Twist Collective Blog
Design Process: Granville
Fiona Ellis knows about cables. She knows about lots of other things too, but she sure has a knack for creating beautiful fabrics by making stitches contra dance. Check out some of her cable-icious designs from past issues of Twist- if you need more convincing (or, just look at them anyways.... because SQUISH)- Harriet, Gwendolyn, Mehndi, Lesley, and Breckenridge are some stunners. In this post, she shares the inspiration for Granville, and tells us about the dreamy yarn she got to use for it.
I am so thrilled to see the wonderful response from knitters to Granville. It is a cable design that I have had loitering in the wings for quite some time.
My swatch for it had been originally worked just as a class sample for my Morphing Cables workshop. Then every time I pulled it out to show students it always had a nice response but for some reason I didn’t think of working it into a full garment design…one of those doh moments when it finally dawned on me.
In the class I have everybody cast on a bunch of stitches and set up a rib pattern. Then I teach my students how cables move, wave my magic wand to put them in full control of their swatch and tell them to play.
I love to approach my designing in just this way; casting on and just knitting to see what happens. Every time the cords of the cables meet you can decide where they go from here, like choosing which fork in the road to take. It is a technique that I often use to generate initial ideas.
When I was preparing for the class I made several samples that all start out from the same rib pattern that I set for my students and the foundation for Granville was one of these swatches.
The added bonus of this project was that I got to work with Sweet Georgia Yarns for a second time. I have until recently not really paid a whole lot of attention to hand dyed yarns for cable patterning. The multi color ones that are sooo appealing in the skein are often just too busy when combined with intricate cables. You lose the patterning and it doesn’t serve the yarn well either. But semi-solid or tone on tone hand dyed yarns add a visual texture that I have now discovered looks really great with cables especially if they are larger in scale.
The name? That is in honour of my meeting with Felicia Lo of Sweet Georgia Yarns when I was in Vancouver last year. We had lunch together and she brought me the yarn for the project along. So it seemed fitting that I named the cardigan after one of the most popular spots in the city. You can read about out meeting here.
Here are two lovely finished Granville sweaters, made by Manon Charpentier (left) and Jennifer Nashmi (right). Thanks for sharing your projects with me!!