Check out Cory’s post on her design process here!
I think my design process is much different than that of most other designers I know. First of all, I don’t have a ton of ideas just waiting in the wings until I write the pattern. Mostly I have an idea and I either write the pattern right away, or I have to figure out a way to get my idea into a knitable and wearable item and that takes a while. My Diverged socks, for example, were an idea for quite a long time before they became a reality.
The other major difference is that I don’t sketch my ideas. I’m not really a drawing kind of person. And, probably because I mainly design socks, I already have an idea of the shape of the item I’m going to end up with. I also don’t usually swatch unless I’m coming up with a stitch pattern where I’m not sure how it will turn out. I did quite a bit of swatching for the Falling Up socks when I designed them because I really wanted strong vertical lines and wasn’t sure what decrease would give me the look I wanted. Also, I originally wanted to work the pattern cuff down as I do with most my socks, and I couldn’t find a way to make the stitch pattern look similar in that direction. I never did, which is why I ended up designing them as toe-up socks.
Since I don’t sketch and don’t usually swatch, where do I start?
Well, first I chart. Charts do for me what sketches do for most others – help me plan where certain textures or stitch patterns will end up on the finished item and what the placement will be. If the pattern is one that doesn’t need to be charted, I figure out the math and then get knitting. If it doesn’t come out the way I like, well then I’ll start over.
Often my designs start with an idea for a small feature or detail that I
want in the finished project. In this case, buttons. There have been a
few times when I found buttons that I just couldn’t resist. The buttons
had to be mine, because they were really pretty and had stars on them.
But I don’t usually knit things that require buttons. I have put them on
socks once, but it’s not something I really care for. So, in comes the
idea for a cowl. A cowl, with really awesome star buttons.