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Friday, November 25, 2011

The Great Design Project: part 1

Welcome to one of the scariest things I've done yet as a knitter, blogger, and designer: The Great Design Project.  This is going to be a series of posts related to my lasts design idea.  I submitted this design to be included in a fantastic project, but it didn't quite fit with the other designs.  And that's okay!  So I decided that since I love this project, I'd take this opportunity to show what I go through from the first step in the process, all the way to design completion.  This is the first part, and I'd love if you followed along until this is all done :)  Keep in mind that the way I work in no way reflects the way that all (or even most) designers work...it's just what works for me.  So, lets get started

This is a sketch of my baby.  It's a crocheted skirt.  I got the idea when I was working on a swatch for a baby blanket.  I wasn't in love with the colors that I had available to me, so I went to the shop and found a pretty heathered-brown.  When I started doing my 3rd swatch, I thought "this would make a fantastic skirt!", and I ended up shaping my swatch like a mini-skirt.  It was so cute! 

The pattern is simple, and and easily customizable.  I put a great deal of the work into the conception of the idea (for the proposal packet) and I've decided that it will be worked top down, to allow the wearer to more easily adjust the length.  I've also decided on what I feel to be a pretty good range of sizes.  Unlike most of the knitted skirt patterns I've come across, the sizes increase two inches at a time because it's been my experience that crochet has less horizontal give than knitting does.

So, now that I have a few swatches, and a sketch, and a range of sizes with a general idea of how I plan to approach this baby...what's next?  Well, this is where I start working on a prototype, and taking some good notes.  The prototype is simply that; a prototype.  The finished garment can very quite a bit, or not at all from the original concept, because sometimes designers run into issues that work fine in a one-off situation but will never work out when it needs to be duplicated in multiple sizes.  I've experienced this before, and probably will again.  That being said, I'm off to go crochet a few more swatches and get some ideas of row gauge to go with my stitch gauge, and then I'll come back with more photos and an idea of what worked, what didn't, and where I'm headed next.


  1. Wow! I am SOOOO impressed. Since I have just recently mastered the basic knit stitch, and am lucky to knit a rectangle that will eventually become a scarf, I so appreciate the enormity of what you're doing!

  2. I don't knit or crochet, but this is fascinating. Your little square is so complex -- can't imagine a whole skirt. I'll be watching. :)

  3. This is so cool Cambria! I have created my own crochet patterns before, but just for myself. I know how hard it can be to accommodate the masses and produce one for others to excel with. (that's why I don't do it:). I'll e checking in with you daily:o)

  4. Cam, this is SO cool! I love that you are doing this. You are brave and mighty, and I am fascinated by the insight into your creative process. Thank you for sharing this. <3