Craftiness, baking and other lovely things.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

My design process

I should be starting on my next blanket later this week.  My first two designs were blankets that I wanted to make.  This third blanket is something that my 11 year old son has asked for.  He loves all things snuggly, squishy and comfortable (of my three children, he has the most cushions) but he also has an aversion to pretty and floral and has suggested that I make something more boy-friendly.

Why doesn't he love this as much as I do?

I've really been struggling with this and it's made me think about my design process.

Hearts and Flowers, well, I knew exactly what I wanted.  I wanted a beautiful floral theme, definitely working with hexagons, more realistic than stylised flowers and lots of white space to show them off.  Duck egg is one of my favourite colours, so that was a no brainer for the edging and I knew it would be the perfect balance to the bright shades in the flowers.

I started off with just four flowers and the heart, but when I started to put it together, I felt that it needed two more flowers to be perfect.  I didn't have a specific plan for the layout.  I started with a heart at the centre and worked outwards, trying not to repeat flowers in each circle of hexagons.  (I made one little mistake with that, but perfection is for gods and I am a mere mortal.)

Old Romance was a little different.  I started by choosing my colours - my local haberdashery has a a huge wall of Stylecraft Special DK in all the colours - and then came home to play with them.  My original colours included cream, which looked completely off when I started working on the design.  I also added plum at a later stage and changed how I used the raspberry, which was going to be little highlights, but ended up being a fully fledged member of my final colour cast.

Pattern should be published later this week

I was very much inspired by the colours and style of vintage tapestries, carpet bags and rugs and my colour palette really seemed to echo that vibe, so I knew that the design would end up being quite detailed and would probably include surface crochet, but it didn't really come to life for me until I added the simple embroidery.  I didn't have a specific plan for the size or shape of the motifs, but once I had the lime spokes embroidered in the flower centres, I knew where I was going.

This next blanket is a different animal.  I couldn't make the colours work, no matter how long I loitered in front of the yarn wall.  Nothing called out to me.  I couldn't settle on a design.  I had a vague idea about creating a tartan style with crochet, but it was all very vague and unexciting.  Since I started designing, I've begun to see pattern and colour palettes everywhere and it was seeing a woman carrying a white, grey and black bag with little pops of red on it that settled me on a colour theme.  The Boy seemed happy (or at least not unhappy) with the choice, so then it just came down to design.

I'm not much further along on that just now, although I have some ideas about angles and I definitely want to work this one from the centre out in one piece, rather than making up squares or hexies and joining them later.  I've spent a lot of time down a rabbit hole on Pinterest looking at patchwork quilts, which as an occasional patchworker and the daughter of a patchworker I love and I think it will help me take this blanket down a completely different path to my earlier, girlier blankets.

Watch this space.

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