Design, Step III: Speed bumps

From last time: I received quite a few requests to write up the actual numbers-generation part of the design process. This is of course a process that is very personal both to the designer herself and to the sweater construction you’re dealing with. I’d definitely point those of you interested in designing to Shirley Paden’s definitive work Knitwear Design Workshop! Personally, I favor bottom-up construction in pieces, sketch out a rough schematic, apply my own default set of measurements per size, and go. I find spreadsheets a big help in setting up a formula for one size and then automatically applying that to the other 9 sizes; if you don’t work with spreadsheets regularly I’m sure an Excel or Numbers class/book would be helpful. (You can also definitely check out the Fit to Flatter tutorial on custom sweater design.) On to the now!

Of course, things don’t always go according to plan. I tried picking up and working the sleeves top-down, as I’d planned, four different times for this sweater before admitting that it just wasn’t going to work.

Knitting the sleeves in the round allowed me to minimize seaming; knitting them separately allows me to seam them very carefully, with few gaps. When I was picking up the stitches around, the bumpy nature of the tweed was leaving gaps in the round of picked up stitches. This will be true of the cowl too, but at least that edge will be hidden in the neckline. On the sleeves, the gaps were located in areas under stress, and it looked awful.

On the plus side, I love the subtle way the curved garter stitch portion of the hem creates an hourglass shape:

Once the sleeves are sewn in, the cowl neck itself will be the only thing left to do before blocking. This is only about one evening of work for me to do, so naturally I’ve moved on to the next step in designing: Swatching for the next sweater in the pipeline.

I’m thinking spring! How about you?

4 thoughts on “Design, Step III: Speed bumps

  1. Lovely vest. I love the shaping.

  2. I am disappointed that you do not wish to go further. It was as interesting artikel.Ik know that a design is personal, but it was actually meant to get a more appropriate sweater, then a designer design. I was hoping you from below, the calculations would indicate an example so clearly explained. It is in your ftf turtorials global address problem areas, but here and there, especially for the sleeves a bit, we are left in the dark, that is so sad. We, I learned quite a few of you. It is a pity that you are not committing.
    If only for a simple basic sweater.

  3. SORRY AMY, I think I was tired and sleepy. Instalment 9 I WAS JUST REMEMBER, THERE WAS MUCH DESCRIBED. Mistake on my part. It is so interesting when you write an article.

  4. I had a question about hem, how you calculate that out? Sometimes you make a border of a right and a purl but it pulls together and this edge is generally shorter.
    How do you calculate this now so the hem is equal to your sweater? For example, the hem must be 27inches but if you have a right and a purl it will be shorter than the 27 inches. How can I get the same hem with your sweater? So the same as 27 inches? I hope you understand what I mean? You have a nice hem made ​​equal to the sweater.

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