Designing Skirts and Dresses

Craft magazines published in the 1950s and the early years of the 1960s were filled with knitted and crocheted dresses, skirts and suits. Knitters could make fashions that rivalled designer collections. Today, these lengthy projects are not as popular with hand knitters; now there is more of a preference towards sweaters, cardigans, and accessories like…

Designing Shawls

The shawl or wrap is one of the most versatile accessories in your wardrobe, and like the scarf, it not only provides warmth, but adds decoration to an otherwise boring outfit, and is also one of the most popular projects among knitters. Knit shawls first appeared in “fashion” around the 1800s. During this time period,…

Knitting Needs Mathematics

Whether you are designing projects, following pattern instructions, or adapting a vintage pattern, math skills are an essential part of knitting. Maybe you get an inkling that the stitch numbers are inaccurate in the instructions? How in the world do I figure out the number of stitches to cast on to achieve a certain width?…

How Stitch Patterns Affect Knit Fabrics

It’s important to note that fibers, yarns and stitch patterns work together to create a knit fabric, and are the key elements to the design process. Taking a look at each of these elements separately, helps to understand what each one contributes to the knit fabric, and ultimately to the finished design. This post looks…

Designing With Yarn

What’s ingenious about knitting is that you form a fabric with yarn and shape it to create a project. Hand knitting yarn is irresistible; it comes in brilliant colours, textures, and different fibers. Knitters know that a beautiful hank of yarn doesn’t always produce the fabric they are looking for. Designing with yarn is about…

Designing a Side-to-Side Sweater

As a teenager, my first foray into knitting garments began with a side-to-side, garter stitch pullover for my boyfriend. It seemed easy and straight forward, knitting the whole garment in one piece. But in retrospect, it was a little too ambitious a project, with my limited understanding of gauge. The results were unexpected, one sleeve…

Designing Knits To Fit

One of the most challenging aspects of designing knit clothing is learning how to make the garment fit the body. The goal is to coordinate the garment’s style and structure with the body to get the best fit. Nothing looks more fabulous than well-fitting clothes, no matter what size or shape the body.  If you’ve…

New to Designing Hand Knits – Begin With a Scarf

  If you are new to designing a hand knit project, the easiest one to begin with is a straight scarf or knit loop (infinity) in which the ends are sewn together or made in the round. A scarf is also a good place to experiment with pattern stitches, and to learn the importance of…

Where do design ideas come from?

Have you ever thought about what an idea is and where one comes from? I have a propensity towards intellectualizing weird stuff like this, which probably dates back to my art history days critiquing works of art. Designing is often described as some unique skill of “naturally” creative individuals, of which there are few. People…

Designing Socks

Socks are popular projects for knitters of all skill levels. Regardless of whether they consist of simple or complex stitchery, socks are small projects, which don’t take much time to knit, and provide a nice break from larger projects. Once you’ve practiced making socks, the next challenge is to design a pair from scratch. Please…