Design, Knitting, Sally Melville

Sally Melville Winds Me Up!

Sheep sweater yarn

Oh, wow.

I had a life-changing email exchange with knitting guru Sally Melville yesterday – (Hiya, Sally!)

You can read our exchange on her blog here: sallyknits – jumping the fence

The short version is that I wrote her to ask a question about a knitting design drafting issue that I haven’t been able to find an answer for in any book – including Sally’s awesome new book, Knitting Pattern Essentials. Not being able to find the answer to this particular question (how to draft a portrait collar in knitting) has stopped me from starting to design my own garments. It’s a goofy thing to be stopped by, I know, but there it is: “I don’t know how to do this one thing, and nobody can tell me, so I can’t start designing yet.”  Yeesh.

Sally essentially told me that she didn’t have the answer for me, but she knew that I was perfectly capable of figuring it out myself, if I simply gave myself permission to make mistakes and do some ripping out along the way.

Well. She blew my mind. OF COURSE, I’m perfectly capable of figuring it out myself. I’m a smart cookie. I can do ultra-complex, mind-blowing alterations to sewing patterns without batting an eyelash. I have made commissioned quilted wall art and copied designer wedding gowns based on a mere photographs, or often simply my clients’ abstract ideas.

For example, I made this fabric wallhanging from a photograph of a painting for some friends:


I’m amazed at myself to this day for having figured out how to duplicate an abstract painting in fabric. And I loved the challenge of it at the time.

Therefore, clearly I can work out knitted designs myself. I have the skills – I simply need to stop making excuses and asking to be spoon-fed by someone else.

I really really want to design. Like I told Sally in one of my messages, I’ve searched hundreds, if not thousands, of knitting designs and have yet to find one that’s exactly what I want. Then I scratch my head and wonder why is no one designing the sophisticated, interesting, wearable things that I see in my head. Um…perhaps because they only exist in my head…and I need to get off my sorry butt and do what needs to be done to get them out of my brain and onto my back (and front) – and onto some paper, so other people can knit them too, if they want.

Now my head is positively spinning (like a top – cuz I’m wound up…get it?) with possibility – to the point where I feel like frogging all my WIPS (work-in-progress) and starting from scratch…allowing myself the time to swatch and test and plan and frog and PLAY!! Yahoo!

Stay tuned.

Cheers, Nicole

P.S. – Love ya, Sally 🙂

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