Thursday, 26 February 2015

New Patterns in Progress!

I have been really busy forming two new patterns over the last few weeks. Both projects use Erika Knight wool, one of my favourite brands due to Erika's strong belief of "treading lightly on the earth and celebrating and supporting traditional British skills". One pattern uses maxi wool, a chunky yarn, similar to Rowan big wool. I decided that I wanted to create something with a lot of texture to really show off the luxurious quality of this wool. 

first night's work

One of the ways that I come up with new ideas for patterns is to look through crochet stitch guides, I have several of them! I use the stitch pattern swatches as a starting point and usually add a twist, eg introducing another colour or changing the number of repeats. In this case I took the astrakhan stitch and changed from working in rows to working in the round. I tried it out using double knitting scrap wool and crocheted up 4 rounds to see if my idea would work - it did! I quickly wound the hank of yarn into a ball (the husband's strong arms work well here) and started work immediately. Because the wool is chunky the pattern worked up quickly and I had a clear idea of the end result.

rug in progress, on my table

In the above photo the rug measures 47cm in diameter and is 5cm deep! I have just ordered fresh supplies of yarn from Wool and Co. in Dundee (http://www.woolandco.co.uk/index.php) and I will finish this with more rounds in the main colour. 

I am having fun with this one!

The other project I am working on is proving to be my trickiest pattern writing challenge so far! It's a small child's cardigan loosely based on a technique Kat Goldin used in her cabled yoke cardigan design where the length of yoke is worked first and the neckline and bodice branch off from there.

original sketch

I am using a stepped pattern with raised trebles for the cable yoke and working it in a contrast colour to give a strong shape to the garment.

starting to branch off from the yoke

Working out the decreases to form the neckline gave me a real headache!! I spent a lot of time scribbling away on a piece of paper, calculator to hand before I got it right! Maths was never my strong point!

success with the decreases

Now I have almost finished crocheting the body and have also moved on to the arms. Without a small child to try this on for me, my next step is to look up dressmakers size guides online to insure the garment has the correct proportions. Despite it's brain exhausting qualities I am gaining great satisfaction from creating something more complicated and hope this is the start of many clothing patterns that I will write.

nearly there!

In other news my child's chevron cowl has passed the first pattern test, thank you again to Anthea at  http://www.talesfrommountpleasant.com/ :)

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