So, it seems there are some benefits to lockdown! Having focused on my paintings over recent years, which you can see at sarahmoncrieffpaintings I recently found myself returning to knitwear design. What a wonderful occupation for long lockdown days. I'm never happier than when I can hide myself away, find some inspiration, and begin some designing.
So, where do I start? I love the colours and patterns that I see in nature, the colours of Autumn trees, the patterns I see on a beach, the spiky frosty scenes I see in the winter. During my trips to Africa, where I regularly go to teach art to street children through my charity Time for Art , I have a field day looking at the bright colours, the beautiful fabrics and I get so many ideas for knitted garments based on the elegant skirts and tops I see the women wearing. Often, I will base a design on one of my paintings, selecting out strong shapes and colours to focus the design on. Such as my Cadair Idris coat inspired by the shapes and colours I saw on the mountainsides of Cadair Idris in Wales.
All these different sights are always a starting point for me. In my sketch book I keep pages of photographs, sketches and notes of what I see. I constantly refer back to them. I open a new page and start to scribble designs and from this eventually emerges a design for a garment that I'd like to knit. It certainly isn't a quick process, but it's so fulfilling to see the finished product.
My first one appears in the March issue of Let's knit and I'm looking forward to seeing it.