Design Week, day 2: techniques


Design Week Continues

I am absolutely loving all of the designs that I’m seeing! A big thank-you to everyone who posted links to their site yesterday and letting us in on your design process!

I’m blogging about designing a platypus stuffed animal this week. From my sketches yesterday, it seemed that this sketch was a favorite:

So, I’ll be continuing on with this sketch as my plan!

Today is day 2, and the (optional) topic is: techniques.

What do techniques have to do with designing?

The planning stage is a great time to do research on how you’re going to implement your design. Cruise the stitch dictionaries, check out different ways of doing increases… you’ll want to know what techniques you’ll use before you begin knitting/crocheting your sample. The last thing you want to do is be halfway through your sweater and figure out that the pleat you’ve decided to use is too puffy, and you need to start over!

I peruse the Ravelry discussion boards, Pinterest and keep my eye on twitter for discussions of techniques that I may find useful. I also learn a fair bit from fellow knitters/crocheters (in person, at the yarn store) and my resource books.

How do you find out about new techniques?

Techniques appropriate for your customer

A second reason that I think about techniques is because most of the patterns I design are intended to become patterns for my website. I’m not just designing cute animals, but I’m committing myself to clearly explaining to my customers how to make that cutie animal.

So what if I come up with some super-amazing looking snout that no one else can replicate? Then… it doesn’t do me any good!

As part of my design business, I make and post videos and tutorials for each technique I use that may be a little tricky.

So, before I begin a design, I think about what techniques my customer will have to use. I also make sure that before I release a pattern, I have a tutorial/video available for any tricky bits- or at least have plans in the near future to make one.

Some of my favorite amigurumi techniques

The Sloppy Slip Knot. My favorite amigurumi technique is the sloppy slip knot (video here). It allows you to begin working in the round with no hole, but is much easier than magic ring.

Attaching flattened pieces. I’ve become a fan of crocheting circles/cylinders, and then attaching them flattened to form wings/fins/ears. A flattened piece is double-thickness, so it is sturdier than a single-layer piece, and it’s also easy to do.

I’ve also used this technique for flower petals, eyelids, stand up nostrils, feet… the possibilities are endless!

Using stitches as a grid. It’s no secret that I love crocheting through the back loop (mostly because it helps keep stuffing from showing through when using a larger hook). One advantage of doing so is that it allows you to use the square-grid (created by the front loops) as a guideline for attaching pieces (read about it here).

My customers tell me that attaching limbs to their amigurumi evenly is the trickiest part… so this is one technique I always recommend!

Now it’s your turn!

Which techniques are crucial to your project? Have you learned new ones in researching your current design? Or do you have some old faves that you go back to again and again? Do share!

Don’t forget, add your link to the comment section below, so we can all see what you’re up to!

24 replies on “Design Week, day 2: techniques

Comments are closed.