Wednesday, September 17, 2014

DESIGNING - Choosing a Stitch Pattern (Part 2)

Now that you've decided on the type of yarn you will use (or have a good idea) it is on to deciding on a stitch pattern or multiple patterns to use on your design. 

Stitch Dictionaries are your friend .... I have multiple (read many) stitch dictionaries that I browse through when I'm starting a new design. A stitch dictionary is a book with many different stitch pattern instructions and pictures. 

If you are designing for a publisher or magazine they will often have mood boards so you have an idea of what they are looking for in a design. Maybe it's cables or lace or a combination of both. Maybe texture or simple lines. Whatever the "mood "is I'm going for I will flip through my stitch dictionaries until a pattern says "yes" to me.

A few things to consider when choosing a stitch pattern ...

1. Cables are great for texture and interest but they pull the fabric in. I typically won't choose a design with lots of cables if I'm using fingering weight yarn. The number of stitches needed to get the size of garment I'm making can become huge. For instance, for a 36" circumference (on a cardigan for example) I may need 216 stitches if I'm working in stockinette stitch but if using cables I may need 300 sts to achieve the same 36" circumference. The time it takes to finish a heavily cabled garment goes up too. So choose cable patterns with sport or heavier weight yarns.

2. Lace and intricate patterns are beautiful but I find they don't look as good in heavier weight yarns. I tend to choose lace and twisted stitch patterns when I'm using DK, sport, or fingering weight yarns. Here's an example of an intricate lace and cable design worked in fingering weight yarn. 

3. Texture (knit and purl combinations) look great in any weight yarn.

Once I've decided on a stitch pattern I will make a sample or swatch in my chosen yarn. Here's a swatch of a lace pattern worked in Quince & Co. Chickadee, a sport weight yarn.

Yarn and stitch pattern have been chosen ... next week I'll talk about where to position the pattern and other features of the garment or accessory you may be designing.

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