From Design to Reality

As a Knitwear Designer, one of the main things I love about my job is how I can create an idea in my head to a physical item.

My design process does vary for each knitting pattern I produce. Sometimes I can be inspired by a particular yarn, a photo, a stitch pattern I saw in a book or a need for a knitted item for my own personal wardrobe which I’m able to grade into various sizes and ultimately release it as a knitting pattern.

One thing I love the most in the early stages of the design is creating a design board where I place a sketch of the ideal finished item I would like to make, some yarn wrappings of what I’m going to knit with and finally, a knitted swatch of the actual design.

Today I wanted to focus on my inspiration for my Malachite Cardigan design. I think the clue is in the name of the pattern.

This pattern actually came about from initial inspiration from the yarn I had purchased from John Arbon Textiles.

They had recently released a new line of yarns called Yarnadelic, which were inspired by John Arbon’s record collection.

What is great about this yarn company (apart from the fact the yarns are produced in England) is that you’re able to purchase shade cards before buying any of the yarns. As a knitwear designer, this is great for me in helping to decide on a design and what colour palette I shall use.

I really fell in love with the shades of teal/blues in the colour range, especially the indigo dust.

The particular shades of blue I wanted to use in my design reminded me of the Malachite crystal. I’m a big lover of crystals, how they look and their healing properties.

I then expanded on the crystal properties further. You’ll see from the following photo that Malachite has a series of different shades of lines running through it:

I also have to bear in mind the construction that I would like in my design and I knew that for my cardigan design, I wanted the main body to be in stocking stitch and the cuffs, hem and neckline to be ribbed as this yarn has a tendency to curl just with stocking stitch so the rib prevented this from happening.

Here is photo of me knitting a sleeve of the sample garment using the magic loop method for the circular knitting:

I knew I wanted to somehow feature the line inspiration from the crystal into my design and eventually settled on a line pattern with the different shades of blue around the yoke:

I really liked the pop of colour that the cardigan has with this feature.

Here is the finished design:

The Malachite Cardigan Knitting Pattern can be purchased on my Ravelry page https://www.ravelry.com/designers/natalie-smart and in my Etsy https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/NatalieSmartDesigns and Folksy https://folksy.com/shops/NatalieSmartDesigns Shops.

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