I love the creative element of designing knitted cardigans. As such, I am always on the lookout for different stitches and how they can be joined together to make a pattern. A lot of thought and swatching go into creating a new pattern and this post shows the evolution of a pattern.
The first step is deciding on the yarn. I knew I wanted to work with an Australian merino yarn and I found this really lovely superfine merino by Millpost. These colours will be part of a new design collection to be released later this year. Choosing the colour I wanted to work with first was easy – I had long wanted to design a cardigan in cream and, for a time, I concentrated on looking at it, feeling its texture while all the time thinking what pattern/stitches would work well with this yarn.
The cream yarn kept pulling me towards cables but I didn’t want to use formal cables. In the end, I found what I needed in two books sitting on my knitting bookshelf: Sharon Turner’s book Knitting Stitches: Visual Encyclopedia (Wiley, 2011) and The Harmony Guide to Knitting Stitches (Lyric, 1983).
My first swatch was a mock cable panel from Turner’s book:
Mock cable Panel:
Cast on 19 stitches
Row 1 (RS): K2, p6, k3, p6, k2
Row 2 and all even-numbered rows (WS): knit the knit sts and purl the purl sts
Row 3: K2, p5, k5, p5, k2
Row 5: K2, p4, k3, p1, k3, p4, k2
Row 7: K2, p3, k3, p1, k1, p1, k3, p3, k2
Row 9: K2, p2, k3, [p1, k1] twice, p1, k3, p2, k2
Row 11: K2, p1, k3, [p1, k1] 3 times, p1, k3, p1, k2
Row 13: K5, [p5, k1] 4 times, p1, k5
Rows15, 17, 19, 21 and 23: Rep rows 11, 9, 7, 5, and 3, respectively
Row 14: Rep row 2
Repeat rows 1-24 for mock cable pattern
This pattern is lovely and I really like the look and feel of it.
Next step was to find another pattern that would work well with the mock cable. After swatching a variety of stitches, I finally settled on the one from the Harmony Guide book:
Row 1(RS): K3, p1, k3
Row 2 (WS): P3, k1, p3
Row 3: K2, p1, k1, p1, k2
Row 4: P2, k1, p1, p2
Row 5: K1, * p1, k1; repeat from * to end
Row 6: P1, *k1, p1, k1; repeat from * to end
Row 7: As 3rd row
Row 8: As 4th row
Row 9: As 1st row
Row 10: As 2nd row
Repeat these 10 rows.
While the right side of this pattern is very nice, I felt the wrong side worked better with the larger moss panel.
Finally, I put them both together.
Now that I have a working pattern, I just need to fine tune it and, in time, it will turn into what I hope to be a beautiful cardigan for knitters to knit and then wear with pride.