Inspired Knitting Designs

The Sources of Knitting Inspiration

One of the best parts about creating Interweave’s knitting eMags is working with designers and writers. I love seeing the results of their creativity, and I often wonder where they find all these great ideas for new knitting designs. After the issue of each new eMag is out, I have a wonderful excuse to visit them at their digital homes: knitting blogs. Seeing their thoughts on the issue is just an introduction to their wonderful bloggy worlds.

Lucinda Guy's Maarika Bag draws its bold color palette and print from textiles of Transylvania and the Wiener Werkstätte
Rebecca Blair's Madder Stockings, inspired by an antique Shetland bridal veil.

When Rebecca Blair first read the call for submissions for LaceKnits, she took it as an opportunity to create her own interpretation of one of her favorite lace pieces: the Ivory and Madder Wedding Veil, a spectacular piece of lace knitting created for an international exposition in 1891. Rebecca’s blog chronicles the combination of inspiration and hard work that eventually created the spectacular Madder Stockings. (The results are now available in LaceKnits for PC and Mac as well as for the iPad.)

In many cases, I see the results of the inspiration first and only see the source of the idea later. One of Lucinda Guy’s blog posts shows pictures of the ideas behind for the Maarika Bag, which is featured on the cover of ColorKnits. Although the photographs of women walking together in Transylvania and the textiles of the Wiener Werkstätte are shown in black and white, the contrasting colors and bold prints are easy to see. (Lucinda’s blog is always fun to visit for the little animated dancing bird and flower.)

The Blueschist rocks of the California coast inspired Alice Starmore to create the Sea Ranch beret.
Ann Weaver shows you how to create striking color palettes for your knits with her Complementary Cowl

The Wiener Werkstätte was also a fertile source of ideas for Ann Weaver’s design for ColorKnits, who designed the Complementary Cowl by knitting color blocks inspired by Johannes Itten’s classes in color theory. Her article on using a complementary color scheme describes how to find inspiration using favorite images and a color wheel. Ann loves bold and graphic color combinations—check out the sweater she plans to wear with her cowl!

In the Fall 2012 issue of ColorKnits, Alice Starmore shares many details about finding her ideas for color knitting. Her inspirations often come from the natural world, whether it’s her native Hebrides or geological marvels from her travels. Visiting the website for her Virtual Yarns, you can see photographs of the birds, plants, and stones of her home on the Isle of Lewis along with the colorways they inspire. ColorKnits includes photographs of her recent trip to California, which created the inspiration for her Sea Ranch Beret—a memory in yarn.

If lace knitting and knitted colorwork inspire you—whether it’s to pick up needles and yarn or just to marvel at the creativity of these designers!—I hope you’ll check out LaceKnits and ColorKnits. Although they were initially available only for the iPad, these issues (and all of our eMags) are now available for Mac, PC, and iPad.

Happy knitting,

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