Sandra's Designing Blog

Hello 

This is an exclusive area of my web site where you can find out more about my knitted designs, what inspires me, how I work and what I like (and don't like) to design. Its also an area where I'd like to find out more about you, the knutty knitter, so feel free to comment away.

I also have a more general blog, where I again talk about my designs and also include topics covering  book reviews, small business tips, other crafty sellers and my own personal experiences. 

Sandra

Any Knitwear Designer needs to learn new trcks

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I've been seriously knitting now for the past 6 years, designing and writing patterns for the last 18 months. When I first started knitting I went on some knitting workshops at Rowan's HQ in Holmfirth, but lately I am teaching myself as I work through this myriad of knitting techniques and garment construction.

The tip for me is to challenge myself to knit or learn something new each week, every time I pick up my needles to cast on their needs to be a challenge in their somewhere. That's why for the last few weeks I have been so busy knitting my very first FairIsle sweater. 

A friend of mine asked me last Spring if I would knit this sweater for him. He had fallen in love with the design whilst visiting Reykjavík  some 7 years previously, walked in to a local yarn store, bought the pattern and yarn and then came home with it with no knowledge of how to get it knitted in to his beloved garment.  Hence why I got asked.

photo (61) 

Normally I don't take commissions where I haven't designed the pattern, but this was an exception. I checked the pattern over and it had all the ingredients for a challenge. Sleeves were knitted on DPN's and at the time I had knitted only a couple of pair of socks on DPN's so I knew my technique needed some improvements. I had never knitted a whole garment in the round, joining the sleeves on to the main body and then working a "yoke" were all new concepts for me. My FairIsle skills were limited to tea cosies, mug cosies and a few cushions so spending time perfecting FairIsle whilst getting a professional finish to my work both outside and in was important.   The only sewing up that was needed was "grafting" underneath the arm holes. That dreaded Kitchenor stitch that I had learnt whilst knitting socks. It couldn't be too bad could it?

sweaterwip4

 

Pattern is RIDDARI from LOPI 28 knitted in Lett-Lopi 50 gram balls

The truth ......... It was fairly easy but a little boring. The main body of the sweater where I was just knitting round and round and round really got to me and I couldn't wait for the exciting bit where I could join on the sleeves and do some more fairisle work..... oh wait , I need to knit both sleeves first. Then the fairisle work, pretty interesting and I loved seeing how the decreases were worked in to the pattern, but the rounds were so long !

Did I learn anything?

Yes

Perserve with the boring bits, it's so worth it!

The rolled up edging on both the cast on and cast off edges is a superb little trick, which I'm sure I will be using in a new design.  

Concentrate on the Kitchenor stitch and throw away the instruction used in your knitted socks. Look at the knitting and work out where the needle needs to go.  I tried a few times and got there in the end. Looks lovely now. 

If you wish to learn a new technique yourself then why not take a look at The All Free Knitting Web site. Plenty of opportunities to pick up a free pattern and challenge yourself in the process.

Learn how to knit socks using DPN's here.

 

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