headshot of Fiona Ellis

Today's post comes to us from Fiona Ellis, and it's a spotlight on her newest Twist design, Reticella! I will admit that I had not looked closely at the details on this stunning cardigan until I got an email from Fiona that she had written a post about the sweater and the technique used to make it so special. It kind of blew my socks off. Find out more about the pattern here, more about the yarn used here, and more about Fiona's work with hand-dyed yarns here





yoke detail from the back



Reticella - a type of needle lace dating from the 15th  century which  remained popular up until the 17th century.

Originally a form of cutwork, involving  threads being pulled (removed) from linen fabric to make a grid. Using mostly buttonhole stitch a pattern was then stitched onto this foundation. 


step 1

The technique is worked by first knitting a panel of Stockinette. 


step 2



Then hand stitching is worked into ladders formed from stitches that have been allowed to drop down within the panel.



step 3 



A full photo tutorial is included in the pattern instructions.


In designing for ready-to-wear knits many fashion houses like to include embellishment techniques but it seems that they are often over looked in the hand knit world.


So when I decided to experiment with new types of embellishment I looked back to my childhood days of sewing on even-weave cloth.  I then did some research on drawn thread work and hit on the idea of creating ladders to use as the foundation for the embroidery. 



shoulder detail from the front



Drawn thread work was mostly used to decorate everyday items such as tablecloths or bed linens. Even today you see small scale, machine worked patterns on pillow covers and so on, which harks back to the history of this kind of embellishment.



full shot of modelled sweater



With that in mind I designed an everyday cardigan, one that you can throw on with a skirt or jeans. Embellished with simple hand worked stitching makes it as beautiful as it is practical.