While she’s on summer break, Alyssa, a junior in college and avid knitter, decided to start a design-along on Ravelry.

Basically, a design-along is a simulated design process; this is the process that many professional hand-knits designers use to get a design from their heads/hearts to someone else’s knitting needles.

Here’s how the DAL works:

  • First, a theme is set
  • Second, each participant submits one or more graphic representations of that theme
  • Third, a mood board (or three, in this case) is then generated from these graphics
  • Fourth, the designer than goes back and develops a design concept, drafts the pattern, completes the item.
  • Fifth, the final step: a tech-edited, publishable pattern is generated with details on how the design reflects the mood board(s).

All this within a previously agreed time-frame.

For our first DAL, we chose the theme “gardens” and Alyssa developed mood boards based on that rather general term. As you can see, “gardens” meant very different things to very different DAL-ers. But that’s good … it helps the creative process.

The mood boards were posted yesterday (5/23/2011) and we have until 8/25/2011 to have a design drafted, tested and ready for publication.

Many of my readers and students have asked about my design process. This DAL is a great chance for y’all to see just how By Hand, With Heart goes about designing a final pattern. Won’t you come along for the journey? I’ll be posting as I develop my design and final product, titling each post “DAL: ….” so you can join in the fun. And I’m very open to suggestions, comments and critiques …

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