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 …

  • Subscribe to Blog via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 33 other subscribers

  • Disclaimer for hot-linked items:

    Most books, dvds and other media resources that are hot-linked will take you to Amazon.com. IF you purchase these items through my links, I will receive a small commission from Amazon.com. These commissions are used to buy more items to review (although I do occasionally receive "review copies" as noted in the specific post) and for supplies and resources for our learning adventures. Please enjoy and shop, knowing you are enabling our resource-buying actions!
%d bloggers like this: