I think it’s fun to document how I get from an initial idea to the finished product when I design. Here are some pictures along the way to my Aspen Leaf scarf.
I knew I wanted a series of leaves, so I started out playing with some Hazel Knits DK Lively that I had purchased on a whim. It was a bit lightweight for a scarf. I also decided it needed to not be 2 semi-solid colors together; that would be a lot of knitting the same thing over and over again. (I do love the yarn, just not for this particular project. Back to the waiting bin it goes.)
I picked these two colors of Malabrigo Worsted. At first, I used the variegated for the MC, but the color speckles made it so that I couldn’t “read” the leaf. So I flipped it and made the orange the MC. I decided this leaf was going to be too long and skinny.
Also, the skinniest point between the leaves was going to be too narrow compared to the rest of the scarf, so I started planning for a background of syncopated color reversal on each side of the leaf.
I tried making the leaf shorter and more compact overall, but all those decreases stacking so closely together meant that the top of the leaf pooched out, like a bra cup. THIS IS NOT A BRA.
The syncopated color reversal wasn’t a bad idea, but it had too much visual weight and was taking attention from the leaf, which should be the star of the show. I’d have to make it narrower.
Short bottom, tall top. Halfway to success! I like the leaf, but the syncopated background was now too narrow. I knew what I needed to do.
This sample is in Malabrigo Rios, a superwash plied worsted weight yarn. I liked it! Happy leaf, happy background, which serendipitously looked like butterflies. I would have knit it up, but I thought it would be more fun if the main color for the leaves could be a gradient.
I went to Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival looking for the perfect worsted weight gradient. No luck, but this DK weight gradient from Huckleberry Knits was too pretty to pass up. Scarlet was happy to find a coordinating color for my background.
Since I already had it planned out, this was perfect vacation knitting for me last December. The pattern is pretty easy to memorize.
And I love how it turned out! You can see this one in person at my Rose City Yarn Crawl trunk show at For Yarn’s Sake in Beaverton, Thursday March 5. Scarlet (Huckleberry Knits) will be there with it on Friday, March 6, too.
I did knit a worsted weight version, eventually. This is Knit Picks Chroma Worsted in Pegasus and Natural. I seem to be having a thing for rainbows. Again, fairly mindless travel knitting for me in January and February. (Still not blocked yet; I’ll get there eventually! Then the lines of the last blue leaf will straighten out a bit.)
And the Malabrigo Worsted? I didn’t want to frog that a fourth time, so I used the rest of it for a Dotty Cake hat sample. And after photographing it, I gave it to my Mom-in-law for Christmas, because she admired it at Thanksgiving. Perfect.
And that’s the story!
And now if you ever need to knit a bra you know how!
Interesting read – thanks for sharing. Its good to know others have trial and error when designing things! And it turned out so pretty!
Thank you! It’s a process…poke at it until you like it, or until you’re sick of it and move on to another idea!
That little lesson almost encourages me to design something. I said almost. I still think I’ll leave it up to you. Al least I know how it happens now.
I just keep poking at it until it does what I want! Or, until I say UNCLE and give up and move on to another idea. Either way, it’s a process!
It was so nice to see you at Red Alder. I’m sorry I bolted when I realized I was going to miss my window of opportunity for getting set up at the banquet!