Sunday, June 26, 2011

Blue Daisy Genesis

A post I've been meaning to do for awhile now (but someone hasn't let me, the little stinker) is about the origins of the Blue Daisy cardigan, which can be found in the Spring/Summer 2011 issue of Twist Collective. Last spring, I kept seeing dresses and outfits in my favorite shops that combined patterns that I wouldn't normally put together -- stripes with polka dots, paisleys with plaids, florals with all of the above -- in very interesting ways. I wanted to use this idea in a knitted garment, but how? I thought about using different patterning yarns or multiple colors, but ultimately decided that contrasting textures was the way to go. So I got swatching.

For the pattern that would make up the body of the sweater, I thought some sort of light cabley thing might be cool.



Too busy. A more delicate slipped stitch pattern perhaps?



Hmm. I like this, but it still seems a little too dense. Maybe something with some yarnovers...



Getting closer, but definitely not right with this yarn. What's this Little Knot Stitch?...



Bingo! I loved the airiness the eyelets added, and the fact that they looked a bit more delicate in the worsted weight yarn than yarnovers did.

Now onto the contrasting pattern. Double seed stitch?



Meh. But I liked the denser fabric next to the more open and airy Little Knot.



Daisy stitch, yes!

And the first incarnation of Blue Daisy looked like this, in Tess' Designer Yarns Superwash Merino with some vintage buttons in the exact same color that I coincidentally had in stash.


(Note: This photo is from last year...I have not miraculously returned to my pre-baby state.)

When I submitted the design to the great minds at Twist Collective, I proposed remaking the sweater in a silk or bamboo blend, for an even lighter and more warm weather-appropriate piece. They teamed Blue Daisy up with Briar Rose Fibers' Celebration, a gorgeous blend of bamboo and merino wool. The two stitch patterns worked so well in the more variegated, hand-painted Celebration. Some of the little "daisies" turn out a different shade of blue than their neighbors, which I think is pretty charming. I was so happy with how the cardigan turned out in the Celebration and was beaming when the issue of Twist Collective went live. Of course, the great styling and gorgeous model didn't hurt!

9 comments:

Clumsy Knitter said...

It's a beautiful sweater and it's definitely in my queue. Congrats!

peaknits said...

What a gorgeous sweater! I think the photo you took of it on yourself is better than the one on the model! I love it over the long sleeved t - good work! (and I bet you do return to that pre-baby state dang fast you lucky girl!:)

Aline said...

Beautiful! So fun to hear from you. I really like your design. I am in such a mood for textured knits. You model it perfectly and I am sure you look fabulous already. Hugs to Daniel. A. xx

Maryse said...

It's a beautiful design for sure! Love the color, shape and texture!

Anonymous said...

I love your work. This is beautiful, but probably too difficult for me, as I'm a beginner. The general shapes of your designs are classic and beautiful. I have done your lovely Citron and also Lilas, and love them both and get many compliments.

How is Stewart doing with the new baby? He is a patient boy to have modeled the sweater and I hope he is okay with Daniel.

Hilary said...

Thank you SO MUCH, you guys! And to "Anonymous" above, your sweet words about my designs made my day!!

Sadly, we had to put Stewart to sleep last month. I didn't post about it here because it made me too sad. The little guy got throat cancer and we had to catch it before his rapidly growing tumor suffocated him...but I think he died of a broken heart, no longer being the center of our home. :( He did accept Daniel, nuzzling him for the first time about a week before the end, but he clearly was bummed not to be getting the attention he was used to. Ugh, poor little guy.

CanarySanctuary said...

Cool - I love getting the inside look at your designing process :)

Schmath said...

Oh my gosh. I can't not knit this. It's so beautiful! I've been looking for the perfect sweater pattern, and this is it. The only problem is I'm not sure it will be flattering on me. What the heck. I'll lose weight for this sweater!

Anonymous said...

love!