All I can think about lately are sweaters. Probably because my fingers are slightly blue - it's actually been cold here in Florida lately - and I refuse to turn the heat up on principal. Last night I was sketching up and submitting sweaters, and I am quite seriously considering hitting the yarn store today to get yarn for a sweater for myself. I'd also like to make myself one of these:
When I designed this sweater, I had the perfect sweater in mind. I thought about features on other garments I had knit - what I liked, what I didn't like. I knew I wanted a zipper, and I'm a sucker for turned hems and i-cord edgings. So I starting thinking and I started sketching.
I played around a lot with where the cable motifs would go - how they would integrate into the sweater - what seemed most organic. I swatched the cable motifs in Malabrigo worsted - because it's always good to have some of that on hand for swatching. The motif I had chosen lent it self well to sleeve insets and panels up the front of the sweater and around the hood. The motif itself reminded me of a harp, so after a smidge of research (wikipedia to the rescue!) I found that a cithara was a kind of ancient Greek harp or lyre. Hence the name. Naming things is sometimes the hardest part!
When I received the Mountain Mohair from Green Mountain Spinnery I was pleased to find out how well it cabled. And the little tweedy bits were perfect for the large areas of stockinette in this sweater. Something with a bit of interest is best - either texturally or color-wise. That way the stockinette areas don't look flat.
And when push came to shove I ended up with a sweater that was actually better than I envisioned. Which is really all a designer can hope for.
The Cithara Cardigan is available for download in the Winter 2011 issue of Twist Collective.