The Evolution of a Design


I have a new FREE pattern out today in Petite Purls! Soledad is a cabled pullover for boys.

In the introduction to the pattern, I say:

This sweater has existed in my mind for years now, ever since we started taking our son hiking in the high desert of Southern California.

I wanted to talk a little bit about how the long process this design took from idea to finished.


This is the first swatch I ever knitted for the design that eventually became Soledad. At the time, I was picturing a winding cable along the front raglan “seam,” with no other note-worthy decoration on the sweater. I wanted to use a variation on the DNA cable or the snake cable (which is what I used for the swatch). I submitted this to Knit Circus, but although it was held onto for consideration for a while, ultimately it did not get in.


This is the second swatch I knitted for Soledad. (Sorry for the crappy photo–I just snapped it. Read on and you’ll see why.) About a year had passed and I’d hit on the idea of starting the cable at the side of the sweater and carrying part of it up the front. It was good, but not perfect. I decided to submit this to Petite Purls, but the swatch disappeared before I could photograph it.


Allegra gave me a submission extension, and I knitted this swatch. The cable shown here is nearly identical to the cable on the finished sweater. I doubt I would ever have come up with it if my original submission had been accepted, or my second swatch had not gone missing. Interestingly, that second swatch turned up as soon as I’d re-knitted with the improved cable.

The yarn for the sweater also seems like it was meant to be. I had originally gotten yarn support from another yarn company whose yarn I was having second thoughts about, so when they had a delay and couldn’t get the yarn to me, Felicia of SweetGeorgia Yarns stepped in with her superwash DK, which is absolutely ideal for the sweater. If the other company hadn’t had problems with their distributer, who knows what Soledad would look like! (By the way, I adore the other yarn company–I just don’t think it was the right choice for this pattern.)

4 thoughts on “The Evolution of a Design

  1. Amy

    April 27, 2012 at 7:12pm

    That sweater looks awesome! Also this post is very informative and I appreciate all the thought and work you put into your designs.

  2. Triona

    April 28, 2012 at 7:42pm

    Hmm, very interesting! Funny how much the design can change from swatch to swatch. I think your finished sweater is adorable–just enough cables to keep life interesting for the knitter, but plain enough so boys will like it. :-)

  3. Jenna

    April 30, 2012 at 12:24pm

    LOVE the sweater and of course Sam looks awesome in it.

  4. Cazzle

    May 2, 2012 at 7:58am

    That is a REALLY NICE jumper! If my not-yet-born neice/nephew does turn out to be a boy, I may well have a go at this for them. It’s really interesting to see the evolution of the design, too. :)

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