designing knits

I’ve already mentioned in a couple of posts that I’m working on another Geithus lace knit top, which is this thing, if you’ll remember:

I’ve decided to tweak it and publish it, and thought it might be interesting to tag along and see the process!

I bought this absolutely gorgeous Manos del Uruguay yarn while in the US last month to make my sample with, but then I knit up a swatch in the honeycomb pattern that is the main part of the lace knit top, and… it’s completely wrong. Wrong for this project at least! Let’s compare the swatches, shall we?

Making the second swatch in a new yarn was quite an interesting experience. After I realized the yarn was wrong for this project, I started thinking about *why* it didn’t work. Going through those things and deciding the reasons they didn’t work with my project was a reminder of the design process itself. It’s full of decisions you make based on the vision you have for your end product!

The green yarn is a smooth 2-ply lace yarn, and I decided I need a yarn with more give for this garment. The slippery, silky Manos also produced a fabric (color aside) that just didn’t feel right. It was less plum, and less dense than the original swatch, which was something that was important to me in designing the top originally. I didn’t want it see through!

The gauge was way off, and while I could have made another swatch with a smaller needle size, I believe a needle size of somewhere around US 0 or 2mm would just be enjoyable for the detail work involved in this! I decided that a single ply yarn that will somewhat stick to itself was the right yarn for the type of fabric and drape and opacity I wanted to achieve. A last thing I realized about the single ply, was that it would offer a clearer stitch definition. In the green sample it’s hard to see that there is a pattern at all!

So with the swatch telling me I had the wrong yarn, I’ve ordered 3 skeins of Malabrigo in a colorway I’m a little anxious and a lot excited to see if the color will make sense. It should be on its way to my mailbox right now! In the meanwhile, I’ve been crunching numbers. I’ve got some changes I want to make from the original pattern, such as proper cap sleeves instead of an extended shoulder; a more defined side rib to tackle the decreases; and a better way of finishing the armholes and the collar. I’ll come back to those later, when the yarn has arrived and hopefully I’ve started knitting the sample!

I hope this peek into the process of designing knits was interesting!

new yarn, and fall knitting

Ooo, shiny new yarn! Actually, most of my yarn is not very shiny since I far prefer wool in all sorts of forms, but the newcomers do make me excited about the projects I have planned for them!

This is the public part of my stash right now by the way. And by public, I mean that one of those white boxes to the right holds some projects and less photogenic yarn, and this is what I have on display. No color surprises here! I have my feet planted solidly in the bluish greens, greenish yellows, greys, and browns.

First up of my new purchases – Quince&Co Lark yarn, in the color Kittywake. It must have been the dreary day I bought the yarn, but the color looked even stormier then. No matter, it’s still a heathered warm blueish grey color, and I’ve got big plans for it! I’ve been planning another Bayview Street cardigan, but decided to go for a more neutral color this time, so it can pair with all the colors the mustard yellow of the first cardigan is having some trouble with. The yarn seems squishy and springy in the skein, and I’ve been wanting to try some Qince&Co yarn for ages!

I also got some Rowan Felted Tweed yarn, in a seafoam kind of color. It was on sale for half off, so I snatched up what was left, with no spesific plans for it. I’m sure I can come up with something eventually. It might be just shy of enough for a proper sweater or cardigan… Perhaps I shall have to hunt down some more?

Lastly, some truly gorgeous yarn from Manos del Uruguay! Isn’t that green just crazy pretty? I’m completely in love with it. This is for another one of my Geithust knit lace tops – I’m working on tweaking the pattern to put it up for sale, so of course I have to knit it again to test my changes! Also, the yarn I used the first time was a single ply and  a little fuzzy and pilly, so I’m also testing to see if I like this yarn better.

After seeing Jen of Grainline Studio’s photo breakdown of her handmade wardrobe, I decided to blatantly copy and do the same, so today I took pictures of a bunch of my handmades. Coming up is a post on that, and my crafting plans for the fall!