I was immensely pleased by the reception Dylana got on Ravelry last week. It made it all the way up to #3 of Hot Right Now! This is my most favorited pattern (over 500 and counting) and I attribute part of its popularity to its visibility.
Credit also goes to the lovely model, great photography, beautiful yarn, and of course the inspired design!
Last night I logged on to Ravelry and found my Dylana pattern had been uploaded! I really love this design and intend to knit one for myself someday.
It's worked top-down using SusieM's contiguous sleeve method. I modified the method slightly to accommodate the wide neckline and to give the shoulders a different arch.
The collar is really clingy and springy, and the cuffs (at the elbow) are frilly without being obtrusive. The A-line shape works wonderfully with wool---the sweater clings to the waist without any decreases, and the hip increases allow the tunic to fit well over jeans.
I love the bottom hem---done without any sewing! I love avoiding sewing on principle, though sewing knit to knit is really almost pleasant.
The yarn is Classy from Dream in Color. It's available in so many yummy hues that it will be hard to choose just one for this sweater. My sample is in Bermuda Teal, a gorgeous head-turning semi-solid blue-green. Mmmmmmm.
Dylana is complete! Dream in Color's model is a little bigger than I am---if I were knitting for myself, I would have chosen the next size down. Still, the sweater looks good and feels great. I expect the pattern to be up on the Dream in Color site soon after it's edited.
The color is beautiful, and everyone who saw it mentioned it---since I knit in public, that's a lot of people. My husband remarked on it every time I got out my knitting.
The yarn was a bit stiff while I was knitting it, but became much softer after having been washed. I attribute the preliminary stiffness to the superwash treatment which makes wool machine washable.
This design has undulating cuffs, a magically curvaceous collar (with a slick trick involved), lovely shoulder increases, and a graceful A-line shape. I can't wait for its release!
Dylana is blocked and dry and ready to be photographed and sent to Dream in Color. I am especially pleased with the cuff. I will get better pictures soon, but this photo begins to represent its undulating beauty. What you can't see is its delightful springiness!
Congratulations to Patsy for winning my first giveaway. Look for more in the coming months.
I'm trying something new with my Dylana sweater: the contiguous method. I love top-down seamless designs and have been aching to have time to develop a version of simultaneous set-in sleeves that didn't involve picking up stitches.
Well, Susie Myers (SusieM on Ravelry) has already done it! I adapted her method for Dylana's wide collar. Whee! I'm on my way.
I never could draw very well, but my stroke affected the right side of my body, and I'm right-handed. So writing and drawing became difficult physically as well as aesthetically. But I've been perfecting my tracing skills! I just find a catalogue or magazine model in a pose that would demonstrate the garment's unique aspects, trace her, and draw new clothes on her. Sometimes I have to recreate limbs that are clothed in the original photo but bare in my conception. I'm getting better at it.
There are a three or four photos I find myself repeatedly tracing, just as the models themselves seem to have favorite poses. For me, a good tracing photo has a dark image on a light-colored background. The model is posed to show off her clothing (as opposed to her hair) and there are no confusing elements like foliage or props hiding body parts. It's surprisingly hard to find all these qualities in one shot. No wonder I use the same ones over and over!
The Dream in Color sweater call gave designers a choice between fingering weight Smooshy and worsted weight Classy for a woman's sweater. (They had similar yarn choices for the baby sweater, but I wanted to design something I could test for fit without having to abduct an infant from an unsuspecting parent's grocery cart.) I was already committed to knitting several other samples, so I chose the heavier weight Classy.
With that yarn in mind, I knew I wanted to use the gorgeous blue Mission Falls 1824 Wool left over from the Gecko Hat. I was just in the mood for that color, I guess. I've also been working in the kitchen a lot recently and liking elbow-length sleeves, and I thought a basic but bold lace cuff at the elbow would be pleasant. Experimenting with knitting the lace sideways onto live stitches, I discovered this undulating pattern. It took me several attempts to achieve, but I adore this version. The same lace would be overkill at the neck, and I personally don't need to attract additional attention to my hips, so I needed a different treatment for the collar and waistband. Going with the simple solutions, the garter eyelet collar and simple hem sounded like they should work. Because Classy is a superwash wool, I wanted the garment to be fitted at the top (in case it stretches in the wash) but have comfortable ease at the bottom: A-line shape. I then chose a wide scoop neckline to point up the width of the garter eyelet. And so my design was born.
Dream in Color recently contracted me to design a sweater for them. A specific sweater, whose name is Dylana. Dylana (pronounced DILL-en-ah) is a girl's name of Welsh origin meaning "born of waves." I thought I would take you through my design process from start to finish.
This is pretty much what my submission looked like (minus my contact information):
Can you see where the name comes from?
"Classy" is the name of a yarn in their line--a worsted weight superwash merino. While I wait for the yarn to arrive, I've taken some preliminary steps toward writing the pattern. When the yarn comes, I will knit a swatch (slightly bigger than the one in my proposal), measure it, plug in some numbers (stitch gauge, row gauge, collar height, etc.), and be ready to knit!
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