This past week I've taken my first big-girl steps into the world of designing. In the past I've always felt comfortable modifying designs - making something longer or shorter, wider or narrower, and changing colors or yarns. This was my first experience sitting down and saying, "I want to end up with X, now how am I going to accomplish that?"
After Quidditch, I had an idea to crochet a cover for a tape-measure that's shaped like a snitch. A quick trip to Michaels netted a tape measure ($2.49), gold crochet thread ($2.49), and white crochet thread ($2.49). I already had crochet hooks.
There are 2 schools of thought on crocheting a circle in thread. Increase "as needed" is the MO of the kippah crocheter. People who work in thicker fibers usually increase evenly, but when you crochet with thread that makes your work look like an equilateral polygon instead of a circle. I'm super anal about making things even so I went with option 2.
A little fiddling created the "sides" of my circle, giving it depth. I decreased symmetrically to close off the top, and voila! I had a golden tape measure. Just add wings, and it's a golden snitch tape measure. :D The whole process took maybe 2-3 hours, and then I had to try it again to make sure the directions were like I remembered them. It worked!
That success got me thinking about my other design attempt, for the HSKS bag design contest. I was bored of the messenger bag I was knitting, so I started thinking about snitches... snitch bags... knitting a snitch bag!
The construction of the snitch bag came to me very quickly, and I had to start knitting it to see if it would work. The first attempt didn't. Instead of a cylinder with flat, disc-like sides I had a cylinder with poofy sides, and with no structural integrity the thing poofed and looked like a yellow blob. I modified the # of stitches for the 2nd attempt and it totally worked. Knitting wings sounded weird, but after a chat with Minee I had another idea - a half stuffed, half mesh wing that would keep its shape and not flop around. I had to sew a little, but in the end it really worked out.
Writing up the patterns was a kick. I'm mailing out 2 tape measures today, and when they are received I'll post photos and the pattern. The Snitch Bag pattern is being submitted tonight, and then I have to decide whether to sell it or list it as a free pattern. On the one hand, it is unique enough that I don't feel bad charging for it. On the other hand, I like free patterns, plus less people will try the pattern if I charge for it and that's less fun. We'll see what happens I guess, but I'm interested in hearing opinions on the whole free/charge patterns idea, so leave comments please.