any publications or want to give up my day job, but sometimes the bug just bites and I'm able to design something better than what I can find online. 

After finishing my latest "self-design" (see bottom of post), I realized that I have a lot of things on Ravelry that I designed and never published a pattern for.  Some of them I swore I would, others I just didn't have time to write up.  And then deciding if you want to get it tested and proofed.  It all just takes so much time! And so today's post is dedicated to projects from the last 2-3 years that were designed by me but never published as patterns. 

Starting with the oldest is Stricken Socks, "Stricken" meaning "knit" in German. The design came about when I found a triangle motif that I adapted to look like enlarged knitted V's.  The yarn used was Blue Ridge Yarns, Subtle Shades in a violet color.  Sadly these socks came out a bit tight (the yarn was really thin) and also the color has since become patchy-faded from washing.  I do like the motif though and may re-work it into a pair this year. 

Next up on the list is my Woven Colors Shawl, made with two skeins of Ella Rae Lace Merino Worsted that I bought on a road trip. I love these two colors together and wanted a way to play with them.  I love my woven design, but the overall shawl didn't really work out. It's heavy and I attempted this weird sleeve thing.  I keep saying I'll rip it out and try something else but I haven't yet.  

More colorwork, this time with some local alpaca, the Alpaca Weave hat and mitts set was fun to do. I wanted to play again with the idea of the colors interacting and chose to use a mosaic technique to create the squares. I don't actually remember the exact way I did this, but I would love to publish it someday (Guess I need to be looking back through my journals for the chart!)  And see the ribbon? The ranch that made the yarn took a bunch of projects from our knit group to an event and I won a ribbon. 

Maybe you saw an earlier post this year about the playfully titled Unicorn Farts that I made with some rainbow wool.  I have really gotten into the idea of using mosaic knitting when it comes to two colors and that showed up again in this one.  If I were to publish or write this one up, I'd do it with different yarn (maybe from the blue/yellow above??) just because both of these yarns were super random.

The main inspiration for today's post was Eagle's Wings, a two colored half-pi shawl I started last October with my school (I teach at) colors.  The purple is actually left over from those Stricken Socks, while the gold is a clearance skein of Shibui Staccato.  I started with stripes of purple stockinette and gold drop stitches, but because I had less purple I ended up running out and chose to do a gold feather/fan border with beads.  It's not as massive as I wish, but I also was in a hurry to finish it up.  My knitting group thinks I need to publish this one.  I'm not sure if I will. 

Anyone reading ever design? Do you publish your designs or keep them to yourself? Do you find yourself taking an already published design and changing things up? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Have a fabulous week.



  1. I always loved changing and modifying projects, I still do. The actual publishing process is very time-consuming, as you have mentioned. Grading, writing up clear pattern, checking with the technical editor, finding test knitters - a lot of work! Sometimes I just want to experiment and don't go through all of the publishing process. But some ideas just ask to be turned into the official patterns, so I go for it! So, if you really really want some items you've designed to be recreated by others - go for it! :)

    1. That's a good way to put it. I also sometimes find myself not wanting to publish for fear of disappointment that no one will make it.
      Improvising is something I've really come to enjoy about the creative process though!

  2. Your designs are lovely! So true, it's much easier to come up with beautiful designs for yourself than it is to write up the pattern, get it tech edited and/or test knitted, and upload it, and then forever after that get email with questions (especially if it's a free pattern- people are so much more likely to email you often if the pattern is free than if they paid for it).

    1. I can only imagine you get that a lot - I love some of your designs :) But true, a lot of people seem to think free is also going to come with issues and then start to ask tons of questions.


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