I’ve just started designing a new baby sweater and I thought that y’all might be interested in the process.
My stepsister, Blair, is pregnant! So, I get to start designing her a baby sweater. She said that she wants it in gender neutral colors, regardless of the baby’s sex. Since the last time I designed a baby sweater I was inspired by New Mexico, the recipient’s home, I started thinking about designing a sweater for my stepsister inspired by Seattle, her home.
Once I decide on a general sweater shape, I think about how I want it to be decorated. I thought that for this sweater I would make the design interest come from color but keep the stitching fairly simple. I started thinking very Pacific Northwest with lots of green, water (Blair lives on an island), and grey clouds. Then I remembered that I just sent my stepmom my green yarn, so I wouldn’t be able to knit from my stash. I thought about scaling down the green and making a tree, but it just didn’t feel like a good fit for Blair. I liked the idea of the brown earth at the bottom of the sweater and thought about filling the rest with sky. It felt just right when I added a sunshine in too!
After figuring out the look I’m going for, I start to hash out details. I remind myself that babies have giant heads and if I’m doing a pull-over, I have to make sure to leave enough room. Knitting the ground out of moss stitch would add some fun texture. What if I embroidered rays of sunshine on top of the finished sweater to make it easier to knit? I love knitting in the round, but it seems the clouds and sunshine should be intarsia. Still not sure what to do about that.
At this point, I figure out basic measurements, do a swatch or two for gauge, and cast on the sweater. I know there is plenty more to figure out, but I like to jump in, get started, and figure out more specifics as I progress.
What about you guys? When starting a new project do you figure everything out at the beginning? Or do you make it up as you go?