Putting your Passion on the Page


So, you’ve got a great pattern idea, and you’ve hashed out a pattern proposal, but you can’t help feeling there’s a little something missing.  Does your pattern proposal not quite capture your energy and enthusiasm for your design? If you struggle with communicating your passion in pattern proposals, you’re not alone.  Here are some tips for putting your passion and energy onto the page.


The inspiration for your design forms part of the written description section of your pattern proposal.  Here you can write about your motivation for creating this particular design. It’s a great place to speak to your energy and passion for this unique project.  Take some time to dig deep with your inspiration, and write something specific.  Is your design inspired by nature?  In what way? What particular natural setting or experience inspired this work?  Colours, textures, and even scents can all form part of your inspiration.  There’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to write an inspiration, but more specific is better.  Help the reader to picture exactly the experience, setting, or visual you’re imagining.  Think also about how you want a person with your finished pattern to feel.  If it’s a wearable item, what might they pair it with, and where would they wear it?  How do you imagine them feeling when they wear your design?  If your pattern is for a non-wearable item, how do you picture people using your design? Where would they place it, and how would it augment a space or create a mood?


This is a different take on communicating energy and passion, based on the visual elements of your pattern proposal, the sketch and swatch.  How you sketch your design can speak to how you intend it to be worn or used.  If your design is for a garment or accessory and you have a talent for sketching figures, consider drawing your design as it would look worn by a person.  More specifically, think about what you’d like that person to be doing, thinking, or feeling while wearing your design. How would that come across in their posture, pose, and how they style the piece? If sketching figures isn’t your strong suit, try drawing the design in a dynamic way that connotes how the piece would be worn or the feeling you want it to convey.  For example, consider a cylindrical cowl. By simple tilting the sketch on an angle, you can approximate how it will look while worn, even without including a sketch of a figure.  The swatch can really come into play if your design is quite 3-dimensional, and/or if you’re designing a non-worn item.  If your design is 3-dimensional, consider creating a swatch that can demonstrate this shape, for example a wedge of a curved hat with an interesting brim shape.  If you’re designing a non-worn item, use your sketch or swatch to place the item in its intended setting.

A Coordinated Impression

Don’t underestimate the value of a well-coordinated proposal, where the components support and augment one another.   For example, your description of interesting construction techniques is brought to life by incorporating these techniques into your sketch and/or swatch.  Your inspiration description is supported by your choice of yarn fibre type, weight, and colour.  Was this design inspired by an earthy nature scene such as a forest walk or a quiet river?  If so, does your yarn choice also communicate a natural, earthy tone?  Was your inspiration drawn from a sleek urban setting? Maybe this ties to angular design elements in your sketch, sleek stitchwork in your swatch, and cool neutral tones in your yarn choice.  Having all the parts of your proposal work together to form one coherent impression will speak volumes to your energy for the design and your attention to detail.

Remember, your designs express your unique creative energy.  The more you can imbue your pattern proposals with that energy, the more they’ll stand out in a crowd, and the more likely your designs are to catch the eye of publishers and yarn suppliers.

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Photography by Piotr Angiel