Today's post is brought to you by Amy Herzog, designer of both Cayley and Lilium from our most recent issue (in addition to several other designs for Twist, including Oscillate and Greenaway). You can also find this post here, on Amy's website. Amy shares the evolution of Cayley from idea to completion, and the twists and turns that led to the beautiful finished object.
When the current issue of Twist Collective came out, I had just started the book events and barely had time to mention it! Now that things have settled down a bit, I wanted to take a post and step through my design process and thoughts for one of my patterns in the issue, Cayley.
Getting design ideas ready for submission might be my favorite part of the whole process. It’s where I get to sketch, swatch, jot down notes, and imagine how the sweater will be worn. And of course, through my design process I always ensure the design will be easy to modify.
Cayley started with the lace pattern. I wanted to do a spring lace cardigan, but one that was more grown-up than sweet. Easier to modify than most. My solution was to keep the lace at the edges, leaving the middle of the garment in easy-to-mod Stockinette Stitch.
You might be able to see that as originally envisioned, I’d thought of Cayley in a lighter-weight yarn, with silk or perhaps even linen as a primary fiber, to support small gathers and a larger box pleat on the back. The yarn Kate chose, the wonderfully soft O-wool Legacy DK, was both thicker and fluffier than I’d originally thought. So out the pleats and gathers went. I like the result–the simplified design focuses attention on the lace panels, which are gorgeous and soft in the O-wool.
I knew I wanted the lace panel to go over the shoulders, but detailing like that has to be done carefully (in my opinion) to avoid waist-boob (that phenomenon where the detailing stretches juuuust low enough that it visually groups your bust with your waist and hips, rather than up with your neck and face).
Keeping it in line with the crew neck shaping does the job perfectly. And do you see those adorable buttons? They’re vintage, and were a bit of button nirvana. (Now might be the time to admit my button stash is ridiculous.)
Sleeves are always kind of dull to knit for me, so I wanted to liven these up without making the design scream “HEY! I KNIT THIS!” from across the street. A simple repeat of the lace did the trick.
So there you have it! The final version of Cayley is fairly close to my original goals. It’s modern, a touch sweet, interesting to knit, easy to modify, and super-easy to wear.
I’m thinking about one in a beautiful deep blue for fall. What color would you make yours?