Posts Tagged ‘vanessa ewing’
Friday, August 16th, 2013
It’s no secret- I love wool. I adore it all year round- when it is 90 degrees outside I sit in the air conditioning and knit knit knit! Nothing compares to the bounce and body you get from wool- whether knitting stockinette stitch, fairisle, and (a personal favorite of mine) cables.
Wearing wool, however, makes me super itchy. I have been blessed (ha…) with super sensitive skin. I can’t wear many wools next to my skin because of this. I was so excited when I discovered that the Grignasco line had a beautiful yarn with cotton and wool– Springfield Vintage. Imagine your favorite, most comfortable shirt- breathable, easy to wear, and holds its shape. Springfield Vintage offers this and more! It is a tightly spun dk weight that is smooth, soft, and has a slight sheen. The colors of the yarn resemble a worn vintage item with subtle color variation.
For those of you still in summer knitting mode or wanting to begin on next season’s fall fashions… you’ll love my newest design. My pullover is a romantic off-the shoulder, top down raglan. The cinched in cable-smocked waist ties in with the cables cascading down the raglan shaping. An easy to wear piece for the end of the summer into fall.
Springfield Vintage Women’s Top Down Raglan
Download the pdf
To Fit Ladies Size: S, (M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL)
Approximate Finished Chest Measurement:
35 ¼”, (38, 42, 44 ¾, 48 ½, 52)
Length: 19 ½”, (21, 22, 23, 24, 25)
Springfield Vintage: 6, (7, 8, 9, 10, 11)—50G balls, color 9626 Powder Blue
Gauge: 22 sts, 30 rows= 4” in st st on US size 6 (4mm) needles, 9 sts= 1 ½” in cable pattern on US size 6 (4mm) needles.
Needles: US Size 4 (3.5mm)-24” circular, US Size 6 (4mm)- 24” & 32” circular needles & size 6 (4mm) double points, 4 st markers (m), stitch holders, cable needle, Thin elastic in a clear or matching color to the yarn- approximately 30 yards.
Cable Pattern (Multiple of 7 sts + 2)
Rounds 1, 3, 4 and 5: P2, *k5, p2; rep from *
Round 2: P2, *sl 4 sts to cable needle and hold to back, k1, sl the last 3 sts from cable needle onto left hand needle, placing the last st on the cable needle to the front- with the working yarn to the left of the st, k3, k1 from cable needle, p2; rep from *
Round 6: P2, *k5, p2; rep from *
Rep these 6 rounds for cable pattern.
Pattern is written for smallest size, with larger sizes in parenthesis. If only one number is given, it applies to all sizes. Pullover is worked in the round from the neck down.
With smaller 24” length circular, CO using long tail method and 1 strand of elastic with the Springfield Yarn, 154 sts. Join in the round, being careful not to twist. PM.
Rib Round: *K1, p1; rep from * around. Rep this round 3 times more. Cut and secure the elastic.
Switch to larger 24” circular.
Raglan Setup: K10 (top of sleeve), pm, work 9 sts in cable pattern, k49 sts, work 9 sts in cable pattern (front), pm, k10 (top of sleeve), pm, work 9 sts in cable pattern, k49 sts, work 9 sts in cable pattern (back).
Increase Round: *K1, m1, k to 1 st before m, m1, k1, sl m, work 9 sts in cable pattern, k1, m1, k to 10 sts before m, m1, k1, work 9 sts in cable pattern, sl m; rep from * once more—8 sts inc’d. 162 sts.
Next Round: K across all sts, working the next round of the cable pattern across the cable sts.
Rep the last 2 rounds 14, (17, 21, 24, 28, 32) times more – Switch to longer circular needle when necessary.
112, (136, 168, 192, 224, 256) sts inc’d.
274, (298, 330, 354, 386, 418) sts total-
40, (46, 54, 60, 68, 76) sts for each sleeve +
97, (103, 111, 117, 125, 133) sts for each front and back.
Separate Sleeves from Body
(remove m as you get to them except the beg of the round m. The cables will now be divided in half and become part of the sleeve sts.) unknit 5 sts from previous round- placing these sts back onto the left hand needle, *Sl next 50, (56, 64, 70, 78, 86) sts onto a st holder for sleeve, CO 10, (12, 14, 16, 18, 20) sts onto right hand needle, k87, (93, 101, 107, 115, 123) sts; rep from * once more. 194, (210, 230, 246, 266, 286) sts on needle. Cont to work in st st for 12 ¼”, (12 ¾, 13, 13, 13, 13).
Dec 31, (33, 32, 34, 33, 32) sts evenly across next round. 163, (177, 198, 212, 233, 254) sts.
Beg working in cable pattern across all sts.
When cable pattern measures 2 ½”, BO all in k on next round loosely.
RS facing, Sl 50, (56, 64, 70, 78, 86) sts from the st holder onto double points, rejoin yarn & pick up and k 10, (12, 14, 16, 18, 20) sts from the underarm section- placing a m in the middle of the underarm sts to mark center of underarm. 60, (68, 78, 86, 96, 106) sts.
Beg working in st st, dec 1 st before and after the underarm m every 5th, (4th, 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 2nd) round 5, (6, 8, 10, 10, 12) times. 50, (52, 56, 62, 66, 76, 82) sts.
Cont to work in st st until sleeve measures 4 ¼” from Separate Sleeves from Body.
Rib Round: *K1, p1; rep from * around.
Rep this round for 2 ¾” BO all sts in k on next round loosely. Rep for the other sleeve.
Weave in all ends. Block to measurements.
©2013 Plymouth Yarn Company. 081613vle
Category Design/Patterns, Free Patterns, Yarn | Tags: Tags: grignasco, grignasco knits, knit design, Plymouth Yarn, smocked cable, springfield vintage, top down raglan pullover, vanessa ewing,
Friday, June 14th, 2013
Many years ago, felting seemed to take over the knitting community. I would spend evenings with two of my friends, Amy and Gloria, working on knit and crochet backpacks, flowers, beads, petals, and hats to be felted. I remember in particular a large felt tote I made using super chunky wool and a lattice design. The bag was so large that I could actually sit in it (yes, comfortably!) before felting.
The magical part of felting was that it appealed to beginner and advanced knitters alike. Beginner knitters didn’t have to have perfect tension or wonderful seaming abilities. Pretty much any mistake could be hidden once the knit was felted. Advanced knitters could appreciate the smooth and rewarding fabric from doing intricate shaping or colorwork (think tartans and plaids!).
Felting is asking for a resurgence. I have designed for the month of June a felt hand bag that uses a fun, easy to memorize motif: the triangle. Plymouth Yarn’s Gina is a 100% wool roving yarn that has a delicious stripey color transition. Gina really makes the construction of the triangles POP. You won’t need to change colors, tie in ends, or any of the normal striping techniques for this yarn. It does the work for you- and it will keep you interested in knitting the bag just to see what color will come out of the ball next.
Are you going on any road trips this summer?I will be going to the shore several time this summer, and this will be an enjoyable travel companion to my car ride.
Gina Hexagon Felted Bag
Download the pdf
10” wide 10” tall
(not including handle)
Gina: 3—50G balls, color 11 Spring Flowers
Gauge: 16 sts, 16 rows= 4” in st st on size 10 (6mm) needles (before felting),
5” x 5” = 1 triangle, before and after felting.
Needles: US Size 10 (6mm) DPNs (double pointed needles), stitch marker, yarn needle for sewing.
CO 66 sts, placing 22 sts each onto 3 DPNs.
Join in the round, being careful not to twist. PM. K one round.
Round 1: *Ssk, k to last 2 sts on DPN, k2tog; rep from * twice more. (6 sts decreased)- 60 sts.
Repeat the last round until there are 6 sts remaining- 2 sts on each needle. Cut yarn and draw through remaining sts. Fasten off.
Make 11 more triangles. Make 2 hexagon motifs by working a small (not too bulky selvedge) mattress stitch- stitching 6 triangles together. Set aside.
CO 14 sts onto a DPN. Work in garter stitch (knit every row) for 25”- this “gusset” will go around the perimeter of the bag.
Rows 1, 3, 5, 7 (WS): P all sts
Rows 2, 6: K all sts.
Row 4: Sl 5 sts to spare DPN and hold to front, k5, k5 from DPN, k4.
Row 8: K4, sl 5 sts to spare DPN and hold to back, k5, k5 from DPN. Repeat these 8 rows for braided strap until desired length- ours is approximately 26” + 25” for the gusset. End having worked row 3 of cable. BO in k on next row.
Sew the 25” of the gusset’s sides to the sides of the hexagons. Sew the CO and BO edges of the strap together- making sure there isn’t a twist in the strap.
Felting: Gina felts quickly and easily by hand.
Fill your sink with hot soapy water so that the bag is just submerged. Using your hands (put on some rubber gloves to protect them from the heat!) agitate the hand bag, rubbing it against the sides of the sink and against itself. You can shock the bag by running it in some very cold water to help merge the fibers together, but it isn’t mandatory. When the stitches of the handbag have disappeared and the bag has stiffened a bit from felting, wring out the excess water and roll in a towel to get most of the moisture out. Shape and let air dry.
©2013 Plymouth Yarn Company. 061213vle
ABBREVIATIONS: BO= bind off, CO= cast on, dec= decrease, DPN= double pointed needle(s), k = knit, m= marker, pm= place marker, psso= pass slipped stitch over, p = purl, RS= right side, sl = slip, SSK = slip 1 st as if to knit, slip a second st as if to knit, knit them together through the back loop, st(s) = stitch(es), st st = stockinette st, tbl = through back loop, tog = together, WS = Wrong Side, yo = yarn over, wyif = with yarn in front, wyib = with yarn in back.
Gina bag before felting
Category Accessories, Design/Patterns, Free Patterns, Yarn | Tags: Tags: braided handle, cable knit, free knitting pattern, gina, hand bag, hand knit design, modular, Plymouth Yarn, triangle, vanessa ewing,
Thursday, November 15th, 2012
Oversized knits are everywhere! Large sweaters and shrugs don’t need to be heavy. Soft, billowy yarns and stitches have been gracing the runways for several seasons. Plymouth Baby Alpaca Aire is a chainette constructed, 100% baby alpaca yarn; all the warmth and loft but no heft. Most of the colors are in heathered tones, making them easy to mix and match with many colors in your wardrobe. My shrug and slouch hat are made in a simple Brioche stitch. The shrug is basically a rectangle with armholes; the only shaping (with short rows) is at the collar.
With our blistery fall in full swing, it is a nice time to cozy up to your knitting! –Vanessa
Baby Alpaca Aire Shrug and Hat
Hat Circumference: 21 ½”, (22 ½)
Shrug to Fit Ladies: S/M, (L/XL)
Shrug from sleeve to sleeve: 46”, (50)
Baby Alpaca Aire:
2, (2)—100G balls, color 5011 for Hat
6, (7)—100G balls, color 5011 for Shrug
Gauge: 16 sts, 24 rows= 4” in st st on size 9, 3.75 sts= 1” in brioche stitch on size 9.
Needles: US size 9 straight needles and long circular (for collar of shrug) and short circular (for hat rib), 4 stitch markers.
Brioche Stitch (Multiple of 2 sts)
Note: Work slip sts with yarn in back.
Row 1 (WS): *k1, yo, sl1; rep from * across.
Row 2: k1, *sl the yo st, k2; rep from *, ending with sl yo st, k1.
Row 3: *yo, sl1, k2tog, (the yo st and the next st); rep from * across.
Row 4: *k2, sl the yo st; rep from * across.
Row 5: *k2tog (the yo st and the next st), yo, sl1; rep from * across.
Row 6: k1, *sl the yo st, k2; rep from *, ending with sl yo st, k1.
Repeat rows 3-6 for pattern.
Pattern is written for smallest size, with larger size in parenthesis. If only one number is given, it applies to all sizes.
Cast on 80, (84) sts.
Work in Brioche stitch for 7”, (7½), end having worked a WS Row.
(There will actually be 120, (126) strands of yarn on top of the needle in brioche stitch; this is ok!)
Next Row (RS): *k1, k2tog; rep from * across. 80, (84) sts.
Row 1: pf&b, p to end of row. 81, (85) sts.
Row 2: k1, *k2 sts, k2tog; rep from * across. 61, (64) sts.
Row 3 and all WS Rows: purl all sts.
Row 4: k1, *k1 sts, k2tog; rep from * across. 41, (43) sts.
Row 6: k1, *k2tog; rep from * across. 21, (22) sts.
Row 8: k1, (2), *k2tog; rep from * across. 11, (12) sts.
Cut yarn, leaving a tail for seaming, and draw through remaining sts. Sew the side seam of the hat.
Rib band: With size 9 short circular, pick up and knit 72, (76) sts along the cast on edge of the hat. Pm and join in the round.
Rib Round: *k1tbl, p1; rep from * around. Repeat this round 6 times more. Bind off all sts in rib.
Weave in all ends.
Cast on 74 sts. Work in 2×2 ribbing for 2 ½”, end having worked a RS Row.
(WS) Cast on 12, (22) sts, k across 74 sts, decreasing 4 sts evenly across ribbing. 82, (92) sts.
(RS) Cast on 12, (22) sts, purl to end of row.
94, (114) sts.
Begin working in Brioche stitch.
(There will actually be 141, 171) strands of yarn on top of the needle in brioche stitch, this is ok!)
When Brioche stitch measures 41”, (45), end having worked a WS Row.
(RS): *k1, k2tog; rep from * across. 94, (114) sts on needle.
(WS): Bind off 12, (22) sts, knit to end of row.
(RS): Bind off 12, (22) sts, purl to end of row. 70 sts.
Work in 2×2 ribbing for 2 ½”, increasing 4 sts evenly across first row. Bind off all sts.
Fold the shrug in half and sew the 12, (22) stitch cast on edges of the shrug together with the side edge of the 2 ½” garter band. Repeat this for the other side, where the bind off edges are.
Collar: With RS facing and long circular, start at one of the sleeve seams and pick up and knit 164, (180) sts along the side edge of the shrug to the other sleeve seam, pm for side seam, pick up and knit 164, (180) sts along the other side edge of the shrug, placing a marker on both sides of the center 44 sts (this will mark the back neck), PM to mark beginning of round/side seam. 328, (360) sts.
Work in 2×2 ribbing for 6 rounds.
Next Round: Rib to third marker, turn.
Next Round: Rib to next marker, turn.
Next 2 Rounds: Rib to next marker, remove marker, rib 3 sts, replace marker, turn.
Repeat the last 2 rounds until you reach the side seam markers. Then, work across all sts as before in the round, removing the back neck markers.
Work 7 more rounds in ribbing.
Bind off Round: k2, slip these 2 sts back onto the left hand needle and *k2tog through the back loop, slip the new stitch back onto the left hand needle; rep from * around. Cut yarn and weave in all ends.
©2012 Plymouth Yarn Company. 100112vle
ABBREVIATIONS: dec = decrease, inc = increase, k = knit, k2tog = knit two together, m1= make one, pf&b= purl into the front and back of stitch, pm= place marker, psso = pass slip stitch over, p = purl, RS= right side, sl = slip, SSK = slip 1 st as if to knit, slip a second st as if to knit, knit them together through the back loop, st(s) = stitch(es), st st = stockinette st, tbl = through back loop, tog = together, WS = Wrong Side, yo = yarn over, wyif = with yarn in front, wyib = with yarn in back
Category Accessories, Design/Patterns, Free Patterns, Plymouth Staff, Yarn | Tags: Tags: baby alpaca aire, brioche stitch, giant shrug, hat, heathered, knit, oversized, plymouth yarn company, shrug, vanessa ewing,
Monday, October 15th, 2012
One of my favorite things to do as a designer is to revamp Plymouth’s vast collection of classic yarns. Take Encore Worsted, for example. This yarn has been around since I was a little girl running around my mom’s yarn shop. Knitters were mostly picking out Encore for afghans, kids sweaters, and toys. Now, don’t get me wrong; Encore is terrific for all of these knits. But I think many people overlook this yarns vibrant colors (thanks acrylic!), it’s fluffy softness (thank you wool!), and durability.
Let me show you my newest creation using Encore Worsted. My draped cardigan is basically rectangle worked from side to side. The “afterthought” armhole stitches are picked up later and knit to an elbow length sleeve. Did anyone say layering?! The pattern stitch used along the hemline of the cardigan is an easy to memorize 6 row repeat.
I hope you all enjoy my cheerful design in a Plymouth classic. –Vanessa
Encore Worsted Women’s Draped Cardigan
To Fit Women’s Size: S, (M, L, XL, XXL)
Shoulder to Shoulder Measurement (across back): 12 ¼”, (12 ¾, 14, 14 ½, 15)
Length: 23”, (24 ¾, 26 ¾, 28 ¾, 31 ¼)
Sleeve Length: 14”
Encore Worsted: 5, (5, 6, 6, 7)—100G balls, color 0473 Light Aqua
Gauge: 20 sts, 28 rows = 4” on size 7s over st st, 16 sts= 4” in 2×2 rib on size 7s (slightly stretched), 24 sts= 5” in pattern stitch on size 7s.
Needles: Size US 7 long circular and double points, stitch markers, scrap yarn
Pattern Stitch (Multiple of 18 sts + 6)
Row 1 (RS): p1, k2, yo, ssk, p1, *k4, k2tog, yo, ssk, k4, p1, k2, yo, ssk, p1; rep from * across.
Row 2: k1, p2, yo, p2tog, k1, *p3, p2togtbl, drop the yo of previous row, (yo)2x, p2tog, p3, k1, p2, yo, p2tog, k1; rep from * across.
Row 3: p1, k2, yo, ssk, p1, *k2, k2tog, drop the yo’s of the previous row, (yo)3x, ssk, k2, p1, k2, yo, ssk, p1; rep from * across.
Row 4: k1, p2, yo, p2tog, k1, *p1, p2togtbl, drop the yo’s of the previous row, (yo)4x, p2tog, p1, k1, p2, yo, p2tog, k1; rep from * across.
Row 5: p1, k2, yo, ssk, p1, *k2tog, drop the yo’s of the previous row, cast on 4 sts onto right hand needle, k1 under the 4 loose strands of the dropped yo’s, yo, k1 under the 4 strands again, cast on 4 sts onto right hand needle, ssk, p1, k2, yo, ssk, p1; rep from * across.
Row 6: k1, p2, yo, p2tog, k1, *p5, p2tog, p6, k1, p2, yo, p2tog, k1; rep from * across.
Repeat these 6 rows for pattern.
Pattern is written for smallest size, with larger sizes in parenthesis. If only one number is given, it applies to all sizes.
Cardigan is made all in one piece, without seams. Afterthought armholes are set in place with scrap yarn, and picked up and knit in the round after the body of the cardigan is finished.
Body (starting with left front)
(sl the first stitch of every row)
With circular needle, Cast on 86, (90, 94, 98, 102) sts.
Row 1 (WS): p2, *k2, p2; rep from * across.
Row 2: k2, *p2, k2; rep from * across.
Repeat these 2 rows 3 times more. (8 rows total).
Increase Row (WS): (p2, k2)2x, p across to last 8 sts- increasing 18, (19, 20, 21, 22) sts evenly across to last 8 sts, (k2, p2)2x. 104, (109, 114, 119, 124) sts.
Pattern Setup Row (RS): (k2, p2)2x, pm, work row 1 of pattern stitch across 42 sts, pm, k last 8 sts, (p2, k2)2x.
Next Row (WS): (p2, k2)2x, p to m, sl m, work next row of pattern stitch to m, sl m, (k2, p2)2x.
Next Row (RS): (k2, p2)2x, sl m, work next row of pattern stitch to m, sl m, k to last 8 sts, (p2, k2)2x.
Repeat the last 2 rows, progressing in the pattern stitch. When piece measures 11”, (11 ¾, 12 ¾, 13 ¾, 15 ¼), end having worked a WS Row.
Sleeve Row (RS): work in established pattern to second marker, sl m, (mark this area as the underarm), then with scrap yarn- k38, (40, 43, 45, 48) sts, cut scrap yarn (leaving a tail), place these 38, (40, 43, 45, 48) sts back onto the left hand needle and continue across row as established with main yarn.
Repeat sleeve row once more when piece measures 12 ¼”, (12 ¾, 14, 14 ½, 15) from previous sleeve row. Then, work even until piece measures 11”, (11¾, 12 ¾, 13 ¾, 15 ¼) from last sleeve row, end having worked a WS Row.
Decrease Row (RS): (remove markers as you get to them) (k2, p2)2x, k across to last 8 sts- decreasing so that there are 86, (90, 94, 98, 102) sts on the needles altogether, (k2, p2)2x.
Row 1 (WS): p2, *k2, p2; rep from * across.
Row 2: k2, *p2, k2; rep from * across.
Repeat these 2 rows 3 times more. (8 rows total). Bind off in rib on next row to match cast on rows tension.
Unpick the scrap yarn from one sleeve and divide the sts (from both the top and bottom) onto double points. 76, (80, 86, 90, 96) sts.
Join yarn at the underarm and pm.
Decrease 1 st before and after the underarm marker
every 5th, (4th, 4th, 3rd, 3rd) round 15, (17, 19, 21, 23)
times. 46, (46, 48, 48, 50) sts. Continue to work in st st until sleeve measures 12 ¾” from beginning of sleeve. Knit across next round, decreasing 10, (10, 8, 8, 10) sts evenly across. 36, (36, 40, 40, 40) sts.
Work in 2×2 ribbing for 9 rounds. Bind off all sts on next round. Repeat for the other sleeve.
Weave in all ends. Block lightly.
©2012 Plymouth Yarn Company. Designed by Vanessa Ewing. Modeled by Cia Abbott Bullemer. 092512vle
ABBREVIATIONS: dec = decrease, inc = increase, k = knit, pm= place marker, psso = pass slip stitch over, p = purl, RS= right side, sl = slip, SSK = slip 1 st as if to knit, slip a second st as if to knit, knit them together through the back loop, st(s) = stitch(es), st st = stockinette st, tbl = through back loop, tog = together, WS = Wrong Side, yo = yarn over, wyif = with yarn in front, wyib = with yarn in back
Category Design/Patterns, Free Patterns, Plymouth Staff, Yarn | Tags: Tags: acrylic, classic yarn, design, encore worsted, Free Pattern, in the round sleeves, knitting, Plymouth Yarn, seamless, vanessa ewing, womens draped cardigan, wool,
Thursday, October 22nd, 2009
We’ve reached a big deadline at the design department at PYC. This past week we had a photo shoot of our newest designs for Spring 2010. Though many of you won’t be able to see these until a couple months from now, we are really excited about the upcoming season! The designs for spring feature our classic yarns like Encore, Encore Chunky, and Baby Alpaca Grande. But we have also designed heavily for our new yarns, which will be hush hush for now.
Ever wonder what goes on at our photo shoots? Basically, JoAnne and I plan on what patterns will be brought out for the next season. We then gather our garments that were lovingly hand knit by our test knitters and plan what models we need to come. At this particular photo shoot, JoAnne and I will need a child at 3 months, a 4 year old boy and girl, a man, a tall female model, and a petite female model. There is a lovely studio in Bethlehem Pennsylvania, off of Broad Street, where the photography takes place.
Linda, who is our garment aficionado, takes care of the look of the garments and makes sure they are pressed and sewn. JoAnne and I instruct the models to get the best features of the knits, whether it is a sleeve detail or a stunning silhouette. Our wonderful photography team, John and Troy, are excellent at fine tuning the correct amount of lighting for each garment as well as making the rest of us laugh at their jokes. By the end of the day we get so exhausted and cannot wait for the last garment to be finished. We hope you enjoy the beautiful photos to accompany our patterns.
Tuesday, September 8th, 2009
It has now been several weeks since I started at Plymouth Yarn Company. I’ve been working closely with Creative Director JoAnne. Many of my patterns have been designed and made. It has been so thrilling to see the final product! The process to go from idea to finished pattern is definitely not short. I wanted to talk about the basics of how a pattern is made.
I usually get my ideas late at night, between half awake and almost in dream land. My sketch pad is right by my bed side just because of this! Usually my ideas come from what I observe in nature and from the past. I love mixing modern and new together to form a completely new and joyous knit; a hand knit that looks as much fun to make as it is to wear. I’ll sketch several versions of the knit I have in mind, tweaking each one… perhaps changing the trim width, making the collar larger or smaller, working on the stitch details. I’ll swatch the stitches I plan on using from my sketch with the yarn I have in mind. Sometimes, the swatch I make is perfect. However, sometimes it takes practice to perfect that one stitch. Like a fellow knit designer once said, “It takes many frogs to make the perfect prince.”
Once I have the perfect stitching and the best silhouette, I begin the process of technical design. This is where the mathematics become involved. Many options and questions need to be chosen and answered. Like, how fitted is this knit? What sizes are available? Is this tunic, standard, or cropped length? Once all of these questions are answered I can get down to the knitty gritty. I calculate the gauge and work it into the sizes and stitch pattern. Next, I tweak the pattern so that if selvedge stitches are needed, then they are added… or if a particular increase/decrease is not attractive with this garment, I will research a different or more attractive way to shape. If a pattern is really unusual, say a puffed sleeve with pleats, I usually will make the sleeve just to make sure the drape is enough and the pleats/shaping occurs precisely where I want it to.
Are you still with me? After all that is done, and the math is checked for accuracy, I pass the working pattern onto my trusty test knitters. They make the prototype garment and let me know of any changes that need to be made, or something that needs tweaking. At this point, I work very closely with the knitters and it is important that we understand what the finished product needs to be. This is so important, to help keep the integrity of the design as well as the future look of the finished knit. After the knit is finished, JoAnne and I schedule a photo shoot. Then the best pictures are chosen out of each set to ensure the best look for the knit as well best definition for stitch details. The pattern is ready, the picture is ready, and they are merged into a beautiful finished product.
Monday, August 10th, 2009
Being the newest member of the Plymouth design team, I have a lot of legacy to look up to. I’d like to give a little insight into the workings of the industry! Please follow me on my journey…
During my first day at Plymouth, I felt like a college student again. There were new faces to meet and new places to learn. The whole building was very nostalgic. Years back, I had been to the Plymouth warehouse when my mother and I came to visit. We got the tour and saw all of the antique ball winders and knitting machinery, the pattern room with the intimidating gigantic printers and copiers, the humungous boxes of Encore (Plymouth’s staple), and the inviting staff. It was so great to put a face to a voice.
However this day was special. This would be my new home and workplace. JoAnne had me follow her as I met the staff I would work with. Busily, I hurried along to the color cards shelves. JoAnne carefully plucked cards that I would need for picking out shades and hues. Finally, we sat down and went over lists of yarns we would start designing for. In the fashion industry, as well as the yarn industry, designers always plan at least one season in advance. Spring 2010 promised half a dozen new yarns that needed pattern support.