• The Magpie Knitter…

    ...trying to get from "Oooooh, shiny!" to a design.
  • Magpie Knitter on Twitter

  • Latest Knits...

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Jen Johnson began knitting in 2007 while pregnant with her daughter and does most of her knitting for her daughter and son. When she couldn’t find the patterns she wanted, she added designer to her job titles of Navy wife and mother. Jen loves the inspiration she gets from all the beautiful yarns available, as long as she doesn’t get distracted by—ooh, shiny!
  • free counters
  • Advertisements

The Birth of a Design, Part II: What to Stitch, What to Stitch

Read Part I here.

Having settled on a yarn base (Three Irish Girls Lindon Merino) and a clothing style (a sweater suitable for boys), I decided to try to work up a couple swatches. Here is where my Barbara Walker treasuries were absolutely invaluable. I pulled all 4 off the shelf and began flipping through them…

…and that’s when I realized I was going about this a bit backwards.

As I was looking at stitch patterns and stitch repeats, I realized I hadn’t yet decided on a sweater style.

I was leaning very strongly towards a top-down raglan cardigan. I like cardigans for their easy on-and-off, especially for younger children (and to eliminate the issue of making a neck hole large enough to fit over oversized baby heads!), and I love top-down raglans. Since they can be tried on as I knit, I can adjust the fit. That’s really helpful when you’ve got a long, skinny kid like I do. I also love the fact that when I’m done knitting and weave in the ends…I’m done. Okay, there might be buttons or a zipper or something…but no seams. Now, I don’t particularly mind seaming–I posted on my personal blog my belief that the mattress stitch is awesome black magic–but I know not everyone feels that way. I see frequent posts on Ravelry either bemoaning the need to seam or asking for pattern recommendations that don’t involve seams. And I wanted this to be a pattern that a busy mom would feel she could knit without too much extra work.

Ok–top-down raglan cardigan it would be. Now I could go back to the books.

I knew I didn’t want a large stitch pattern, because I did want a stitch pattern that carried fairly seamlessly from the yoke to the body, and that would have to take the raglan increases–and small starting sections on the fronts, especially in the smaller sizes–into account. And there was something else, something very important, to also take into account: the yarn.

As I said in Part I, I’d been inspired to pick a very colorful yarn…

3IG Lindon Merino Pansies

…and it can be hard to see stitch patterns with variegated yarn. This design is for Three Irish Girls, and if you look at her colorways, “Variegated” might be Sharon’s middle name. (It could be her first name, except I already know that’s Sharon.)

Ok, so where did that leave me? I knew I wanted a small stitch repeat–preferably an even number repeat, since in 3 of the 5 sections (both sleeves and the back) I would be increasing 2 stitches in each increase row. And I wanted an all-over, highly textured, stitch pattern that would stand out on highly variegated yarn.

Time to start picking out stitch patterns and swatching…


2 Responses

  1. […] The Birth of a Design, Part III: To Swatch, Perchance to Knit Posted on August 16, 2010 by jinniver Read Part I here. Read Part II here. […]

  2. […] Read Part I here. Read Part II here. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: