Twist Collective Blog
Design Process: Uji
Today's post is brought to you by Ann-Marie Jackson, designer of the wonderful textured coat, Uji, from our Winter issue (she is also the designer of this gorgeous pullover). You can learn more about her and her designs on her website. One of the things you'll find there is a post about the Briggs and Little yarn she used for this project.
Like many knitters, I'm fascinated by cables. I particularly like traditional aran sweater cables; the overall honeycomb cable that's often worked into a wide centre panel on the front or back of the garment was my inspiration here. I wanted an oversized cardigan or coat, and thought that overall cables in a bulky yarn would be perfect for a heavy, textured, sink-your-fingers-in fabric.
Inspiration. Clockwise from top left: undyed yarns, even Steve McQueen liked Aran sweaters, INHABIT baby camel cocoon cardigan, Anthropologie cardigan, 1960s Bear Brand & Fleischer Yarn pattern.
Uji is worked flat in pieces that are seamed together after blocking. I know seamless garments are very popular right now, but seams are more necessity than preference for this sweater. Although the cables give plenty of structure and strength to the fabric, Uji is heavy and needs seams to prevent pulling, stretching, and shapelessness. It's finished off with generous buttonbands and a big cozy collar. At the last minute, I decided to add pockets, because no coat can do without pockets.
Did you notice that the two cables used on Uji are essentially the same cable? The chevron cable is the bottom half of the honeycomb cable. It seems an obvious design move now, but it didn't start out that way: I swatched several different cable combinations (some of them nearly impossible to fit together) before I decided on these two. They're the simplest and, I think, the prettiest of all my swatches. Occam's razor strikes again!