Bauble: My Design Process

A few days ago my pattern, Bauble, was released as one of the Knitty First Fall surprises! It was an incredible experience watching my shawl develop from an idea rattling around in my head to an actual pattern up on the Knitty website. If you want to check it out, you can visit the Knitty website or check out the Ravelry page. Thanks to everybody for their kind and supportive words about my pattern!

I thought it would be fun to share a bit about how I came up with Bauble and how it developed into a pattern for others to use. My original inspiration was the February Challenge at the Designer’s Challenge group on Ravelry. For this challenge, the object was a shawl, the technique was lace, and the theme was 2-D art. I immediately started thinking of abstract art because I like the strong lines and the bold shapes, which I thought could transfer well over to knitting. In particular, I started thinking of Kandinsky’s work like this painting. To express those lines and shapes in knitting, I turned to two of my favorite techniques: lace and twisted stitches. I love the intricate turns of twisted stitches and the lofty feeling of lace so I knew I wanted to somehow combine them.

My original sketch, shown below, focused on panels of openwork separated by twisted stitches at different angles. I use this sketchbook for all my designs to (messily) jot down details I think might be important.

I liked this idea, but I also wanted to focus on motifs that could repeat. While I was swatching different ways of combining twisted stitches and lace, I charted a pattern of diamonds with mesh openwork in the middle. Thus, Bauble was born. It made quite the journey from my original Kandinsky inspiration, and as I charted and recharted the motifs, it took on a life of its own. A few months later, Bauble is now available for all on Knitty, and I’m excited to see what other people will make from it.

Designer’s Challenge: Finished!

Presenting my finished top for the Designer’s Challenge Super Challenge!

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It fulfills all three of the requirements – it is clearly a top, it has origami folds at the neck, and I talked about the stripes in the last post.

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The origami neck detail is probably my favorite part. It is formed out of two long strips of garter stitch that are folded together. They spiral around each other when sewn to the top, and create a really interesting neckline.

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I’m excitedly working on grading this pattern so that it will fit all sizes of knitters instead of just me. At some point, I hope to release it as my first ever top/sweater pattern! Stay tuned for updates.