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Twist Collective Blog

Design Process: Lavandula

Triona MurphyToday's post is brought to you by Triona Murphy, and it can also be found on her blog. Her first design, the elegant and playful Lavandula, appears in the Winter 2012 issue of Twist Collective. She tells us about bust-friendly designs, how she got through all that ribbing (you can too!), and how wonderful this yarn is. Enjoy!

 

 

 

I was incredibly excited to have my first Twist Collective pattern in the Winter 2012 issue. Here’s a peek into my design process (something I hope to blog about more often in the future, so I hope you like it!).

I started out with the idea of a lacy, v-neck cardigan. I knew I wanted it to be very fitted around the waist and have more ease in the bust–if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know I’m all about the bust-friendly designs.

One of the best ways to flatter a figure is to make sure a sweater is fitted at the smallest part of the torso (which for many people is under the bust or a few inches below). I decided on deep ribbing to shape the waist, instead of my usual increases and decreases, since I thought that would complement the lace pattern nicely. I also liked the idea that the knitter wouldn’t have to worry about placement of the shaping.

Here’s the rough sketch I sent to Twist. I am not an artist by any stretch of the imagination–so I was pretty happy with this one, haha:

 

Sketch

 

I knew I wanted a simple lace pattern, but one that would be pretty and feminine at the same time. After swatching a few (okay, maybe five or six) different patterns, I settled on this snowflake lace. The swatch was knit up in Tosh and photographed in my DIY lightbox.

 

swatch

 

When I got the email telling me my pattern had been accepted, I was thrilled. When they told me they were sending me Sundara Yarn Sport Merino Two to knit the sample, I was beyond thrilled and into ecstatic! I’ve heard such rave reviews about Sundara yarns for years, and I just never got around to ordering any to try it for myself.

Let me tell you–I nearly swooned when I opened the box. This stuff is gorgeous. It’s as squishy and elastic as my beloved Madelinetosh plied yarns. The colorway they sent me, Monet’s Basilica, is a stunning lavender with perfectly layered purples and blues.

Then it was on to the knitting!

Full disclosure: even though I was the one who proposed it, I wasn’t quiiiiite prepared for the 12.5″ of 1×1 ribbing up to the waist. That, as I’m sure you will agree, is a lot of ribbing. I found I got into a rhythm pretty easily, though, and after a few inches, it wasn’t any more tedious than stockinette. Great TV knitting! The yarn was a pleasure to knit with, which helped a lot. My suggestion to anyone who’s feeling a bit daunted by all that ribbing: choose a yarn you love. It will ease the pain, I promise.

Once I sent the sample and the pattern back to Twist, it was time to wait impatiently for the issue to come out. When it finally did, I was blown away by how beautiful it looked.

 

Straight shot

 

I shouldn’t really have been surprised, because I always love their styling and photography, but it was such a trip to see it on something I designed!

 

Shoulder detail

 

You can see that the pattern didn’t change much from sketch to finished object–not always the case for my designs, let me tell you! But this was one of those magic ideas that just came together perfectly.

 

Everyone looks pretty when they laugh

My favorite picture from the shoot. Isn’t the model adorable??

 

You can click here to see more information about Lavandula (sizes, yarn requirements, etc.). The rest of the winter issue is stunning too, of course. If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen it, head over and check it out: Twist Collective Winter 2012 Issue. I’m so proud and honored to be included in an issue with so many talented designers!