Pattern previews for Laine Issue 6
Have a look at some of the patterns featured in Laine Issue 6.
One of the beautiful designs featured in issue 6 is Hiroko Payne’s stunning Sode cardigan, immediately recognisable thanks to its intricate array of cables. We asked Hiroko to tell us about her design process and also about the inspiration for designing Sode. Here’s what she told us:
“Sode started with a my desire to have a specific sort of finished object. I wanted a heavily cabled grandfather cardigan with an extravagantly deep shawl collar. I love saddle shoulder cardigans and jumpers with cables, and I kept coming back to the idea of a deeply textured arm panel, radiating out from the shoulder. It made me think of armour, and protection. All the other elements came out of the collar and the shoulders.
I have a tendency to start a design with every element I’m currently obsessing over, be it certain types of cables, stitch patterns, construction, fabric hand, etc. I will sketch many versions of the design, throughout the process, until I get to the final prototype. I start with a process of elimination: Who is wearing this? What is my fit model? How does my imagined knitter wear this? When is he/she wearing it? Usually I will only begin seriously swatching once I’ve got a pretty solid idea of which major elements have made the final cut, and what my construction will be.
Once I get to the swatching stage, I will keep cutting things back. I usually know a design is right and ready to go once I’ve had to cut at least two of my beloved original ideas. That signals to me that I’ve really begun to think of the design as a whole object, and I’m not just obsessing over disparate elements thrown together.
While designing Sode, I learned that the time it takes me to do something is the time it takes. I have a tendency to pressure myself for not being able to finish something within arbitrary limits I've set for myself. But, there is no rushing the moment when things slot together, fall into place. It took two full prototypes and a bewildering number of changes to come to the final version of Sode. When it was what I wanted it to be, what it should be, it happened when I wasn’t pushing to finish, fix, or find a quick solution for one thing or another.
My favourite thing about this cardigan is the collar and the general fit. I love an easy wear open cardigan and this is my go-to for wearing around the house or when I need to do a quick trip outside. It layers under my mac and protects my neck and chest from the cold. It does what I wanted it to do, it makes me feel safe and I can snuggle down into it.
The yarn choice for this is La Bien Aimée’s Merino Aran, which is a pretty heavy aran weight at 166m p/100g. If you’re looking to substitute wool for this cardigan, you would be best off looking for a two to three ply with a similar weight-to-metre ratio. I would advise against choosing something with a lot of slippery, heavy fibre content. Something light and/or grippy is best as there is a lot of wool in this piece and using something like alpaca or silk will add weight and distort the cable work over time.”
Shannon Cook’s Elfriede shawl is another beautiful design from issue 6. It’s a sideways asymmetrical triangle shawl that is knitted corner to corner. The overall body is worked in lace stitch that mimics small trees.
"The idea for Elfriede came from the pairing of a yarn with a stitch pattern I loved. Ever since I spotted those pretty little trees I knew I wanted to use them on a shawl design. Once I saw the yarn I knew they would go together perfectly. The trees reminded me of family summers spent with my Omi (Elfriede) and my family at her cabin on the lake. I am very close with my Omi and was blessed to grow up in the same town as her for most of my life. She now suffers from advanced dementia and it's been very difficult. Seeing those trees and pairing them with the raised slip stitch patterns represents to me that no matter what happens in life with your health etc. you can always find your path home to your heart and your loved ones. I feel she still recognizes "love" and that no matter what happens, she'll always be with me in my memories and in my soul and I wanted to dedicate this special project to her.
Once I knew the issues name was Heritage I felt it was kismet. I was so thankful to be included in Laine and it truly meant so much to me that the shawl and this issue were together. She would have been so proud and would have loved both the shawl and the publication. It warms my heart and it was such a special experience for me.
My favourite thing about the pattern is the story behind it and how the design tells it's tale and knowing that others have resonated with it and enjoyed the pattern themselves. It's soothing to knit and I find in our hectic lives it's meditative to heal our heart while we knit. To imbue our love and memories into every stitch.
I definitely recommend a yarn with good drape. Fibre Co. Cumbria Worsted is made of 60% Merino Wool, 30% masham wool and 10% mohair and with this design it shows off the stitch pattern and drapes beautifully. Finding a yarn you love that has stitch definition but also lovely drape will allow you to achieve a gorgeous finished project."
One of the beautiful designs featured in issue 6 is Sari Nordlund’s Poet sweater. It’s knitted top down with a lace pattern on both front and back – a truly stunning wardrobe stable with Sari’s recognizable aesthetic.
“People often ask me where I find inspiration for my knitwear designs. I always struggle to answer that questions, as there is never really one source of inspiration, and I have often brewed the idea for a long time before it becomes an actual design. I might see a stitch pattern and then spend ages trying to match it with a yarn and design that feels perfect to me. Sometimes it's a colour that inspires me: at the moment I'm obsessed with dark green but have struggled to find the exact shade that matches my idea. Or a concrete need from my own life: the autumn is here so right now I'm thinking about turtle necks. The Poet pullover started with a stitch pattern I fell in love with, and after making a couple of swatches I had tweaked it to have my own little twist. You might not know this about me, but my favorite stitch pattern is seed stitch, and you can see it in this design, too!
It took me a while to settle on the yarn I wanted to use for this design but when I saw Tukuwool's colourway Runo I knew immediately I wanted to use it, so much that I actually named Poet after the shade (Runo means a poem in Finnish). I want the clothes I design and wear to be versatile, so that not only do they work on their own but compliment everything else I already own. I think this rustic yarn and the natural shade make the pullover work in every occasion: it's great for layering, it works with jeans and sneakers and you can even wear it to a party with a pleated skirt and high heels. However, Poet works beautifully in bright colours too if you are looking for a statement piece for your wardrobe!
Designing is very personal to me. The most important thing for me when coming up with a new design is that it is something that I would want to wear. I believe if it's something I love, there will be others too. We all have just a limited time to knit and create, so I want to spend that time making things I will love to wear for a long time. I also want my clothes to be timeless and classic, and try to pick yarns that I know will take well to wear. I think Tukuwool becomes more beautiful as it ages and softens.
I'm a very visual person and an intuitive knitter. I have never been very good with following instructions but rather viewed them as guidelines for my creativity. Learning to write my ideas down as patterns has been very educational and I have even learned a lot about knitting technique and garment construction along the way. The feeling when you see someone else complete their own pullover from a pattern you have written is amazing! But at the same time pattern writing can be frustrating and sometimes you have to rewrite things a couple of times to make them easy to understand.
With Poet, I struggled with the charts, as my test knitters all remember! Trying to get a pattern to fit the few pages allocated for you in the magazine format turned out to be harder than I thought. But it all turned well in the end, thanks to the help of the girls at Laine, their tech editors and all my wonderful test knitters! I have learned a lot during this process, but the most important thing probably is that it's OK to ask for help when you struggle. We have such an amazing community of talented, creative people here, and I'm constantly overwhelmed by the love and support people show each other!”