I think I need to apologize to you for a seeming case of extreme neglect. No posts in October or November. I don't know what I was thinking. (Actually I do! Merger = New University, new employer, lots of marking, writing a new unit and children who keep using up all the internet bandwidth). I have however still been knitting, creating lots of new content. So let's play catch up again shall we? It's well past time I shared what I've been doing.
I'll admit I'm a novice when it comes to designing. Oh, I'm an accomplished knitter with 30+ years of experience. I'm happy to turn my needles to all manner of complicated stitch patterns, cables and lace, intarsia, fairisle and colour-work. I'm as happy with four needles as two. But I still have my L plates when it comes to designing.
I've dabbled a little in this this design thing before (see Owls are the New Elephants and Happy Birthday Louise - I made you a hat! for example). But it's been small steps so far. I understand the mathematics of gauge and stitch count (after all I'm a mathematics lecturer in my day job). But I've been chiefly designing by adapting existing patterns to fit another purpose or creating knitted pieces to fit a paper pattern.
I haven't ever really created an entire garment to order before but that's what a persistent request from Mel, my middle daughter made me try to do. Mel wanted a cable jumper for her trip to Europe at Christmas time. She wanted something very specific, a simple, elegant, classy aran jumper, modern but with a nod to traditional forms. No bobbles, not too intricately pattered, squishy cables.
So began a design collaboration. First Mel created a Pinterest mood board with pictures of the type of jumper she was dreaming of. I started by hunting through old knitting pattern books in op shops. I was looking for 1970s or 80s classic cable jumpers. We discussed shapes and sleeve types - raglan versus set in sleeves. Did she want a high neck, V-neck or polo neck? We looked at edges and cuffs, single rib versus double rib. I found an old pattern book to use for the basic sizing and measurements (Arans in Totem - by Patons - Book 746).
"No, a bit longer." Consultation back and forth across the train aisle. Two broad 12 stitch cables winding their way up the length lightly edged in purl for definition. Cables on a knit background so they almost melt into the fabric. Loosely twisted every 20 rows or so. Raglan shaping for the sleeve caps.
The Harmony Guide to Knitting Stitches.
Needles: 3.25 mm for ribbing and 4 mm for body, 4mm cable needle.
Yarn: Moda Vera Pure Wool 8ply - shade 68 - Brown although I would describe it more as an olive brown / khaki