Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Super Warm Shetland Wool Jacket For Ethna

Just thought you might like to see how I go through the design of a garment. 

First I discuss with the recipient what they want, style, yarn, fibre, colour style. Then I look to see if I have some suitable yarn in my stash. So I had a phone call from Ethna, she's suffering from the cold and wants a jacket in 100% wool in an aran style.

She did mean the really thick Aran knit style but that type of yarn is way too thick for the machine that I have. I suggested Shetland yarn as its light but very warm. Now its off to the books to find a suitable punch card. 

Picture three shows the test knitting. Here I am trying out various needle settings and tensions. This did not go very smoothly as my machine decided it did not want to co-operate and I had to spend several hours finding a technical fault!!!

Shetland yarn arrives spun in oil, so after knitting the test sample it has to be washed in hot water with much washing up liquid, Then rinsed in softener. This transforms the yarn from an oily smelling, stringy looking item to soft fluffy yarn.

The card is shown in the middle picture and I have spotted an error in it, darn that did not show up in the test knit. I have to mend the wrongly punched hole, with sellotape.

The 1st picture is the final sample.  The purple threads are marked stitches so that I can measure the number of rows and stitches to 10cm. 

After finalising the stitch and yarn details, I can now look for a suitable style. Just a round neck jacket with patch pockets. Measurements are entered into my Designaknit (DAK) knitwear design programme on the computer. This then shows on screen a pattern, just like a dress pattern. It shows each front, the back and sleeves. This is an original pattern so I have to make sure that all pieces fit together and measure correctly. Also I have to add the pockets, front bands and collar pieces. Then I print out the pattern.

So far its taken me about ten hours to get this far, not including the breakdown time. That does not include thinking time, which goes on whilst I am doing other stuff!! Today, I hope to get the back knitted. I will then wash this and measure, when dry. Just to double check it is coming out the correct size.

Now you know why its costly to have garments made to order!!


  1. Amazingly Complex !!!! and very clever xx

  2. I love the Santa Christmas card, the colours are really bright and cheerful to look at.
    Your knitted garment is ideal to wear in this cold weather and very well done!!!
    Thanks Joan for your encouraging comment, but i don't know how to cut out the background on my fairy.


Your comments are all read and appreciated. Hope you will forgive me if I miss commenting on your comment, I will be busy doing art :-) x Joan