So, here is Post #2 in my sweater design adventure, and let me tell you, people who design quality patterns are AMAZING. Hopefully one day I will be among them. For now, I am a humble novice continuing her journey of self-improvement.
It was a beautiful Sunday morning; the sun was shining brightly in my crafting space and I had a good chunk of time where I could just work. I had all my idea sketches in front of me, my yarn ready to go, needles choosen...and no idea what to do next. Like I mentioned before, I have made small project patterns, but I have never tackled anything so large as an adult sweater from conception to completed garment. And if I'm going to take the time to knit something, I do not want an ugly, boxy sweater that looks like a blind llama might have knit it. I want shaping, I want flattering necklines, I want interest...I want what is currently beyond my skill to design from scratch.
Okay, that realization was important. So I had to take a giant step back in my ambitions. I had a vision of what I wanted, what I needed was the framework to get me there. After copious hours of flipping through my books, magazines and browsing Ravelry (talk about pattern overload) I found it- the perfect base for what I am hoping to achieve. It was actually in one of my first knitting books I ever purchased- New England Knits: Timeless Knitwear with a Modern Twist. It is the Auburn Top by Cecily Gowik MacDonald, which I am including a picture of here that is from the Ravelry page for the pattern. (You can purchase the pattern for $5.50 on Ravelry or buy the book for about $25.00.)
This top has the key elements I envisioned for my steampunk inspired sweater. It has the cute, puffed sleeves, the fitted pricess shaping and a high neck. I even love the square neckline. This is it! This is my base!
This is a learning process for me, that's the whole point after all, so I am hoping to gain some more experience with shaping, including short rows for arm holes and the pricess darts, with this sweater. I am going to make some serious modifications to this pattern, including a lace panel down the center of the sweater, so I can incorporate some of the steampunk elements that originally inspired me. Some other minor adjustments might include some tinkering with the length. My modifications, however, will not warrant calling the work a new pattern.
With that said, I will make sure to detail all of my modifications here, but I will tactfully refrain from including too much information about the pattern by Ms. MacDonald- you will need to purchase her pattern if you want those details. It really is a beautiful sweater as is. I've cast on and am ready to go. I am making sure to take notes as I work, too, so I can apply knowledge to a future designs of my own making. The bottom line is, though, that I need to walk before I can run. Making significant modifications to a pattern seems like a good first step to understanding and designing my own sweater in the future. It's hard, but practice, practice, practice which translates to patience, patience, patience.