Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Design Challenge 2016

I felt so good about reentering the pattern publishing game that I decided to challenge myself this year to keep designing, writing, and publishing! I wanted something that would stimulate my creativity, and keep me motivated, productive, and on schedule. I wanted to make sure it would be fun, and exciting, and not feel like a chore, and that by the end of the year I would feel like I've really grown as a designer and earned a lot of practical experience. Earning a little money wouldn't hurt, either.

I Googled for a while but couldn't find anything even remotely close to what I was imagining. All my results were either KALs (knitalongs) or design contests. So, I simply made one up on my own. Perhaps someday other people will use it!

I started with the Ravelry pattern browser filters for inspiration. There are five main categories of items: Accessories, Clothing, Home, Toys and Hobbies, and Pet. There's a sixth category, too, called Components, which is a sort of catch-all for appliques, blocks and squares, charts, tutorials, etc. I decided to ignore this one for now and focus on the first five.

I would like, by the end of the year, to have one pattern available for sale in each category. This means either coming up with a completely original design, or using something completely original that I've already knit in the past, and writing out a full pattern for it, complete with photos, editing and formatting it, and listing it on Craftsy and Ravelry. I haven't decided yet if I'll have all of them test knit first. The clothing one I probably will, because any good clothing pattern should be available in multiple sizes. But I may not have enough time to have them all tested.

so damn cute
I've already selected my item for Accessories - a crazy cute fox hat that I knit for the craft fair. It didn't sell that day, so I have it on hand to study closely, which is fortunate because I didn't write any of it down while I was improvising it! I also have no idea what brand yarn I used, so I'll have to do some retroactive yarn hunting to figure that out, or at least get close enough.

Here's a peek at my brainstorming for the other categories:

  • Clothing - probably a shrug or bolero. Keep it simple. A complicated pullover could take you all year just by itself! I'm thinking a square lace back knit in the round, with added sleeves and collar.
  • Home - Hmmm so many possibilities! Cafe curtains for the kitchen? Throw pillow? Nerdy coasters? I'm the least decided on this one of any category.
  • Toys and Hobbies - Could be a stuffed animal, but I'm leaning towards creating another dice bag! They're so fun! And I got inspired and went a bit nuts sketching out some steampunk fairisle ideas. 
  • Pet - A small dog sweater that looks like a turtle shell, with a long snood. I don't know where this idea came from but once it was in my brain it would NOT go away. I even made a sketch. I must make this a reality.
Oh! And part of the challenge is that I need to blog regularly about it, at least once a week, partly to keep me on-track and accountable but mostly because I need an excuse to write more often! See you soon!

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