Studying Knitwear Design

One of the things I believe about designing is this: Knitting other people’s designs is good for you.

I make a real effort to think about what the designer was thinking when I knit the pattern. There’s usually a lot you can learn, especially if you’re knitting the work of a good designer. Take Anne Hanson, for example. I have been reading her blog, knitspot, for quite a while. When I saw her latest design, les Abeilles, and noticed that it could be knitted in a “mini” version, I knew I had to try it, even though I’m in the middle of a design of my own.

Anne’s design is a work of beauty, both in elegance and simplicity. The lace at the neck is added at the edges as you work up from the bottom edge to the neck. The lace in the body of the shawl forms an organically delicate bottom edge. What I learned about my own design work from Anne’s is that simple is often better — not only because it makes the knitting more enjoyable, but also because it makes the finished piece more beautiful. Sometimes I get bogged down in complications and the solution is to simplify.

I knit this up in Shibui sock in the seaweed colorway. I love this yarn, but one of the two skeins I used had so many sections that were unevenly spun. This has never happened to me before with this yarn, but because of this, there were a lot of joins.

I’d definitely knit this up again and I’d like to try it in a slightly larger size (there are two others — petite and tall).

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Juggler: mother, knitwear designer, teacher

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