I have great admiration for those craftspeople who design items, those who start with a germ of an idea and take it all the way to a completed masterpiece. I am in awe of the talent of designers whose patterns for quilts and other items I purchase because I fall in love with the design.
“I could never design like that!” I think. And yet, even if our creativity doesn’t extend that far, we all possess creative talents that are reflected in our finished projects (and even in the unfinished ones!!) When we take someone else’s pattern and make a quilt or handcrafted item, we are using our creativity and putting our own personal stamp on it, from the choice of colour scheme, to the materials, threads and techniques we employ, and the embellishments we add.
I must admit, that while I do not think I could ever design a quilt from scratch, I do like to do a far bit of “creative tweaking” once I have a basic idea to follow.
I also like to “fiddle” with my knitting patterns. I actually like to buy old patterns, especially vintage ones which you quite often find in dusty corners of op-shops, so that I can use the stitches and design elements on other garments.
Let me share some photos of my latest knitting creative tweaks.
Knitting a long sleeve for my cardigan.
The pattern I started with is designed by Amanda Crawford and was featured on the cover of The Knitter Magazine, Issue 7 (the knitter.co.uk) The original garment is knitted in cotton, is a jumper, has short sleeves and a scoop neckline. It is embellished with a knitted and beaded corsage of wisteria and has a ribbon threaded above the bustline. My version is knitted in 100% wool, is a vee-neck cardigan and has long sleeves. I picked up stitches sideways to make the button/buttonhole bands. I have not added the embellishments.
Sewing on the buttons with matching Aurifil Cotton (50 weight).
When I creatively tweak a pattern, especially one for a garment which actually has to fit someone, it can be quite challenging to ensure I achieve the desired effect and fit. Sometimes there is a bit of trial and error involved. (Many errors and lots of trials!!) For example, I am currently making a jumper for my husband using a pattern which I have adapted to get a more modern fit. I have knitted the back and front shaping 3 times to get it right. (I hope he appreciates it!)
But back to my cardigan. …and the finished garment looks like this.
My finished cardigan.
So while we may not all be able to design items from scratch, we are all able to creatively tweak and add our own touches to the things we make.
Enjoy your creativity!!