Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Something's under my (knitted) cap

I've had an idea percolating in the back of my mind for awhile. I feel like it's time I really commit to it, otherwise it might just sit inside there forever gathering dust. (You know how some ideas can be like that?)

As many of you may have figured out, I am an unrepentant knitting pattern tweaker when it comes to sweaters. I almost have an inability to knit a sweater exactly as written. Not because I think there's anything wrong with the patterns, but because my brain just works that way. I see a pattern as a bunch of little parts, and my mind starts putting together the pieces in its own way, tailoring things to meet my own needs and whims. In large part thanks to running the Briar Rose Vintage Knit-Along, I've really started to think about my relationship with knitting patterns a lot lately.

So let's cut to the chase: I've decided that it's time for me to take the plunge and design a knitting pattern.

I don't mean a knitting pattern for myself (I've already done that) but a self-published knitting pattern. I'll see how the process goes before I decide if I want to throw my hat into the ring another time, or if I'm on the mark enough to even dare to try it again. One step at a time.

I don't want to say much about the design yet, as I'm still in the very wee early stages of the design process. I can tell you that it will be a cardigan in a large range of sizes, and I really hope it will appeal to both vintage and modern knitters alike. It draws inspiration from one of my absolute favorite vintage fashion items ever. It will include instruction for at least one interesting technique and will involve the use of color, though no colorwork skills will be needed or used. And at this point... that's about all I want to say until I iron out more details. :)

Knitting is something I truly love. I enjoy sewing, but it's nothing like knitting is to me. I love everything about knitting. The yarn, the needles, the process, the end result, the history. Sitting with a piece of paper and a calculator and quickly turning one thing into another. The fact that I can knit a sweater with the same basic skills as someone would have used 50 years ago, 100 years ago, or more. I can chose to knit for fun, for whimsy, for fashion or to keep from freezing to death. There is power in knitting. And I now find myself at the point where I'm ready to (attempt to!) channel my exuberance about knitting into something that I hope others might be able to enjoy and get pleasure out of, themselves.

Well, that was actually pretty anti-climactic writing about it! Ha ha. It's not a huge revelation as there are hundreds if not thousands of knitwear designers out there, so declaring I want to design something is hardly revolutionary. But for me, it's a big deal. So I thought I should share this with you while my little seed is starting to germinate. I may post some questions now and again for my knitting readers, to get some general opinions and do some size comparisons, and at some point I'll have to contemplate attempting to find test knitters. But that's down the road. Right now I'm focusing on selecting yarn (I'm waiting for a color card to arrive in the mail) and crunching numbers.

What's the worst that can happen? I design a cardigan that I love, not a single other soul wants to knit it, and life moves on to the next knitting project. Wish me luck! :)


  1. ooohh! That's very exciting news!! I can't wait to see what you make and count me in! The fact that you are making it has sold me on it already (and the desire to learn knitting is even stronger!)

  2. Wow that's brilliant Tasha! Don't play this down just because there are lots of other knitting pattern designers out there, your passion for what you do can't help but make this a special and great thing! I really look forward to seeing what you come up with, I just know I'm going to want to knit one :) You're brilliant, I think I shall name you as my knitting idol!

  3. You are amazing in your ability to put the pattern down on paper. I really admire your skill. I'm sure many of us will love to knit "your' sweater.

  4. How exciting! I can't wait to see your pattern!

  5. This is awesome!! I cant wait to see it and get to knit it!

  6. thats not anti-climactic at all, it's really exciting news, congratulations!!!
    looking forward to hearing more about it, and of course to getting to se the pattern too :)

  7. I agree don't play it down it's fantastic! I know it will be a fabulous pattern as you are so passionate about knitting!

    I have to say I'm the same about sewing patterns I usually see a top half of a pattern I like and a bottom half and put the two together, or change the sleeves or neckline, so I know where you're coming from!

  8. How exciting! So looking forward to seeing results of your creative mind.

  9. Oh wow - I can't wait to see! I love your style so much, its bound to be amazing :)

  10. I can't wait to see what it looks like! :)

  11. Love your idea. . . Please use the duster and keep this idea to the forefront. And, yes, there may be a lot of knitwear designers out there, but there is a WHOLE lot more knitters. ;)

    Best of luck to you and your new endeavor!


  12. YAY! I can't imagine anyone more capable than you to design a knitting pattern. Can't wait to see what you come up with. :)

    I love your skirt, btw. :)

  13. That is such a great idea. I truly am in awe (envy) of your knitting skills. I think I have the inverse relationship to crafts -- I like knitting but sewing is something I have boundless enthusiasm for. Part of my shortcomings with knitting is I lack the patience and attention span to really succeed with it. I did much better with knitting when I had more free time in my life. And there is something about the instant gratification of sewing that I just love so much. Your knitting is always so inspiring though. You are my yarn hero.

  14. ~ * ♥ * ~

    Oooh, cannot wait to see what you come up with Tasha ~ it should be awesome!

    bonita of Depict This!
    ~ * ♥ * ~

  15. Ha! Yay!!! That's it now. You've "put it out there" you gotta follow through with it. I think this is fabulously exciting, not anti climatic at all! You've made a potentially very important step by stating publicly that you want to design. The truth of the matter is, you already ARE a designer and always have been. This is just you taking a step closer to realising that. I'm always frightened to say what it is I want to "become" because to me,it's such a fantastic thing,that people will wonder what planet I'm on thinking I could even possibly come close to it. So sometimes, it IS a big deal to state these things publicly. I think it's a pretty momentous post! (And I for one am very excited and a little honoured, to be able to follow your progress on this). You go girl!!

  16. Such ambition! Good luck with your pattern, I'm sure it'll be tops. I wish I was half so handy with patterns, it's so neat the way you can take them apart and re-vision them!

  17. That's fantastic! I'm traveling down the same road my friend. Maybe we'll both learn something useful and pass that along to the other, lol. Good luck and I can't wait to see what you come up with.

  18. it may sound odd, but i really love that photo with your notes and the red pencil on that fab tablecloth. i couldn't help looking at it for ages and feel really inspired. :)


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