Design your own sweater
Designing your own sweater
Every knitter should consider designing at least one sweater just for themselves. Not to grade, not as a business, just as a delicious exercise. When you design your own sweater, you get to choose the perfect fit and construction and make it EXACTLY how you want it.
There's also this thing we don't talk about much in designing, but not every sweater can be graded for every size. If you're a size 8 and you design an intarsia sweater that uses up the whole front of the sweater, that's not going to grade down to size 3. Or maybe you want a complex lace yoke, and the stitch repeat is so big it only goes around your shoulders 3 times. That won't grade well either. By designing your own sweater, you can have something so bespoke it would never be suitable for a commercial effort, and that's really special.
You also learn a lot along the way. Once you choose an armhole depth, you'll know why you like some things in your closet more than others. Once you write for your own shoulder-to-bust ratio, you'll think twice next time you cast on a pattern that doesn't meet your needs, because you'll recognize (maybe for the first time) what the relationship between your measurements means for fit.
So. Yes. DO IT.
Inspiration for your sweater design
Every design begins with an idea. Some designers start with the sweater in mind and then find the yarn, others fall in love with the yarn. I often start by trying to solve a wardrobe problem, rather than with aesthetics (for example, I need more cardigans because I wear wired headphones and need to un-layer on Zoom sometimes and a pullover just won't work).