There’s no point to being a knitwear designer; it’s just making patterns, that doesn’t matter in the big picture. Besides, you can’t make any money as a knitwear designer - everybody knows that! Nobody wants to pay me for the things I can design, and my patterns could never be unique or impactful. I can’t come up with amazing and creative designs like the ones that I see on Ravelry. I’ll never be the next Stephen West or Andrea Mowry, so why bother even trying?
Have you ever had thoughts like these? If you’ve been considering dipping your toes in the waters of knitwear design, I’ll bet you have! Doubt is a natural part of being human; overcoming doubt is something all of us struggle to do.
At the heart of these negative statements is the idea that knitwear design is about pleasing other people: making designs knitters want to knit, or competing with specific other designers. If you’re thinking about becoming a designer because you want to please other people, maybe you should find another career.
I believe knitwear design isn’t about pleasing other people - it’s about finding the creativity inside of you and bringing it to life with each design. It’s about pleasing yourself and bringing a part of yourself into the world.
Will you create amazing and innovative designs that skyrocket to the top of the “hot right now” pages in Ravelry? Maybe! You never know until you try. If your goal is to win a popularity contest, you’ll probably be disappointed every time. But if your goal is to create something that fulfills you and ignites your inner spark, then you’ll feel successful with each new design.
Keep in mind, the big names in knitwear design didn’t start out that way. Most of them have been working for years to hone their craft and build a reputation in the industry. Don’t compare their polished result to your early stages - remember that everybody starts somewhere, and focus on inward growth rather than outward comparisons.
You will never know the full extent of the reach your work has in the world, but every once in awhile someone will tell you that your work has made a difference in their lives. That knitting your pattern got them through a difficult time in their lives, or that the pattern you designed was the perfect gift for a knitworthy recipient, or that the beauty of your design inspired them to try something new. Those are the moments that keep you going; the moments where you know that you have truly put something special into the world.
Design what you want. Create what you love - that passion will come through and attract other people to your work!
Are you ready to get started? You don’t have to go it alone! I’ve built a community inside my online course for budding designers, Swatch Studio. Inside the course, you’ll not only get instruction from me on how to take your ideas and turn them into published designs, but you’ll also get access to a free, private community of other design students so you can ask your questions and get support as you learn to light the fire of your inner muse and put your creativity out into the world, one pattern at a time.
If that sounds like your kind of community, click below to learn more about this one of a kind e-course!