Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I always love when other designers do this, so I figured you guys might like to see a little of the story behind what I've got on my needles today, yes?  Also, it's a little cold out there and I really should go running, so typing a blog post may buy me just enough time that the sun comes out then I and can be happy and warm when I go.  

This latest sweater began because of this image:

To be honest, I really don't even like the sweater above.  It's way too busy.  The different lace panels compete with each other and the seam lace is a little sloppy to me.  Really, there's completely too much lace overall.  To quote Maya, the whole thing tries too hard.  Plus, from a designer's point of view, writing up the math and charts on this would suck.   However, something about the image made me want to save it and put it in my IDEA file a while back, and I did keep pausing on it this spring.   The thought of a lacy pullover - loose and easy and lightweight, kind of cozy, a colored tank showing through the lace, a split hem.... was something I couldn't shake.

But what to do about the lace was floating out there.  I didn't want it to be complex, or too plain, or just like the other lace pullovers I see, and I really needed a motif to inspire me. Something distinct, but easy to play with.  I found it by accident while I was looking for cable patterns to match with this gorgeous green tweed below. (It's The Plucky Knitter's new Scholar base, in Technicolor Teal.  And this swatch is the Scholar cable that I decided on, by the way.  It goes on the needles next - for an early Fall release.)

While putting a thousand stickies on cables, I came across this lovely repeat, below.   Which to be honest, is NOTHING like the original sweater.   But it said summer lace pullover to me.  And this yarn that I had waiting in stash was saying the same thing.

The yarn is Shalimar's Breathless DK, which is a really lovely merino with a hint of silk and cashmere added.  Back when I designed Bailey's Irish Cream, my sister claimed the original sweater as her own, and Kristi at Shalimar was such a sweetheart that she sent me a second sweater's worth to reknit Bailey's for me.   This is that sweater's worth - in a gorgeous deep purple called Byzantium, because of course I never got around to knitting another sweater for me.  I have half a sleeve on the needles. 

And soon, I'll need to frog that sleeve to finish this.  I'm playing with bottom up construction here, a little assymetry, and the overall lace repeat which is hidden a little in the shot above (sorry, not on purpose!).  I'm designing a sweater that is pretty much nothing like the image of the white one.  But it is lacy and it is a pullover and it does have a nice, summery fit. 

I'm at the yoke now, and playing with a modified saddle shoulder based on Elizabeth Zimmerman's, but with my own ideas about fit and seamless construction incorporated into it.   My hope is that by next week, I'll be done with the knitting and onto the writing.  However, experiments don't always go as planned the first run through, so I may have a few yokes ahead of me before I am happy.  We'll see.

No matter what, I promise you a sweater based on that white thing, that's nothing at all like the white thing.   But without that image, this wouldn't have gotten started.   Funny, right?


Kucki68 said...

I love reading the story behind the design. And I am looking Forward to see more of Byzantium. said...

I love Shalimar Breathless! It's such a beautiful yarn! I've got a skein squirreled away in just the loveliest green, that will someday be a cozy shawl for me :)

margie said...

That Byzantium is B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. and the swatch/sneak peak of your design looks awesome...still lace but something totally different. I'm really looking forward to this pattern!

(amalya on Rav)

Deb Hoss said...

I do love hearing the back story, and can't wait to see what you come up with. Sorry you didn't get to your own Baileys :). This one's for you!

Louise Snitz said...

Yea! I love your story about the threads of (oops, punny) of inspiration that come together for a new idea! I look forward w/ Baited Breath.
Very nice inspiration sweather in that Bailey's Irish Cream.

Judy said...

Thank you for sharing the story behind your inspiration for this sweater. Too few share their process for those of us that love that as much as the finished product!

Amy Freyman said...

Saw your post that you'll put a call out for testers for this in a few weeks...I have so been craving some babycocktails which means that I am now stalking the group daily to make sure I don't miss out!!

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