I seem to have published a lot of designs in 2018, including thirteen different sweaters. This fairly large number is due to the fact that, in the past year or so, I’ve found my energy for my design work has been massively renewed by different shapes.
I’ve created easy throw-over garments with grown-on sleeves and grafted shoulders.
I became interested in combining really simple shapes to wrap the body in different ways
I loved creating quick-to-knit sweaters that could be worn cropped and wide, and layered up
I liked taking my knitting in different directions, widening sleeves, changing angles
And I enjoyed exploring the vast potential of oversized garments.
I’d say that my Strathendricks – in both the stranded and two-colour versions – are the garments I’ve enjoyed most – in both the designing and the wearing – in 2018.
A lot of the really hard work of designing goes very much unseen. I would like to say much more about my process here, but the lead times between an idea and the final appearance of a pattern are often very long, and it is important not to share ‘secret’ stuff (such as when I’m working with a new yarn that won’t be released for several months). So no one really knows when I’m challenged by a spreadsheet, when the numbers don’t work out, when I shelve an idea because it’s just not working out, or when I just abandon a project because my fickle design-mind has moved on to be grabbed by something new (this happens quite a lot). So it may perhaps surprise you to know that one of my key designs of 2018 is this ostensibly simple-looking little cardigan:
The integrated upper-body shaping of Oran do Chaora is really pretty nifty (and quite frankly a bit of a bear to grade). I had to do a lot of musing about decreases and the relationship between shoulders, underarms, necks, and bodies when working on this design.
Indeed, I would say that it was all of this intense thinking about different decrease rates that led directly to the get-rid-of-all-the-body-stitches notion that formed the basis of the Carbeth patterns.
Such are the unpredictable routes through which one design leads to another.
I’ve taken several such routes when developing my Knitting Season collection. When you see the resulting designs, some of these routes may be obvious to you, and some perhaps far less evident. You’ll see explorations of my classic themes (yokes, colour), some expansions of developing ideas (sleeves), and some completely new directions. I think it’s my most interesting collection yet – and certainly my most bold or ‘creative’. I’m really looking forward to sharing Knitting Season with you in 2019!
Today is Tom’s birthday (happy birthday, Tom!) which marks the start of our wee break. Hope you all have a lovely restful festive season xx