Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Initiate Knit Design Challenge (aka, the humble beginnings of my Snowdrop Lace Cowl).

Here's a bit of designer irony:  people often ask me 'where do you get your ideas?'

The answer to that is: usually, at the most inopportune moments, an idea will pop into my head.  It will occur at a time when I have no way to write it down.  In the shower, or half-asleep.  Or maybe when I've got my hands covered in paint (my other hobby).  And my ability to sketch in a hurry leaves a lot to be desired.  My last attempt to sketch a shawl design. . . well, lets just say I opted to hand-write some notes, instead.

It's not about a lack of ideas when it comes to designing.  Quite the opposite -- I've got a long list of pattern ideas I haven't even really swatched for yet!    Instead, it's about the ability to translate those ideas into an actual, functional, pattern, something that someone else can knit, and a pattern that will actually create the thing that you envision in your mind.

Enter: the Initiate Knit Design Challenge:

A background image with a skein of yarn, a small plant, and the hand of someone sketching in a notebook. The foreground is a text overlay: "Join us for the Initiate Knit Design Challenge.  Transform your yarn into designs of your own making."  A small banner at the top of the image reads: "Starts April 3".  A banner at the bottom of the image reads: ""
Run by the wonderful Aroha Knits,  it was this program that gave me the design for my Snowdrop Cable and Lace Cowl.  It was the perfect kick-start to go from rough design idea to finished project.   You don't have to finish the project (and you wouldn't be able to finish most projects in the 10 day span of the challenge, anyway), but it's about getting to a point where the design is solid, and this challenge does that very well!

And, as a bonus, the challenge is free to sign up.  Yep, that's right, it's free.  I'm always amazed that Francoise Danoy (the woman behind Aroha Knits) is willing to run this challenge for free.  This challenge stands on its own, and while she does have other classes that are not free, this challenge is solid even without those courses.

I'm entering again, so I'll see what inspiration is sparked this time!  To sign up, click on the image above, or go to

Well, I hope to see some of you in the challenge!  It starts April 3, so there's still plenty of time to sign up.

See you there!

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