When I find beautiful yarn and a pattern, I jump right in with both knitting needles. After knitting a gauge swatch, I begin knitting line by line, increase by decrease reaching the final row of bind off. I give very little thought to the process of designing because I love to knit. Recently, I read an interview of “technical knitter” Catherine Lowe, conducted by Charles D. Gandy for Knit Purl, the Spring/Summer 2015 issue, in which she mentions,
“More often than not, the motivation for the new designer is “I love to knit, so I’ll become a designer and then I’ll knit all the time. Actually, the new designer ends up spending most of his/her time dealing with business and professional aspects of the industry.”
I’ve had fleeting moments of design grandeur. Practically every year I enroll in a design class at Stitches West, but when the instructor begins to discuss how to get the numbers for neck shaping and sleeve increases my eyes glaze over and my mind wanders. Catherine Lowe argues,
“One great regret is that here in America we have no history of formalized apprenticeship in the hand knitting industry. Technical skills can be transmitted through tradition and workshops-experience cannot.”
Who knew a trip to my local library would help solve some of my knitting woes of design. Debbie Stoller’s, Stitch “N’ Bitch Superstar Knitting, speaks loud and clear to me.
I’ve decided to start collecting experience by embracing Debbie Stoller’s “purls of wisdom.” The basic drop-sleeve cardigan from Superstar Knitting appeals to me and looks like a great start. Locked away in my yarn vault, I found Evita by Online Linie 79, 50% Wool, 15% Nylon, 35% Acrylic.
Using a Size 13 needle, I knitted a gauge swatch. As I worked through the design process, the relationship between a gauge swatch paired with accurate measurements became quite evident. The whole design is based on at least 4 inches of knitting.
Now, I need to write-up the pattern.