Sweater design in progress

I tried talking about my design process as it happened once before, but that design went nowhere so fast it should’ve gotten a speeding ticket. This time Will Be Different (or I could just be shooting myself in the foot)  Mainly I’m just so infatuated with this idea right now, and it’s such a simple idea, that I can’t see how it could possibly go wrong (again, could be asking for trouble here, but we’ll pretend it’s all going to be ok)

Way back in February I knit a baby hat by berocco. They used stockinette and garter stitch with lots of colors. I only used two colors in mine, and I worked all of one color in stockinette and all the other color in garter. I loved how the texture and color played off each other. I love the topographie hat from Knitty winter ’08 for the same reason, the color informs the texture, it’s so neat!

And Julia over at Moth Heaven has been talking about stripes recently. It’s been all stripes all the time in my brain! I find myself daydreaming about it whenever I have nothing else to think about.

The final ingredient in this recipe was some yarn. At knit camp (yes, I will get that post up, soon!) I swapped a sweater’s worth of blue chained yarn for some delicious Mountain Mohair in a lovely wine color. Since there was a lot of my blue yarn the other swapper (also named Becky, it can get confusing) volunteered to throw in some other mountain mohair remnants. When she gave them to me yesterday, all in colors that complement the wine color so nicely, everything clicked into place.

catamountsketch
Textured stripes, simple yoked sweater, soft draping fabric.

I see someone wearing this sweater with jeans, or maybe a cute skirt, around UVM campus this fall. In my head it already has a name, Catamount.

catamountnotes
And then I dove right in, see the scribbles? Designing is messy…

I’m considering trying something different with this sweater pattern. Other designers have done mystery knit-alongs, where you know you’re making a shawl, but you don’t know what it’ll look like until the end. This would be similar, but it’d be a knit along with the design process. I’d put up each portion of the design as I get the major bugs ironed out – maybe once a week? And people could get the design for free and knit along with me. If you decided to play along you would be test knitting. By that I mean, there might be mistakes. In fact, it’s almost certain there are mistakes. And I’d love feedback on the wording, on easier ways to phrase things, and of course on mistakes.

Once I’m finished I’ll have the pattern tech edited and formatted into a PDF. When that’s done I’ll remove the free beta instructions and provide the final PDF for sale. If you followed along (or even just saved the pattern as I go) you’d have the beta version for free, or you could buy the clean, final version later.

What do you think?

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One response to “Sweater design in progress

  1. I think the idea is grand. Starting out as a designer one (we!) need all the feedback we can get, in small and in large. English is not my native language so I might not be one of your helpers, but do go on with this – the idea is also fun and should give you a lot of input :D
    And – even though the cardigan do look like others, please don’t be discouraged by that, do it anyway and learn. I like it!

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