Whenever I design for Purl &Jane, I include patterns for accessories as well as garments for two reasons:
1. I design the accessories as practice items for new stitches or yarn, for example if you really want to knit a garment but you’re hesitating because you haven’t knitted one before, or you really want to try a new yarn but aren’t sure if you will like it.
2. For experienced knitters, the accessories are there to use up yarn that is left over from knitting the garment, whether you use it to knit a hat or you save up your oddments and make a blanket that tells the story of all the colours and yarns you used to make garments for your loved ones.
This is my version of the Calton Gill Blanket:
And this is Sue’s, who knitted this with oddments she had from previous projects, this is a perfect way to use one of my patterns!:
I design with the yarn firstly, get to feel how it knits up, and how it works with stitches, and then I design the shape.
I design with the yarn, I don’t sketch designs although I write down ideas and do very rough sketches to remind me of ideas but I need the yarn to see how the stitches work, then I do swatches to see how the pattern repeat works (if there is one).
And of course although the simplicity of the pattern is important when I’m designing, the end result is what it’s all about so I think about the final look of the garment and who it’s for.
When designing for babies and children I want it to be as easy and simple as possible to get baby dressed so with cardigans and jumpers I made sure the neck openings were wide enough to easily pull over baby’s head.
I also design in wool especially for babies as it’s the best fibre to regulate our and their temperature, to keep them warm enough or cool enough, so no over heating or chilliness meaning happy babies!