For the first time, I thought I would properly chronicle the process of making a new sweater, from the beginning of the design process all the way through to the end. The next sweater design I’m working on is a short-sleeved, fall-appropriate sweater with a round yoke and some pretty lace detail. It’s got just enough going on to keep it interesting, but not so much to make it difficult.

So first, how to get started? I start with a sketch. My artistic skills, um, leave some things to be desired, but they’re good enough that they help me envision what I’m doing.

Next, I had to think about what kind of yarn I wanted to use. I knew I wanted something that was good for the transitional fall season. Fall here is still pretty warm, but not as hot as summer. A lightweight wool with short sleeves would be perfect and could still be worn under a suit jacket if needed.

 


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That’s where the kind folks at Trendsetter Yarns came in. They offered to send me some skeins of their New York yarn to try out, and I fell in love with this gorgeous, mottled, coppery colorway. I knew that it was just right for the sweater that was slowly taking shape in my mind.

So the yarn arrived, I oohed and ahhed over its luscious texture, and then I set to work. I recently bought my first yarn swift and ball winder, after more than a decade of knitting, and I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner. This has made my life so much easier.

As much as I hate to do them, gauge swatches are essential at this stage. I have a pretty good sense of what my gauge is like in most DK weight yarn on size 6 needles, but it’s still important to double-check and make sure that I’m more less on target for where I want to be.

Finally, it’s time to do a little bit of charting before I can really start knitting. I have a couple of formulas that I use to help me figure out how many stitches I want to start with and how deep I need to yoke to be, but I still need to double check that the pattern I thought up in my head will work. I like to hand chart at the beginning of the process, and then will input it into a computer program when writing up the pattern.

 


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But where, you may ask, did that name come from? Kalorama Street is located near downtown Ventura, and it has the most magnificent ocean view. The road runs from a bluff overlooking the ocean all the way up into the hills. If you ever make your way over here, be sure to go for a drive.

P.S. – Trendsetter Yarns is having a contest this summer! Take a peek here (http://www.trendsetteryarns.com/newyorkchallenge.asp) to learn more about the #NewYorkYarnChallenge.

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