I recently designed and created a custom scarf for a friend of my sister's and as I had documented the work throughout, I thought I would provide a little insight on my design process for it.
First of all, I needed to work out a pattern, based on what she had requested. This involved lots of looking at pattern libraries for inspriation as well as scribbling and sketching on squared paper. This is generally how I plan out any design before I hand or machine knit one stitch.
Once the pattern was worked out and agreed on, as this scarf was going to be made on my Knitmaster (a vintage mechanical - that's hand-operated to you and I - knitting machine), I needed to create a punch card with the pattern 'punched out.' This means I can easily make my own original designs for fair isle or individual motifs.
Next, I whizzed up a swatch to test out my pattern design on my machine using Merino lambswool yarn and felted the test swatch to see how it looks in the chosen colours.
Once this had been approved, I got started on the final scarf. After felting and trimming of floats/tufts on the reverse, blocking and sewing on my little WildCat Designs label, it was ready to go!