Thinking about submitting a design for Gang Labs #4? Check out these purls of wisdom from some of our previous Gang Labs winners.
Gang Labs #1 - Gab Bag
Camille from Geneva, Switzerland
I really wanted to design something unisex – an easy-to-wear bag with enough room for a towel and a swim suit! In Geneva, as soon as the sun is out we go for a swim in the lake or the river after a long day at work. The inspiration for the shape was the gym bags we all carried as school kids. As for the name, my friend Gabriel instantly loved it, so it became the Gab Bag!
GO OUT! Look at people’s habits – what they love and crave. Ask questions and keep challenging yourself – what’s the tiny detail that could change your world? Designing is all about fun!
GANG LABS #1 - HEAD AND TAIL CLUTCH
Rachel from Wallis, Switzerland
I wanted to create a soft clutch – something like a paper bag that you could crease or fold, so I created a flat clutch that could be folded like a calzone pizza.
I chose the name Head and Tail Clutch because one side is plain and the other side is textured – serious AND funny, like the two sides of my personality : )
Just do it! Don’t be afraid or feel under pressure. In my opinion, no creation is possible without fun.
Kate from Perth, Western Australia
I wanted to design something that was simple but looked complex, as I hadn’t been knitting for very long before entering the contest. I started by experimenting with different stitches and once I found the one that I liked, I started to sketch how it would come together, the size and the shape. The name Geometric Clutch was inspired by the stitch, which is very geometric in shape, especially when knitted with two colours.
Keep refining until you’re happy. It can take a few goes to get it right so be patient!
Gang Labs #2 - Koselig Blanket
Anthea from Gloucestershire, UK
I used the Norwegian concept of ‘koselig’ – which loosely translates as ‘cosy’ – as my inspiration and set about designing a blanket that was as wonderful to look at as it was to snuggle under. I fell in love with the lovely textured herringbone stitch pattern I found in a vintage knitting book and adapted it a little to make it easier to work with the huge 25mm needles. The thick fringing at either end adds an extra touch of luxury to the finished Koselig Blanket.
Read the brief thoroughly, swatch like a crazy thing, and remember that it’s the little details that could make all the difference. It’s given me confidence in my own abilities and I’m now working on my own range of hand knitted home accessories.
Gang Labs #3 - Josie Gloves
Lis from Virginia, USA
I had been playing around with elongated slipped stitches and I liked how it looked when you crossed them – it looks hard at first but really isn’t very difficult. In a way the stitch pattern reflected what was going on in my life, as my Mom had recently diagnosed with cancer. There are unexpected challenges that seem daunting and difficult but can work out beautifully in the end. I decided to name the Josie Gloves after my Mom, Joanne, who is doing great!
Don’t be afraid of what you come up with. I thought I would be the only person who would ever like my design and almost didn’t submit it!
Gang Labs #3 - Reversible Racerback Mitts
Jane from California, USA
I have a habit of just knitting without sketching, which is what I did for this design submission. I’d recently discovered the herringbone stitch and was surprised to find that it wasn’t as difficult to make as it seemed. I wanted to draw more attention to the beauty of the stitch itself and not overwhelm the mitt with it, which is how the “racer back” was created. The name Reversible Racerback Mitts is pretty technical and speaks for itself since the herringbone panel is reversible; a friend at Central St. Martins thought that the panel was “sexy” and looked like a “halter top” for the hand : )