I’ve spent the past few days doing some exciting swatching, trying to refine a colorwork pattern and creating a schematic for a short jacket for History on Two Needles.
It started when I saw this magnificent jacket in this painting. I found the colorwork very inspiring, and wondered what yarn would work well to achieve the feeling of the sweater. I knew it should be a larger yarn, not something small and fine as is generally used in colorwork.
I knew it would also have to be lightweight so this would be a wearable garment, so I wanted to avoid a heavy yarn. I thought a ribbon would be nice, but it would have to be the right ribbon, and I’d want to use it with a more stable worsted weight yarn.
I received a ball each of Valentina in Honeycomb and Sunshine in Nutmeg from Trendsetter, and started playing around them. I discovered that I really liked the effect I achieved by using them doubled for the darker areas, then switching to a single strand of Valentina for the lighter areas.
Using both yarns together was an interesting effect, but the color change wasn’t as clear cut as I wanted.
Right around the same time I photoshopped the sleeve of the jacket and exploded it to create a repeating pattern. I dropped that into Appleworks, where I make my charts, and made an initial pass at the pattern.
I knew it would be best to do a traditional color changing, stranded colorwork and give up my double/single strand kooky method. But with such thick yarns I wanted to keep the floats as short as possible.
So I reworked my intial chart to include more color changes, thus reducing the areas with large floats.
I took the chart and created a repeating pattern in Photoshop, then filled in the schematic (adding fur cuffs and collar and a waistband) to create a working sketch. Yes, this not-very passionate, cut and dried, measured image is my sketch.
I guess I’m still a pattern drafter (vs. a draper) at heart.