All About Inspiration: Where Do Your Ideas Come From?

how to create a knitting pattern

Are you a knitter dying to create your own knitting patterns but don’t have a clue where to start? Make yourself comfortable: let’s get you started on my tutorial series on how to create a knitting pattern. Feeling lost? Find the article series overview here!


Welcome to Day 2 of the Knitting Pattern How To series! Today, we are going to talk about inspiration. Where do all the ideas for knitting patterns come from? Is there a specific process or special resources?

You might have guessed the answer: no, there is no fixed process. Every designer seems to have his or her own way of approaching what I call The Muse: inspiration.

Meeting The Muse (I): Personal Needs

Ever walked out the house on one of these mornings in early autumn, spotting the first hoar frost and regretting not to have started earlier with knitting this one warm sweater you planned to wear when it gets colder?

That’s the situation I meet the Muse by personal needs: I’m cold and need a sweater fast. Why not start designing one?

Meeting The Muse By Yarn

Yarn is my biggest source of inspiration and the starting point for most of my design projects. Yarn base, weight, color and yardage available define most of the project already: Lightweight lace yarns are suited well for airy lace shawls or cardigans, eventually.

Meeting The Muse: The beautiful hand dyed colorways by Yarn Indulgences
Meeting The Muse: Watching the beautiful skeins of hand dyed yarn by Yarn Indulgences makes me wanting to swatch for lace shawls instantly.

Heavier weight yarns call for other items like sweaters, or hap shawls eventually.

Meeting The Muse (III): Stitch Patterns

I own a lot of stitch dictionaries and they are a constant source of inspiration. Lately, Pinterest seems to play a similar role when discovering stitch patterns as lots of people pin their favorites and dig out treasuries. I use my Pinterest board Stitch Patterns to collect beauties I find along my way (I’m collecting not only knitting stitch patterns but crochet ones, too). My favorite: Japanese knitting and crochet books, some are even available for free.

Simple crochet objects combined into amazing designs: jewelry, embellishments, decorative items for the home. (Found on isuu.com)
Simple crochet objects combined into amazing designs: jewelry, embellishments, decorative items for the home. (Found on isuu.com)

Meeting The Muse (IV): Trend Scouting

During fashion weeks, runway shows are another good source for finding inspiration for knitwear design, especially if you want to be a trend setter. Lots of labels have knitted items in their collections – look books are available on the websites of the brands and labels, usually. Recently, I wrote an article about inspiration for knitted sweater trends (resort 2015) you can use as a reference.

sweaters trends resort 2015
Sweaters trends resort 2015

Where does your inspiration come from?

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