Topic D1: Assemble your materials – get ready to design!


Lesson Two

Topic D1: Assemble your materials - get ready to design!

Your introductory programme doesn’t stop at knitting, it’s also a chance to dip your toes in the exciting world of designing.

We’ll be starting our design journey with a sketchbook but don’t think that means you have to be a fine artist!

If the very idea of a sketchbook makes you nervous, think of it as a notebook, workbook, journal, scrapbook or just a collection of notes and ideas.

The first step is to gather up your provisions – it needn’t be anything fancy so whether you’re a stationery hound who can’t resist another set of fineliners or a collector of sweetie wrappers, wee bits of lace and rescued buttons, now’s your chance to put them to good use!

In the materials tab above you’ll find a printable list of equipment and materials. You can also view it on screen.

I’ve given you some ideas of materials you may like to have to hand as well as a few basic essentials but feel free to work with what you have.

sketchbook pages 01

When you have your materials ready, click below to mark this topic complete. You can revisit it at any time by going to the Lesson plan in the panel on your left (on desktop), or above on mobile and smaller screens.

Tech Tip: If you’re on desktop or a larger screen, you can hide the Lesson plan panel on the left by clicking the little < arrow in the purple section at the top. Click it again to make it pop back out.

Next steps:

Either click below to move straight onto the next topic or return to the lesson overview. You can also click to go back to the previous topic.

Well done – you are on your way!

Don't worry too much about materials for your sketchbooking. Keep it simple and inexpensive and add as you go along.

To get you started you will need:

A sketchbook. A4 or A5, portrait or landscape, the choices is yours. It needn't be expensive.

(Try the Works bookshop or The Range for a decent quality book at a good price.  B&M, Home Bargains, Wilko or Quality Save often have a selection too. Don't worry about the cover, you'll be decorating it anyway! For a treat, I love Pink Pig sketchbooks but if it makes you nervous about 'spoiling it' (which you won't), then go for a more budget option initially.

Drawing materials: coloured pens, pencils, eraser, pencil sharpener. If you already have or want to add extras like watercolours, inks etc. that's great but don't feel you need to - in which case a couple of brushes, a water pot, a sponge and a cleaning rag would be useful.

Equipment: PVA glue, scissors, ruler, sewing needle, single hole punch, stapler, sticky tape, post-it notes.

A camera: This can be a regular camera or your phone/tablet/ipad.

Being able to quickly capture an interesting sign, the light on a building, the texture in a pavement, oil on water is a good way to get you thinking visually and you can use your photos in all kinds of ways later - as inspiration for a drawing, to print for collaging, to manipulate in a photo-imaging programme. I also use my phone camera as a quick way to record information about an artist or particular artwork at an exhibition - if you're pushed for time or there isn't a catalogue you'll have the detail to research from later.

To add interest to your sketchbooking you will also want to start gathering what I refer to as my 'things that might come in useful'. They are also my bits of inspiration, colours that make me happy, textures I find appealing - all sorts. Choose a small box (around shoebox size) and aim to fill it with things you find interesting. You might like to cover or decorate the box if you wish with papers, stickers, paint.

Some ideas would be:

Textured and coloured papers - magazines, old maps, old books, giftwrap, packaging, sweet wrappers, handmade paper, newspaper, leaflets and flyers, postcards, junk mail, ticket stubs.

Fabrics and threads - small pieces of interesting fabrics - leftovers from sewing, hems that you cut shorter, samples, labels and tags from garments, lace trims, net curtain, those annoying little ribbons from jumpers and dresses, tapestry, embroidery threads and yarns, buttons, bows

Foraged items: Leaves, flowers for drying, acorns, shells, pebbles, bits of bark, twines and strings, rocks with interesting patterns or colours