My New Design Process

 I am a knitter with a decent amount of projects under her belt. I'm comfortable with cables, stranded color, and a host of other techniques. But, please note, I have been a strict pattern follower. I follow the directions and marvel at the technical expertise the pattern writer must have to make it work just right. However, inside, I've always had a yen to design knitwear. And here comes the perfect project to try! The sweater for my little boy Waldorf doll. Small in scale and very manageable.

It is not in my nature just to cast-on and wing it. I have broken down the steps that I think will help in planning the design for this project.

Using a similar process to how I approach a graphic design project, I dove in with some sketching...

I should also mention that I had found some fun colors, in my yarn stash, that I thought I would use for inspiration when concepting. In the end, I came up with 3 concepts that all had a little something different about them. The one I'm going forward with is the one with the F on the front. I have such a thing for initials. Plus, I think it is sporty and boyish.

My next step was to work out some measurements...

I measured the doll, and with adding some room for ease, came up with what I think is the proper measurements for the actual sweater. Then, much to my shock, I knit a gauge swatch. I am a very guilty no-gauge-swatch knitter. But, it had to be done to make this process work properly. I didn't end up using my stash yarn, because for this design I wanted colors that had enough contrast to really show off the arm stripes and the letter. This little sweater will be knit in Spud & Chloe sweater yarn in the colorways Turtle (green) and Splash (blue). The suggested needle sizes for this yarn is 7 thru 9. I went with 8 because it made a nice flexible fabric but it was tight enough to show off the color work crisply.

Progress has also been made on the chart for the color work on the front with what I think will be the proper stitch counts. I realize completely that I may have to rip back, here and there, to make something bigger and smaller once I start knitting. This is my first design project and I don't want to get too cocky with what I think are my final measurements.

I plan on picking up stitches around the armhole once the front and back have been sewn together and working the sleeve in the round with dpns. It seems easier than knitting them up and setting them in later. We will see on that one!

In my next post I will share my wins and my fails on this project. I have never taken a class on designing knitwear, nor have I read anything that really would help with this process. The way I am approaching this is my own, egads! I'm totally open to getting helpful tips and reference suggestions. I know I have a lot to learn...and this is babysteps.


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