For awhile now, I have been wanting to broaden my blog to something more than announcements about new pattern releases. I think I may have found that NEW thing!! I am going to take you through my designing journey, specifically for my newest journey in designing a garment for a collection I hope to release this fall / winter.
Well, this first began when I received a copy of the book, Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book. As soon as I saw this new publication, I KNEW I needed to get my hands on it! I have had the second version of this book (published in 2002) for as long as I’ve been knitting – over 12 years! It has been such an amazing resource for me, especially when I was first beginning to design my own knitwear. I learned different cast on and bind off techniques, as well as how to measure my gauge swatch, and use it to calculate yardage in garment design…just to name a few! It is really the ultimate guidebook to knitting!
Upon opening the book, I noticed that a lot of the core information was the same. But how much they have added has made this book even more valuable to me! I immediately turned to the section called “Designing Sweaters” on page 203. This has been an area of my design portfolio that I feel is lacking, and I have been wanting to take my knit design to the next level. I have designed and published a few garments (Midnight Madness, To The Flame, Starlight Adventure, Primono), but they were all created using unusual modular techniques that were pure experiments for me. I would love to design garments using more traditional techniques, but keeping them interesting and fun at the same time! I can’t even tell you how many books I have in my library about sweater design…..Ok, it’s like 5…but that feels like a lot! For some reason, it was all feeling a bit overwhelming to me: taking an idea, a thought, a sketch, and turning it into a sweater that is simple yet engaging to knit, and something you never want to take off. This book has it all in one place!!
The first step of my journey: Finding the yarn and sketching out my ideas. Using the yarn I’ve shown in the photo above and below, I want to design a new sweater to be part of a new collection. Because of the climate where I live, I chose this single-ply fingering weight base to create a lightweight sweater or cardigan that I can wear year-round. Shown below are Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in colors Concrete (I have 3 skeins total which will compose the main body of the sweater), and one skein each of a Potluck color (which are one of a kind color ways that may not be repeated again), Kimono, and Pucker.
The Concrete color way is absolutely perfect for this collection (I will tell you more about that later), and I planned the rest of the sweater around this color way. I love the bits of purple and blue in there!! You can see a little peek at my sketch that I’m working on. At this point, I’m still unsure if I want to create a cardigan or a pullover, but I know that I want it to be worked from the top down, with one-color brioche chevron stripes along the yoke, alternating the brighter colored single skeins. If I go with a cardigan, I think I will stick with a simple raglan shaping, and if I go with a pullover, I will go with a more circular yoke design. If you look at the sketches, you can see a bit more of the rest of the collection I’m putting together! I’m starting with the sweater, because it’s the most difficult and time-consuming of the pieces.
Here is a closer look at my sketch, and a bit of the information covered in this section of Vogue Knitting!! This was my original sketch for a cardigan with raglan style shaping for the arms and shoulders. I may end up going this route because I wear cardigans way more than pullovers. I live in Southern Texas, and I feel like I’m always putting on and taking off layers!
I am still in the very beginning stages of this design, and want to bring you along with me every step of the way. I will be learning so much, and I hope that you will learn something too! Next step will be winding up the yarn and casting on a swatch or two. I am thinking that I will swatch for both versions, to see which I like the best. Look for a new post after I have completed the swatches, and maybe you can help me make a final decision!!
Thank you so much for following along with me!! Please feel free to comment with any questions, and feel free to let me know if you have a preference between cardigans and pullovers!