Tuesday, March 8, 2011

On designing....

When I’m drawing a blank on what to make next, I fall back on my old standard question - what kind of garment would I like to pull out of my closet right now? How can I put a different spin on yet another cardigan on the mid gauge? Spring is coming, I’m sure, and I love lace and doing it on the mid gauge means hand transfers. Therefore, I don’t want anything too complicated. I looked through some old hand knit magazines for some inspiration for a lace pattern - I wanted to avoid vertical and horizontal lines and have a pattern that wouldn’t take forever to do.
I found a fairly simple one that in hand knit was a 12 st X 18 row pattern - in hand knits they do yarn overs and K2tog, which make the eyelets, on every row. In machine knitting, transfer the stitch to the next needle and leave the empty needle in work does the same thing. As a machine knitter, being basically lazy, I generally try to set up patterns that require transfers on every row - I find it’s easier to follow, less chance of error and it gets the job done quicker when you can knit 2 rows between the work.
So, my first try resulted in this (the blue) - it looks very close to the hand knit version, but I found it
kind of boring - after I got the piece off the machine to really look at it,
I’m thinking, what can I do to spice this up??
I decided to go with a 2-step full fashioned transfer - so, in the green swatch - still did the very same eyelets, but took the 4th stitch from where the hole was to be, moved it one needle toward the hole needle, then took 3 stitches with the 3 prong tool and moved them together away one needle space to make the first hole (like what I call an 'outlined 4 to 3 full fashioned decrease'). Knit 2 rows. Did the same thing on either side of the single hole, K2R and repeated that again to make the bottom V. Then on row 8, put 3 sts on centre needle of the motif, making 2 more eyelets. Then knit six rows (this can be varied, less if you want more holes in the piece). Repeated the motif but offset it to be between the first set of motifs. Notice how the travelling stitches between the motifs create a new dimension to the fabric - it reminds me of paper lanterns. I also played with the bottom pattern to make it match better with the overall pattern. My overall pattern ended up to be a 12 st X 24 row repeat with transfers on 8 rows, so it is still a pretty quick knit but with a nice overall effect.
Now, shall I do make it a hoodie or not?


Anonymous said...

Love the green one. Not a hoodie but what about a v-neck cardigan instead with perhaps a 3/4 length sleeve??? Just a thought for spring wear.


Anonymous said...

I like both. V Neck and 3/4 sleeves sounds good but whatever you decide will be great Mary Anne. Jan

Mar said...

Love the green one---you can really see the "improvement" when you look up close. I vote for a v-neck pullover, tunic.

Sandra said...

Like the green one the best! Could you please do a chart diagram?Would love to make a stole,but am a little dense about following wwritten directions sometimes!

ps - enjoying your POM!! Sandra

Helen Fox said...

So enjoying your blog and the taster of whats to come for the POM. The patterns are great.

Helen Fox