Loose Ends

Loose Ends

the creative impulse gone awry

Monday, October 25, 2010

Zoë loves love: an adventure in design.

New Ravelry Download: I heart Silk Garden Sock Baby Sweater

We've had this sweater (in various forms) in the shop for a while. It all started almost 2 years ago when we were writing patterns for the recently released Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders. I love the idea of taking a striping yarn and doing colorwork with it. I remember a Spin-Off cover many years ago that featured two self-striping yarns worked against eachother for a fantastic felted tote and ever since then I had wanted to do it! When the opportunity to design for this book came up, Clara was a little over a year old and I was deeply into making things for her.

The pattern that ended up in the book is the Crazy Wavy Dress that you can see in the shop and soon on Ravelry and in the book, but I had a little time before the deadline so I tried to work up another garment, this time a cardigan and with Silk Garden Sock. The results, sadly took more than one skein of yarn! So I couldn't send it in... But it looked great on Clara:

Version 2 was a quick re-write trying to get the project down to just 1 skein of Silk Garden Sock, I dropped the turned over collar and shrunk it to a 12 month size. The results would have gone to One Skein Wonders but with the re-write, we missed the deadline... but it looked awesome on my friends son!

Version 3 happened when my intrepid business partner Naomi tried to work up the pattern in a 3rd yarn (not self striping) omitting the heart pattern entirely and found the yoke to be nearly unworkable. I had recently added a 2 year size to the pattern and she was working up a sample. She ended up re-writing the pattern to simplify, removing some charts and trying to make the pattern easier! We don't have a picture of that yet, but it did work up very well in the Zauberball 6ply in the blue mix.

Now, I hate it when my patterns make people have heartburn and I had wanted to add a 6 month size at the same time. Enter my next model, Zoë! I took all of the decreasing out of the colorwork, and according to the EPS, took more stitches off under the arms (which make the yoke grand join much more pleasant) and worked all the decreases in 4 rounds. Much easier! I simplified the colorwork pattern further to remove the single color stripes (which is a geeky thing to do on a circular needle, but not the easiest thing to describe!)

The results are pretty fabulous, the sweater was a lot easier to knit and I'm really pleased. I did futz with the yarn a bit to make the sleeves match, because I knew that adding bits later would be no big deal and because I knew I would have to pick up and knit that border anyway and extra stripes make it look cool. I think I have enough yarn left over to make some booties and I would love to put the heart motif on the top of the foot. But that will have to wait for another day, Clara is in need of a sweater for winter and I'm on version 3 of that. I'm almost to the end of the body (it's top down) so I'm getting close. We're going to line this one with polar fleece or possibly some quilted fabric so it can serve as her winter coat. You'll definitely be seeing that one soon because it's really getting cold and she needs it!

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