Monday, April 7, 2008

Knitting is Writing with Yarn

Since I've started designing patterns I've started to think of knitting more and more as a composing process. You do invention exercises (for me, it is looking at fashion for inspiration, sketching, and imagining what new yarn might 'want to be'). You do some planning. Then you work on a draft. You have to revise and "rewrite" a lot before you have a good final project. My latest project, Sylvia Plath, is a good example. My first rough draft is below:

I really like the ladder stitch used throughout the body, but I need to do some revising on the sleeves and the edging. You can't tell from the photo, but the sweater currently has a very deep scoop neck. It actually doesn't cover my bust as it is. I'm going to add about 1.5 inches of ribbing around the top to adjust for this, (or possibly more for a foldover/shawl collarish look) but for my next draft I will try to fix this.

I also forgot that for an outside curve, as in the bottom of the cardigan, I need to decrease rather than increase. For an inside curve you make increases. This seems counterintuitive to me, and I was up until 4:00 am last night doing this and did increases along the edge. So the edge puckers a bit. If this were wool yarn I could just try blocking it into place, but since it is cotton I will probably have to redo it.

I tried a picot trim bind off on the sleeves. It looks better on than it does in the picture, but I'm still not sure. I might 'revise' these so that they are just regular k1, p1 ribbing.

I'm also not crazy about the yarn overall. It is Filatura di Crosa Porto Cervo. I thought I'd try cotton because I wanted a lightweight summer sweater and I live in the muggy South, but the garment just seems kind of droopy. So I think when I finish a decent draft of this I'll start another one using a wool or some kind of wool blend. I've got some orange/red yarn in my stash that might work.


Courtenay said...

That ladder stitch is really pretty. Anytime I make something in cotton, it looks droopy. It's the bane of cotton. Maybe you could try a cotton blend? Good luck!

sarah said...

I love the picot on the sleeves. it looks really feminine. and the ladder stitch works wonders. but I do agree that the cotton is kinda droopy I wonder if blocking might help any?

mendozy said...

Great pattern and love the name! I'm new to your blog so not sure what you make your designs for (apart from the love of it of course!), so if you put your patterns up for sale could you let me know as I'd love to try this one - when it's perfected, of course!