I guess I'm ending the year philosophical about crochet design. Yesterday, I did an exhaustive evaluation of all my published projects in 2009. I tried to look critically at the yarn choice, colors (though sometimes, both of those are not my choice). I looked at drape, stitch choice and overall "showstopping" quality of the design.
I was able to note some themes as I looked at my work which will definitely help me determine my design goals for 2010.
Also, it made me start thinking about 'what makes a design a showstopper'. Here are my random thoughts:
What I think of as a 'showstopper' (from now on, abbreviated as SS) may not be the same thing you think of as a SS.
Though all the designs in any given magazine are likely "nice" only a few in each issue might be a SS.
What are the common characteristics of a SS?, At least two (but not usually more of the following):
1. Complexity of construction
3. Awesome colorwork
4. Fantastic yarn
5. unusual or effective shape
6. A really large, think total project pattern.
7. Wearability but more than that, it has to beg to be worn. (Not just anything that fits is a SS quality).
Any others you can think of?
In the next day or two, I'll try to come up with examples of each of the above seven. Some immediately come to mind.
If you had all seven of those elements in big focus in one design, it would likely be a mess. But One or two of them can make a SS.
Personally, one of my more successful designs of 2009 was "His Best Vest" shown above on Chief. The yarn and colors were chosen by the editorial team at Crochet Today for the Sept/Oct 2009 issue. I'm not saying it was a SS. I'm saying that I'm proud of the shaping job I did for this project. The round edges at the hem and the V-neck all required math and reverse shaping. I think I did a good job. What could have pushed this to a SS? Colorwork? You wouldn't want openwork in a boy's vest, a fabulous yarn might have been too feminine, colorwork could have been too feminine, an overall pattern would not likely have worked, complexity of construction? Maybe there are a different set of SS rules for menswear.
Another project that I'm fond of is my first version of the Traveller bag. This bag was in Inside Crochet magazine, Issue 1.
I thought I did a particularly good job with the color work. And it's a very wearable bag... that I use all the time. Functionality is very important to me.