Ever wonder how designs go from concepts on a moodboard to patterns in a magazine? I recently ran across my swatches for my Riverine Pullover from issue 5 of Pom Pom while reorganizing my work area, and I thought it’d be fun to share how that pattern came into being.
With Pom Pom’s moodboard in front of me, I started sketching. I had a basic idea of what shape I wanted my sweater to be, as you can see, and I knew I wanted it to have more than one color, but I wasn’t sure about the details. The first two sketches featured blocks of intarsia. I kind of liked them, but there were no strong feelings, just a small concern that they might be too 1980s. My next sketch featured a small bit of stranded colorwork. There was rickrack on the moodboard, and I pulled from that to sketch a little zigzag of white stranded colorwork to create the transition from red to blue. I was pretty much settled on this sketch, but then I started to wonder if it wasn’t light enough for a warm-weather knit. So I made yet another sketch with lace at the top instead of stockinette, and I decided to go with that one.
After I had my sketch sorted out, I moved on to knitting swatches. Some designers like to work in the other direction and come up with a cool stitch pattern and sketch designs based on that, but I typically do my sketch first and then try to find a stitch pattern that creates the look I had in mind. The light blue swatch was the one I settled on, but while browsing blogs one day I ran across a pattern with the same neckline and lace, so it was back to swatching for me! With that rickrack still in my mind, I came up with the darker blue swatch, and it was just perfect.
I had all the details worked out and approved by Pom Pom, so it was time to finally write the pattern and knit the sample. When I was all done, everything was packed up and put in the post. They edited the pattern and photographed the sweater, and the next time I saw it, it was in a pretty magazine!
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