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Twist Collective Blog

Design Process: Sabbatical

connie_chang_chinchio

by Connie Chang Chinchio

originally posted to her blog.

For Sabbatical, I was aiming for a cardigan with long, clean lines and a large scale lace motif.

 

sabbatical_back

 

 

Originally, I thought a worsted weight yarn would be nice in order to emphasize the scale of the lace, but after a bit of consideration and swatching, I realized that a worsted weight yarn would allow only one or two repeats of the lace and might cut off the lace strangely. Since the lace repeat is 22 sts wide, a DK to sport weight yarn (and Road to China Light fell in between these gauges when knit with a size 6 needle), seemed more appropriate. One repeat would be around 4″, meaning that even the smallest size would have at least 2 repeats per front. Because it’s lace, the sweater zips along surprisingly quickly despite the relatively small gauge of the yarn.


Here is my submission sketch, with the swatch worked in Plymouth Silk Merino:

 

connie_swatch

 

 

I wanted the focus to be on the large lace motif, so other than a k3p3 rib along the sleeve cuffs and hems which flows into the lace, nothing else distracts from it. Simple waist decreases and increases help define the shape in what might be otherwise an overly boxy garment. The sweater is finished off with a plain, stockinette band which is picked up along the fronts and neck; and to keep it from rolling, a very short doubled hem is turned at the very edge. In addition, I’d recommend a shot of heavy steam to flatten out the band.


One of the things I love about designing is the opportunity to experiment with different yarns. And the Fibre Company’s Road to China Light certainly does not disappoint. It’s a wonderful combination of alpaca, cashmere, silk, and camel, and comes in subtle, kettle dyed colors.

 

 

connie_yarn

 

 

On a parting note, I am hopeless with naming my designs. Fortunately, Julia was helpful in naming this design. She was also the one who named my Uhura in the Summer issue. As a die hard science fiction aficionado, that name delighted me. For this cardigan, she said it had an Edwardian feel about it and suggested a list of names adhering to that general theme. I liked Sabbatical because it connotes rest and lounging around to me; and at the same time reminds me of academia. So, Sabbatical it is then. I hope some of you decide to either knit it, wear it, or both, on your Sabbaticals, however long they may last.