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Winging With Yarn v Planning With Paper/Charts

Recently a lot of people have commented on Erssie being the sort of person who designs on paper without going anywhere near yarns and tools rather than playing with yarn getting inspired etc. However, I can and I do both

Something Winged = Cabled Hat and Mittens
Something Sketched = Nordic Hat and mittens
Something Graphed/Charted = Celtic Ravens Hat

So when I had an opportunity to submit to a book, didn’t have any current designs looking for a publisher. What did Erssie do? I thought of all the possibilities of things I could design to fit in with themes for the book.

I drew sketches from my head, knitted quick swatches or found references to give the 'mood', suggested variations and alternatives and came up with 13 distinct designs fitting the authors’ ethos and had 3 accepted. If I had chosen just one, submitted a finished version of that, I think it would have been a lottery in which I would have lost i.e. 10 of my designs didn’t make the book, but almost. There will have been many people who did make something specifically for them, submitted the idea but they couldn’t fit it in. It is not always a case either of whether designs are good enough. A compilation book has to be varied as well as complimentary, the balance is finely tuned and a good design is not always going to fit in with the group of designs chosen. Designers will work blind with regards to how their designs may fit in with other designer’s work in a compilation. The authors cannot help guide them as they themselves may not know the direction in which the final themes will flow as they will be inspired by the designs submitted and themes can be retrospective.

I was given a fantastic book from Stevie this Christmas on how to design/sketch for fashion. Interestingly enough, I found out that way I have been presenting my stuff is exactly the standard for the industry although I need to improve my drawings and be a bit more impressionistic rather than realistic Common sense really. Obviously for some people they have time to make prolific designs and then choose the best to submit and good luck to them if they get chosen because it means little work to type up a pattern they have already written.

Now with me, I sketch, research possible yarns, do little swatches and then when it gets accepted it is a case of OMG I have to actually produce something that is like my sketch now eeeeek! However, this pushes me to achieve my goals, stops me from just making something the easy way with that’ll do attitude. I would be the sort of person to submit a giant crocheted mushroom as a sculptural piece in town square without any idea of how it will be achieved exactly until it is accepted then I would rush around and work it and work it until damn it I’ve got that giant mushroom, then I will improve upon it so that there are extras the commissioner is not expecting........ Ta da!

I also sketch any ideas that pop into my head directly into a very private journal. You know how it is, ideas pop up whilst making other designs i.e. all the choices you didn’t pursue are possible alternatives for the future and it is self generating.

So, those people who are more organic who think designing on paper is a non creative boggy way of doing something I disagree. Being restricted to the yarn in front of you, the needle size you are using and the first thing you achieve whilst 'experimenting' I think can be a little more restricting than my way. After all, with me…”The world is your mushroom!”



Anonymous said...

I love the oak leaves and acorns - do you have a pattern for them?

Erssie said...

Ah, the oak leaves and acorns were part of a design submission along with the sketch for a headdress to be submitted for use in a book. The headdress was supposed to be a Fall/Autumn version of the one done fo Beltane, see www.theanticraft.com Beltane issue which includes a pattern for a headdress A Maiden's Glory. the design was not selected for the book so remains unpublished.

The pattern is not refined what would you want the pattern for exactly? If it is just a single use I'm afraid you would have to wait until it is published. If you are a publisher, I would be interested in submitting the design, otherwise I will self publish it later this year (when not so busy) Send me your details and I will keep them on file and when the pattern is formally written up will let you know.

Erssie said...

Elaine, I coudn't access your profile for your own blog, could you send me a link?