Fresh Designs Crochet behind the scenes: inspiration boards

Posted on by MK Carroll

These photos were taken a couple of weeks before the Fresh Designs Crochet call for submissions went live. If you've seen the inspiration boards for the Scarves & Shawls, the photos of orchids ("how would you combine solid and variegated yarns?") were taken the same day as these were.


When I started putting together the inspiration boards, I was thinking about how to provoke the creativity of individual designers. While I do have a general idea of the mix of patterns I'd like the books to have, I also want to be surprised.

Tulips ("Flamingo Parrot")

Some of the inspiration boards/story boards I've seen are very specific about what the publication is looking for (and I've seen one or two that were just this side of "make copies of these items"). The inspiration boards I put together for Sweaters, Kids, and Designs for Men are pretty standard - photos from runways and catalogs, blurbs about silhouette and color.

Tulips ("Davenport")

I got more free-form with the other boards, which Shannon was supportive of. There's been some positive feedback on them from designers, which was a relief for me; I have worried a bit about the inspiration boards scaring people off. All of the inspiration boards include links back to where some of the images used came from, for credit as well as to make it easier to continue exploring an idea. Some of the images I chose to be deliberately off-topic, like the microscopic photos of diatoms for the Toys inspiration board. "Diatoms? Toys? What? Huh?" - not everyone will respond that way, but I expect a lot people will. It's like mixing up a bunch of different seeds, grabbing a handful, tossing it out into a fallow field, and then waiting to see what sprouts. Someone might look at the colors and start thinking about a variegated yarn they just saw at their LYS. Someone else might start thinking about afternoons spent in a dusty attic, looking through a box of old National Geographic magazines. Where will it lead? I'm curious. Every time I check on the submissions for Fresh Design Crochet, I'm wondering what someone is going to share.