I really need to start designing stuff, writing patterns down, having them test knit, and then offering them up.
On my Ravelry page you'll see that most of my projects don't come from patterns, that I just make stuff. I like using patterns, they keep me in line and introduce me to new techniques. But quite often my creative process will begin with noticing something and then thinking about how I can apply knitting to that thing.
Take for example, some person who has had the misfortune to have lost or been born with too many fingers. In cases like these, a knitter is your best friend! Who else could custom design mitts and gloves just for you!
(I often think about all the people out there missing one of their feet, the solution for the ailment that afflicts many knitters known as Second Sock Syndrome).
This whole thing really got rolling for me when I spent my first Christmas with Dan's family. He told me his eldest sister really likes frogs and would love a tea cosy. Voila! A frog tea cosy (I don't have photos on this computer or I'd be sure to post one). The following year Dan's youngest sister had a thing for octopuses (octopi?) so I knit her an octopus necklace. Realizing that everyone in the family has a 'thing' and those 'things' could be knit, I produced a Chicken toaster cosy for Dan's mom and the Toast Mittens for Dan's stepdad. Zola wanted a shark hat.
I've had a lot of fun with these projects. I spend a great deal of time thinking about the construction. How do you do shark teeth? The jowls of a chicken? The crust of bread?
When thinking about these things I wonder if it is worth the effort to write them down into a pattern. Would anyone buy them? Would anyone actually knit them?
I'm rather conservative as far as buying patterns go. It has to be really amazing or beyond my imagining for me to shell out cash for it. But other people, I know, are not like me. And having said that, I have a rather healthy collection of knitting magazines, and they contain patterns, don't they? So hm. Maybe it is worth doing. As of yesterday I have the CEO of a knitting magazine following me on Twitter.
Yesterday I found out a friend is pregnant. I think I'll hold to my vow of never knitting another baby blanket, but I'm sure I can find all kinds of things that the baby will need. Much smaller, quicker, more satisfying to knit.
And then I got to thinking... what about for the mom-to-be? Does anyone do hand-knit maternity wear? Most women I know who have been pregnant often gripe about the lack of nice-looking clothing to wear when they are feeling gross. Maybe what my friend needs is something pretty to wear when she's in her later stages of pregnancy and then for postpartum. I'm thinking a lacy frock, perhaps with beads. I'll do a search for such a thing but in the end, I might just design something. (A quick Ravelry search pulls up 124 maternity knitwear designs. Lots that are unflattering).