Every once in a while, even though I have more projects than I can manage well and too many of my knitting needles are occupied with half finished scarves, blankets, hats and mittens, I get the itch to design something. It's crazy, I know. So far I've designed little things, like mittens and baby sweaters. This time, I'm going big, I'm designing an adult-sized garment. Gasp. I know, taking the leap from mitten to sweater design is a little crazy, but I'm a girl who loves a challenge. Or rather, I'm a girl who loves to bite off more than she can chew, flail around a little bit, and then finally figure things out just when all hope seems to be lost. To each their own, right?
I am in the beginning phase of this design endeavor and thought it could be fun to chronicle the journey. Really, knitting is almost as much about the journey as the finished product, and this journey is sure to be interesting. First, I should explain my inspiration for the jacket/sweater I am hoping to create.
Perhaps it is a guilty pleasure, but it is one that I do not feel too guilty about, so I think I should probably just call it a pleasure. I love steampunk. This obscure, stylized subgenre is so great! I love historical romance, particularly Edwardian and Victorian era. I love science fiction and fantasy. The marriage of the two is really more than I could hope for. Steampunk is a little ambiguous in its definition, but one of its cornerstones is the use of steam powered machinery over modern technology. This usually lends itself well to a Victorian era style of clothing, as that time period was the height of this particular type of technology. However, because steampunk worlds are an alternate reality to our own, and not just a historical fiction subgenre, the clothing and artwork is often stylized as Victorian meets modern. It often includes elements that salute the steam power that defines steampunk. The results are interesting and very imaginative. This genre finds itself coming to life in many forms, from literature to video games. Now, I hope to capture it in a knitted jacket. We will see how successful I am.
In this post I am including some Victorian fashion plates that I used for inspiration. In the captions I highlight what it is about the fashion plate that drew my attention.
So far, I have sketched my design, chosen my yarn, and swatched my stitches. Now I must begin to bring my little seed of an idea to life. Gulp. Here we go.