princessmomma wrote to me yesterday: “I would love to hear more about your creation process. Like, how do you decide what to work on next, or what stitches to use?”
Well, some of the ideas I’ve had of what to make are just things I came up with because I thought they would look nice. I sometimes see something that someone is wearing that I think I could recreate in crochet. When magazine editors want designs from freelancers they make what’s called an editorial calendar that states, if any, what they would like the designs to be like or include. For instance, the Winter 2010 issue of Interweave Crochet is going to have a focus on crocheted cables. Not all of the designs in this issue will contain cables, but probably 6 or 7 will. So, if I am designing for a magazine then I might try to include that/those elements in my desgin.
As for the yarn and stitch to use–Well, as in the picture above I bought three varieties of yarn that I thought might work well for a project I had in mind. Then I looked through a stitch dictionary to find something like what I had in mind, and started swatching. I eventually settled on a stitch and a yarn that I thought fit this particular project best. Stitch dictionaries can be a great resource to give you ideas for the stitch. You have to think about how open or dense you want the fabric for this item and then go for stitches that will give you that amount of openness, drape, etc. Whether to choose one lace stitch over another is really just a matter of preference. When you are making something that you don’t want to have to line or wear over something else then smaller and fewer holes is most desireable, so you come up with more dense stitch patterns. I like to choose something that is a little more interesting to work on than rows and rows, or rounds and rounds of sc. You also have to take drape into consideration when choosing a stitch. Drape could be illustrated like this — If I take a swatch and hang it over a rod what does it do? If it stays flat like a plate and holds it’s shape then it is very stiff and has no drape. If it flops over the rod and hangs and even stretches it’s length, then it has maximum drape. Some of the items a person crochets need drape and some don’t. Some would be ruined by drape and vice versa. A close fit, stretchy top would not work in a very stiff fabric, and a hat that needs to have some shape to it does not work well with lots of drape. Typically, a more dense stitch has less drape, though that can be altered by using a larger hook. Lacy stitches are always drapey because they have holes in and between them. So, in short, much of it is about preference, but you also take into consideration the function of the item. Sometimes I get really creative and make my own stitch pattern, but I haven’t delved into that much yet.
Thanks for your question!
Also, I finished my next submission swatch last night. I’ll need to do a little bit of paperwork for it and then mail it in. I’m glad that’s done, now back to another project.
Have a cheery day everyone!