Design Process

I have discovered that I design the way I write. An idea percolates up, there is a small burst of mental activity. This mental burst may be accompanied by a corresponding activity, or it may just add to a picture of the finished product. Notes may or may not be taken. Brain may be cursed at for deciding notes need not be taken.

Basically, there’s no real “process” at all.

Currently, I have a sweater in mind. It should fulfill the same functions as a sweatshirt – a go-to garment for a chilly day – but the design should be more flattering. Casual, but not too sloppy. Yarn should be soft, but reasonably hard-wearing. Comfy. A color that is somewhat complementary to the usual colors I wear. Collar, cuffs and hem in a slightly unusual stitch to add interest, but lying flat and producing no (or not much) extra bulk. Some ease, not too much. Slightly fitted at the waist.

When I visited New York with my mom, I went down to School Products and bought an enormous cone of their (in)famous cashmere/merino. As advertised, knitted off the cone it was sort of sticky and industrial.

After a couple of washings, it bloomed and blossomed and is generally yummy.

I also swatched for edgings – the one on the right is the winner.

Design swatches

Now I just need to finish my “Print o’ the Wave” stole before I launch headlong into this… That’s pretty much the only process here. Otherwise, it’s just swatch, measure, and jump.


  1. I’m in the midst of a design mess, so I sympathize. (I should have started this sweater I’m trying to figure out top-down. Did I? Not so much. Sigh.)