I have been amazed with the wonderful response I have received for my latest design for Twist Collective, Cypri, mainly because it actually began with a rejection letter. A year earlier, I had submitted a design idea for a shawl that didn’t make the cut. I felt strongly about the idea – slip stitch cables on a striped background. They create a strong graphic and are really fun to knit. So I went back to the drawing board and reworked the design.
First, I changed the shape. The original was a top down triangle; this one would be a crescent shape (which is what I would actually prefer to knit for myself.) I liked the idea of lots of detail at the bottom edge, and less detail in the short row shaping portion.
Next I looked at the cable design. The pattern in the original submission was inspired by a traditional twisted-stitch pattern. This design needed something unique, so I began sketching. I started with the idea of a long strand of gems hanging from a chain.
The first sketches (above, left) were okay, but when I turned one upside down, I liked it much better. The design started to fall into place. I refined the shapes and they began to remind me of lady’s slipper orchids (above, right).
The next step was to turn the sketch into something knittable. I lightly sketched the shapes on graph paper, trying to keep in mind the scale and potential gauge. Then I charted the cable symbols right over the sketchy lines. This step involved a lot of erasing as I worked out the cable crossings. I refined it bit more as I knit the swatch. It was finally ready to submit.
The sample I knit for Twist is in Breathless by Shalimar Yarns. It is a superwash merino/cashmere/silk blend that is very soft and creates a fabric with the perfect drape for this shawl. While I love the colors of the sample, byzantium and mole, I want to knit my own in bing and scarab, a purple and teal combo similar my swatch. Or maybe glacier and driftwood, or copper pennies and black truffle. I could go on and on, there are so many colors to choose from.