Sunday, 30 April 2017

designing sweaters and knitting patterns for Uist Wool, joy!

Capturing the texture of lovage stems in the Lovage Sweater, created for Uist Wool and knitted in Uist Wool Sian DK.
So thrilled by the mushroom gills-like texture while knitting the yoke I had to stop knitting, rush out, throw it on the grass and take a photo.

I've been in love with Uist Wool since the beautiful team there asked me to design a garment for an exhibition a few years ago.

So when I was asked to create a sweater design and pattern for this inventive and inspiring enterprise ideas flowed to me in abundance.


I decided on 3 garment designs using 3 different Uist Wool yarns and allowing for a good variety of needle sizes to appeal to a wide variety of artisan knitters {from 3.75 through to, I think, 15mm}. I called them the Lovage, the Seawrack and the Tarasgeir.


The Lovage Sweater, below, knitted in Uist Wool Sian DK knitted in rib with bell sleeves and picot cast-off neckline. I made it cropped style but you can easily knit extra rows and make it longer. Make sure you use good quality circular needles when knitting this pattern. I broke 3 circular bamboo needles knitting the yoke {the plastic came away from the bamboo due to stress from the weight of the fabric} so had to resort to my mother's ancient steel one which has bends to absorb such pressure}. 





I made some drawings and started knitting, working out what to do as I went to keep up the momentum of creative flow. Making clear technical notes of what I was doing to allow others to follow me was much more challenging than I'd imagined. It was kind of like driving a car with the hand brake going on and off.

The Seawrack Sweater, below, knitted in Uist Wool Hebridean wool, Calma DK in art nouveau style drop stitch with picot edging - much simpler to knit than it looks and a lot of fun on the needles, knits up super-fast. {You can see some of my test knitting pieces looking like a cormorant drying its wings hanging on the wall behind me in these shots.} I started out going down needle sizes to get the rhythmic decreasing lengths of tear drop shapes before realising I had only - and you have only - to wrap the yarn 5, 4, 3, 2 or just once round your needle to get this lovely effect.






I set myself high standards, {over-achiever tendencies} not least by wanting to create 3 patterns instead of one but because I knew Uist Wool deserved to have unique knitting patterns that reflected the wool creators own sense of creativity. 

The Tarasgeir Sweater, below, knitted in Uist Wool Hebridean wool, Calma DK has cropped / Empire hem, feature ribbed sleeves, and pretty lace knitting detail at the cuffs, below the elbow, at the neckline and on the hem. I really like the peek-a-boo lacework, making Uist Wool's gorgeous and soft Hebridean wool romantic and feminine.










These garments and the patterns came from my heart with a great deal of love attached to them. I hope that as people knit them they will feel the same kind of pleasure I enjoyed while creating them for Uist Wool. And that those wearing these unique Uist woollens will also feel loved, wrapped in Uist Wool hand knits. 

Find them here at Uist Wool:

Lovage Sweater Pattern and Wool
Seawrack Pattern and Wool
Tarasgeir Pattern and Wool

Thank you to Dana MacPhee of Uist Wool who amongst her other extraordinary skills is magnificently visionary, creative and supportive, Hazel Smith for her project management and Madeleine Ostling for her genius creative and technical knitting and knitwear skills.

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