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I’d like to try something new if you’re game.
Usually I think, invent and design behind the scenes. Dreaming up, testing, discarding, retrying and finally knitting ideas before springing them on you in their final form.
There are benefits to this approach. If I’m successful in getting you excited about a technique and design you can just click and go. There’s the delight of immediate gratification in being able to try something right away.
On the other hand, it would be fun to take this journey with you. Give you an inside look at my decision making process, what I hoped would work but didn’t and get your insight on which design elements you’d like better. We could possibly end it all with our first KAL.
I admit it sounds like fun to me and would have the added bonus of keeping me on track (although I can’t promise not to go off on tangents here and there). Fortunately, I have several projects knit and ready for pattern formatting.
Here’s What I’m Working On
I’ve signed up for the Vogue Knitting Oregon weekend in April. It’s my very first knitting retreat and I would love to have a sweater to bring along for those chilly Northwest days. A sweater project is perfect for a Design Along because I have a lot of decisions to make and some new ideas to test with a real focus on new finishing techniques. Here where I am so far.
– Overall Design: I want a sweater I’ll wear all the time. A medium length, comfortable cardigan with a cozy collar.
– Yarn and Color: I picked Rowan Alpaca Soft DK in a nice soft gray that will show all the stitch work. It’s delightful to knit with and the gauge gives me plenty of room to play with stitch patterns without being so small I’ll never get it done.
If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that the design will include multiple ways to use the Showy Decrease and will also have interesting edges. It won’t be difficult but it will be multi-faceted; meant to intrigue the intermediate to advanced knitter with new ideas and techniques.
Here’s your first peek and it has to do with the stitch pattern. As you know, since the very inception of the blog I’ve gone on (and on) about the various ways to use the Showy Decrease.
One of the most impactful uses is something we’ve only just started exploring. The Showy Decrease can completely change the focus and perspective of a stitch pattern. Here’s a before and after example for you to compare.
As you can see, the focus of the traditional pattern on top is on the eyelets. The right-leaning k2tog and left-leaning ssk decreases don’t match and are really just there just offset the eyelet increases.
Now lets look at the Showy Decrease version where the focus shifts to the woven nature of the decrease lines. The decreases have become decorative elements that rise up on the knit fabric and … they match perfectly.
The eye is now drawn to the woven trellis created by the Showy Decreases and there is depth to the pattern that did not exist before. You can see it even better in this angled view.
Next up in the design process is deciding on the lower edge design; cast on, start up pattern and how that will transition into the stitch pattern above. I also need to think about how the side seams will be joined. As you can see from the swatch edges, there will definitely be faux Showy Cables in the design.
Helpful Tip: Non-rolling Edges
While you’re looking at the swatches, please also note how the garter edges of the before swatch condenses the stockinette. One solution to that issue resulted in our most popular blog post ever: “These 4 Stitches Will Instantly Improve Your Knit Edges” which has over 35,000 views to date.
This Design Along idea will only work if you participate, so let me know what you think. Are you in?