KW Sweet Summer Sweater: Starting Your Design Process

To accompany our Sweet Summer Sweater contest, we’re going to post some tips and tricks on how to design and create your very own sweater. For this week’s feature, we will be detailing all the ways you can get inspiration for your design!

Design Inspiration:

Contrary to popular belief, many designers don’t have unlimited ideas for sweaters, accessories, color combinations and unique stitch patterns in their head. Yes, we all do our best to come up with great ideas, but nine times out of ten we are influenced from something we witnessed in daily life. Whether it be our favorite sweater, a crazy Alexander McQueen gown or the shape of flowers in our garden, design inspiration can be found anywhere –  all you have to do is look for it!

One of our favorite inspiration hubs is Pinterest. For those of you not familiar with the site, Pinterest is a digital “cork board” where you can collect countless pieces of inspiration from the internet. Watch out, though – once you start “pinning” you can’t stop! You’ll start off looking for great ways to store your ribbon collection and before you know it you’ve found 10 different projects to transform a cardboard box, 3 cookie recipes and a new use for those pesky egg cartons!

Design inspiration can be broken down into three parts: shape, stitch + color. 


Above is our Sweet Summer Sweater board, featuring imagery to inspire your design process. A common misconception is that knitwear inspiration can only come from knitted goods; but that’s completely false! As you can see, some are actual knitted goods, but we also have pinned landscape photos for color and mood, patterns we like that help to inform the finished “look” and simple garments for shape. Some of the best designs can actually be inspired by a completely different inspiration such as architecture.  

The detailing at the top of this sweater could be inspired by the top of the Empire State building.

The top of this Creatures of Comfort sweater instantly reminded us of the Eiffel Tower framework, especially with the unique neck + shoulder shaping.


Last but not least is choosing a color for your finished garment. This is one of the easiest things to change within a garment, but adding a contrasting color or a simple bind off detail can completely change the look of an entire piece. Above is the “color, color everywhere!” board we pin images that we love the colors of. As you can see, pretty much any image can provide a wealth of color inspiration.

 From an old book to a crazy looking bird, color inspiration is around you. Don’t be afraid when choosing your color story and try something new in the swatching stages to help you find the right color combination. Yes, that amazing mint and ochre yellow painting is gorgeous on a white wall, but would it truly work out in a garment?  Who knows, but all of these questions can be sorted out in the swatching stage.

A friendly reminder…

In order to participate in the KW Sweet Summer Sweater competition you’ll need to turn in a submission form which is included in the info pack below. If you’ve downloaded the info pack, just fill out the form and send it in. If you haven’t yet, just click on the icon below to download the info pack, fill it out, and submit the completed form to be entered in our competition!  If you have any questions or issues with submitting the form, don’t hesitate to email us at info {at} kelbournewoolens {dot} com or call us at 484.368.3666.

Hopefully you’ve found this first segment of our series helpful! We’ve loved seeing the posts so far and really appreciate the time and effort put into the submission forms that have already been sent in!

One thought on “KW Sweet Summer Sweater: Starting Your Design Process

  1. Mel says:

    Delighted to say I START TODAY! The yarn came. The ideas came. The sketching, swatching, resketching, re-swatching (repeat 3 times) came. The process is so rewarding, as is this helpful post!
    Looking forward to posting some pics of my fun journey along this great opportunity!

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