My Creative Process
Strawberry Patch Party Frock
(all photos by Heather Weston)
Occasionally I get asked about how I sketch or what I submit to my publisher when I am working on a book, so I wanted to share a little bit of that with you today. The truth is, looking back, sometimes I’m amazed that my publisher (Potter Craft) trusts me so much. I went to art school, I know how to draw and sketch, but I usually leave my sketches a little on the basic side, because really I need to sketch in yarn. I want to be open to the possibilities of what happens when I crochet, and drawing a super-exact sketch when I don’t actually know what’s going to happen–well, that’s not as easy as drawing something right in front of me.
I knew that I wanted Little Crochet to be full of timeless patterns that would still be relevant for years to come. So, I started with basic shapes and construction techniques and added my own colorful and crafty touches to them. I really wanted to explore different ways of constructing clothing (seamed, sideways, motif-based, top down, etc) with this book, so I noted those kinds of details in written descriptions that I sent to my publisher.
The more I design, the more swatching I do, but believe it or not, for many projects in Little Crochet, I just sent strands of the colors of yarn I planned on using, a description of the project, and the very sketches you see here. (Note- I did swatch for all of the garments, but didn’t necessarily have time to do that for *each* design before yarn approval time). I thought I’d share some side by side comparisons, just so you have an idea what goes into the planning. I have started to think about math a LOT more these days, though, and oh my do I love swatching–it takes some of the guess work out of designing–although there is always the chance that your gauge swatch will lie, which I’m sure some of you have experienced.
Here’s an example of a sketch that really doesn’t commit to anything. I knew that I wanted to make a sleep sack using two colors of yarn, and that one yarn would just be a contrasting area or edging. When I sat down and planned out the design, I realized I liked the contrast in the sleeves better than as an overall edging–it’s less fussy, so it appeals to either gender.
If you want to read a little more about my design process, check out Issue 16 of Inside Crochet Magazine, which features an interview with me on that very subject, among other things. I’m also working on adding all of the designs from Little Crochet to Ravelry, check them out if you’d like a preview!
On Monday, I’ll be back with a rundown of the Little Crochet Blog Book Tour (madness!) I have planned. Lots and lots of great bloggers, giveaways galore, and fun guest posts are all lined up. I can’t wait! Just a few more days till it hits the shelves.