So the last few months my blog posts have been a bit erratic and light on the knitting! There is a reason for this! I decided a while ago to set myself the task of….wait for it….learning how to design and knit my own clothing! DON DON DON! Ok, it’s really not that dramatic, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to be able to do. I’ve designed my own knitwear before such as fingerless gloves and mittens and charted my own colour work, but it’s always been in a “ lets cast on 64 stitches and see what happens!” sort of way. I love knitting jumpers and cardigans and am pretty good at reading other peoples patterns (mainly because I LOVE reading knitting patterns, especially in the bath. It’s weird I know, but I’ve made peace with it and have moved on) but how the designer has got to this final pattern and why certain choices within the design have been made has always been a complete mystery to me. One that I hoped I could solve. Like a knitting Poirot!
So, after some research and some major cyber stalking of Michelle Wang, I decided to give the online course by Shirley Paden a go. This was fantastic, though very challenging. Me and maths have never seen eye to eye and as it turns out knitwear design is basically all maths! That being said, I really enjoyed the challenge and though it took quite a few tries and a lot of rewatching of the classes it finally clicked! I finally wrote out my pattern for the above and got knitting! As you can see I went for a pretty simple design for my first try, classic shape with set in sleeves with a textures stitch on the body and stockinette on the arms. I’m pretty happy with it! The yarn is a fingering merino that I cold dyed myself with pomegranate and turmeric. I was really happy with how the colour turned out, however one thing I’ve learned from this is that cold dyeing with turmeric is much less lightfast than hot dyeing. Luckily I had a feeling this might happen which is why I combined it with the pomegranate, which is much more colourfast. When my jumper was knitted and being blocked the sun moved around and hit it right across the middle giving me a stripe where the turmeric had faded out from the cool, bright yellow you see on the skeins, to a much warmer, creamier lemon colour in the final jumper. Once I realised what was happening I let the jumper finish blocking outside in full sun so it could do it’s thing. Luckily I still like the end colour (I’ve never met a shade of yellow I don’t like!) and was really happy when I could finally wear it. I can’t wait to get designing more things now! Watch this space!