This is my swatch board. Like many pattern designers, my design process begins with knitting (or crocheting) swatches. I’m currently designing a knit lace scarf pattern featuring a few different motifs. Since I’m designing this in conjunction with a publisher, my editor and I have been emailing back and forth to decide which motifs are working for us both. Lucky for me, my editor is great and is proving to have a similar design aesthetic as myself. A big help in the design process has been my new HP Sprout.
Like I said, the first step in my design process is selecting yarn and swatching with it to determine gauge and to see what different motifs look like. As you can see in the image at the top of this post, I did a lot of swatching to figure out what motifs would work with the thicker yarn as well as a lace pattern. My editor and I decided on three motifs for the scarf. Since my studio is at home (and almost always a disaster!), I need to send my editor images of the swatches I’ve made for her feedback.
The HP Sprout is amazing – it has the ability to scan 3D objects into the computer in a way that’s true to life. Before the Sprout, I had to send cell phone pics of my designs, which weren’t always very color accurate. And since I can scan in multiple swatches at once, I can send in scans that are true to scale as well! The scale is important, by the way, so you can see how big motifs are in relation to each other.
It’s also really easy to make layouts with the Sprout software, so I can replicate each swatch and easily play with repeats to determine how I might want to sequence the lace motifs in my scarf. This is obviously way faster than knitting and tearing out half a scarf if the design isn’t working! Especially as a knitter & crocheter who struggles with tendonitis, this is an amazing design tool for me.
I can also make scribbly notes with a stylus as I play with the design to determine the best number to stitches to work with, how to elegantly bind off, and how long to repeat a motif.
While this design isn’t quite finished yet, I hope this post gives you a little window into what it’s like to design patterns collaboratively. When this scarf is ready, I’ll definitely post about how you can get your hands on it!
This post is sponsored by HP, who provided compensation and a Sprout in exchange for blog posts highlighting its innovative new technology. All opinions are my own.