One of the ways that I approach a design is creating a pattern based on a specific yarn. This differs from a response to a mood board or a designing to make a certain item because it really is all about making the pattern a perfect canvas for that exact particular type of yarn.
It's usually the yarn company that has provided the yarn support and I want to create a terrific pattern for them so that they can sell more yarn and in turn, my pattern will also receive more attention. I sometimes spend hours turning ideas around in my head and deciding which stitch would be the best way to represent the yarn that I have been offered. Is the yarn plain? or hand dyed? smooth? thin? how is the drape? When I get the yarn first it means I enter the design from a totally different direction, how much yardage is there? Is there more than one color? Where will the finished item end up?
Armeria is a new pattern that was designed specifically from the yarn first standpoint, I had a lovely chat with Heidi from Lux Adorna at TNNA in January, followed up with an email after returning home and sent her a nice proposal. She loved the Armeria idea and I was privileged to receive 6 skeins of her 100% cashmere yarn to work with.
Soapbox Moment: Designers take note>> TNNA is an epic opportunity for you to meet and interact with industry folk, make a great impression and contacts to grow and evolve your businesses together. For example, this shawl is going to walk the catwalk at the TNNA Summer fashion show, an opportunity I would never have had if I didn't attend the show in January.
Armeria is a rectangular shawl with 3 shades of lace-weight cashmere that are worked held double and color blended. The first bottom section is worked with 2 strands of the lightest color, the mid bottom section blends a strand of the lightest and mid color, the center section is 2 strands of the darkest color... and so on. What I really liked about this idea for this yarn was that instead of being restricted to the gradient or striping yarn that is available you can mix your own shades. Working with 2 strands of the lace-weight at the same time makes for a much faster knit, and ... it looks amazing!
The trick with this design was working it out so that the right amount of each skein was used and if you buy the kit from Lux Adorna you end up with only a small amount leftover. Who hates buying a kit and having LOADS leftover? this girl, it was really important to me that the pattern utilized the majority of the skeins. It was also a necessity that the pattern was simple enough to be enjoyable but complex enough to warrant a WOW moment, it is 100% cashmere after all, and a wow moment should be present.
This shawl is unique in that it is cast on and worked along the long edge from the bottom shaped edge to the top straight one, then stitches are picked up along each side and a simple eyelet border is worked. The stitch pattern is enjoyable and the pattern is straightforward, my tech editor loved it so much she cast on for one right away. And I mean right away, went to the yarn shop and bought yarn for it the same day.
For those repeat customers, you will notice that Lux Adorna and I have teamed up with a new pattern format and it's pretty slick! I would love to know what you think of this pattern, would you use 1 color? or 3? color blend or stripe?