Riverine and My Design Process

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!

On an unrelated note, I recently transferred my email notification subscription service for new posts. If you were already subscribed, you should still receive notifications, but please let me know if you have any issues. If you’d like to be added to the list, you can subscribe here.





4 responses to “Riverine and My Design Process”

  1. Siobhan

    That’s really cool! I’d love to see your design processes and inspirations for other designs.

    1. Although I don’t usually share my sketches because the ones I draw just for myself are pretty ugly, I do tend to share my swatches and progress throughout a bunch of blog posts, so I’ve always thought it might be redundant to do a post like this showing how all the pieces come together. Maybe I need to rethink that!

  2. It’s always really interesting for me to see the creative process. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thank you for sharing. I have just started designing myself, but is still trying to find my style and the best work methodes for me. So this was very interesting and inspiring to read!

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