© Andrea Mowry
Ah, the design process. I think some designers thrive on organization, plans, and spreadsheets. I have to admit - that I am not one of them. Typically, an idea pops into my head, and I have to drop everything to either grab yarn from my stash (ideally), or find the perfect yarn at my LYS or online - ASAP. For me, once that idea flame is lit, I have to add fuel to the fire. I can think of nothing else, and it's almost like my body is just the design's translator - getting it to the world with my needles and pen. Okay, that probably sounds a little nutty, but I find this is how my best pieces have come to be.
When I set out to do a collaboration, such as my Wanderlust Collection with Knit Purl and North Light Fibers, I find I have to flex an entirely different set of muscles. In the beginning, I can feel myself fighting it. I try too hard to come up with ideas and end up staring at a blank page.
Thankfully, after a few deep breaths, I begin sketching. Slowly, but surely, that other side of my creativity that I don't use as often (let's call it "purposeful creativity") begins to stir and spark, and designs that otherwise may not have been born, get to see the light of day. I really love balancing my work by doing a little of each!
As the discussion for the Wanderlust Collection began, I just happened to be traveling to Portland and Seattle. My time in the Pacific Northwest left me feeling inspired (and itching to move!) I loved being surrounded by the giant trees and mountains. My sketches mirrored these feelings and I began to see textures repeating, namely, peaks, triangles, and chevrons. Which happen to be some of my trusty favorites.
© Andrea Mowry
I knew I wanted to offer a range of difficulty levels and focuses on different techniques. The Take Flight mitts are the easiest, and appropriate even for a new knitter. What I love most about them is their simplicity. I find that simple knits with a focus on modern texture, fit best into a real-world wardrobe. The Drift hat came to life on graph paper. I had mountains on my mind and their changing landscapes from base to peak. I wanted the peaks to grow right out from the brim, and finishing it off with a final point at the tip of 4 strong lines. The Ramble shawl is for the more adventurous knitter. Utilizing a beautiful brioche herringbone pattern created by the brioche queen, Nancy Marchant, and asymmetrical construction, this shawl is addicting to knit and fabulous to wear! As I worked on these patterns, I could easily imagine wearing them on my next trip to the West Coast, or on any of my future travels! Knit out of Water Street, they are luxuriously soft and warm, without being too heavy. As with all of my patterns, they fit easily into a modern wardrobe, and hopefully you will learn a new technique or two while knitting them up!!
© Andrea Mowry
Thank you, Knit Purl, for sparking my creativity and for letting me share a little bit of my design process!