In those of us who live a creative life, there is often an internal struggle between the desire to create and the fear that everything has already been done before, and that we have nothing original to offer the world. In the realm of knitting, this can feel especially true: how are we to design something new and original when there are so many patterns already out there in the world?
If you’ve been too afraid to express your creativity because you’re worried that you would just be copying something that’s already been done, I’m here to tell you that originality is overrated. There is nothing entirely new in this world; everything is just a slight twist or change from something that has existed before. Once you recognize that, you can let go of the idea that your design has to be life-altering, and instead look inside yourself to find the inspiration to create something truly, authentically YOU.
Are there already a lot of really amazing knitting patterns in the world? Of course! But the thing that’s missing from this collection is YOUR vision. Only you can manifest your ideas and turn them into a design; only you can bring your own unique perspective to the needles of knitters all over the world. Your design doesn’t have to be earth-shattering; it just has to be inspired by what’s inside of you.
Here are some tips to help you if you’ve been holding yourself back from designing because you’re afraid you won’t be able to do better than what is already out there:
Release your negativity
We are our own worst critics. It’s so easy for us to find something to compliment (or to be jealous about) in someone else, but it’s so hard to compliment ourselves! The first step is to release the negative self-talk that may be running through your head, so that you can move forward into a creative space.
If you believe certain statements about yourself - like, “I’m not creative,” or “I could never be a designer,” or “nobody would want to pay for my work,” then you will make those statements true because you’ll stop yourself from working to overcome those negative beliefs. It’s time to recognize these lies you tell yourself, and let them go.
Take a moment to write out all of your negative thoughts about yourself, your ability to be a designer, your creativity or your worth.
Now, tear that piece of paper up! And move on without those feelings.
Acknowledge your originality
We all have various traits in common, but no one else is exactly like you. Remind yourself of your own uniqueness by asking yourself these questions:
What do people often compliment me on?
When was the last time I contributed an important idea or effort at work?
What does my spouse or best friend love most about me?
What do people often ask me about?
Find your Muse
Now it’s time to get inspired. What would you truly love to have in your knitwear collection? What’s the one garment or accessory you’ve always wanted to make, but something has held you back? Describe it:
What type of item is it (shawl, cardigan, scarf, hat)?
What color(s) will it be?
In which season will you wear it most frequently?
Which of your outfits will you pair it with?
What inspires your design (something in nature, a favorite color, a person you know)?
What will the fabric be like (lacy, textured, cabled, colorwork)?
What weight of yarn would you like to use?
Now, make a sketch of your design. It doesn’t have to be fancy - just a general idea to get you started.
You’re almost there! Need a little help?
My mission is to help you ignite the muse inside of you - to dig deep and find the inspiration for designs that only you can bring to the world that is so in need of more beauty and authenticity. That’s why I’ve put together a FREE 10-day workshop to help you take your inspiration and transform it into a knitting design. Join me October 9th as I will be running this popular workshop, Initiate Knit Design, where you will discover how you can transform your yarn into designs of your own creation. This workshop is NOT about creating the perfect design on the first try. It is about guiding you through the process of knitwear design so that when inspiration hits you, you know exactly what to do and do it with CONFIDENCE + CREATIVITY. ENROLLMENT IS NOW CLOSED.
Enrollment for the challenge is now closed. However, I've got a special gift for you in the meantime. Sign up below to get the FREE "Manifest Your Authentic Vision" workbook which will go over the prompts outlined in the blog post here with space for you to write + sketch your thoughts.