Design Discussion-Through the Woods Cardigan Pattern

Through the WoodsThis cardigan knitting pattern comes in finished chest measurements of 40, 44, 48, 52, & 56 inches. The sample garment was knit out of Black Water Abbey Worsted Weight Wool. Measurements are not labeled as to size. To determine the size you want to knit I would recommend measuring the finished chest width of a sweater or sweatshirt that you like the fit of. It is designed to have 4 inches of ease, but that of course can vary depending upon your own measurements and the size that you knit.

Artistically I would have preferred not to have that paragraph first, but having it first helps with search engine optimization (cardigan knitting pattern, knit, and so on, being in the first couple paragraphs).  Now, on to the good stuff.

When I designed this, I wanted to portray my grandparents log cabin on Palestine Lake, which has a lot of trees and a wooded area behind my grandparents property. My grandfather built this log cabin (he used to be a lumberjack in Wisconsin and built the cabin when my mother was young). Across the dirt road from the cabin, is a second lot that they owned which has the garage. Behind that is the woods that my cousins and I used to explore.

It is beautiful in the fall with all the leaves changing color. The water tranquil because no motor boats are allowed on the lake. Looking out the window you can see lots of trees, and the branches crossing rhythmically. The pattern that I chose made me think of the tree branches, and it has an elegant simplicity which befits a very simple and rural area. This is not a fancy lake, but a very peaceful area with simple homes. There are no pretenses here. I can still close my eyes and see it, although it has since passed out of our family. Unfortunately the only picture I have of it is in the winter.

This particular design is an example of using line to create feeling Hickory Hollowand express inspiration back to the viewer. It has strongly vertical lines, which gives a feeling of height. Strong vertical lines can give a feeling of grandeur. Also strength and stability. There is a feeling of stillness, too with strong vertical lines. Breaking up the strong vertical lines are the diagonal lines which make me think of tree branches crossing back and forth across each other. Diagonal lines suggest movement, and can keep a composition from feeling too static. For me, that is why the woods feel alive (aside from the sounds of birds, or the wind rustling the leaves). The cable twists and the garter stitch bands add texture which both remind me of rough bark as well as the humble yet beautiful surroundings. Fine Art principles of design, you see, can also apply to sweater design. This is an abstract composition, and yet it is easy to relate to. It touches a chord. The viewer does not have to know what the inspiration is to be drawn to it.

I love the story behind the knitting. On many things associated with my design business, Kristmen’s Design Studio, I have the phrase “expect more from your knitting”. There is a lot to this, as you have heard me talk about making choices based on issues other than how fast we can get through the project. And I love to see people making their own choices in their knitting. I am sure many who read my newsletters or blog make many choices on their own as my style of design appeals to that type of knitter. But it is amazing how many people will pass by a design because it is not in a color they would choose. Choose a yarn you like, choose a color you like, and put yourself in your knitting. My vision does not have to be your final expression.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene


4 Responses to “Design Discussion-Through the Woods Cardigan Pattern”

  1. LaurieM Says:

    Thanks for sharing your story! I love it when a knit evokes a feeling. I’ve gotten that from a few of my own designs after they are done. My original cabled mittens felt like a knight’s gauntlets to me because of the shaping, yarn and celtic cables. The purple shawl became the Galaxy Shawl because the color made me think of space and the spirals made me think of the swooping arms of a galaxy. My latest sweater makes me feel royal when I wear it, because of the combination of yarn, color, cables and shaping.

    I don’t usually design with a plan in mind like you did because I find the end result feels forced to me.

  2. Nancy J Says:

    I love that you’ve given us your design process and that you’ve shown the picture of the cabin along with the sweater. I’ve been working on the same concept with a picture I took on the UP looking across the Mackinack Bridge, but focusing on the foreground.

  3. jolenetreace Says:

    Laurie, thanks for stopping and commenting. I don’t know how much planning I really did. I usually start with what inspired me and things just go on from there. One thought leads to another. It is really interesting seeing how different people go about their designing as well as their knitting. I think it is as varied as the people involved.

  4. jolenetreace Says:

    Nancy that is a beautiful area! My husband and I were on Mackinac Island several years ago and I loved it. I have been toying with an idea for a shawl inspired by the Island and the Grand Hotel. I am sure you will have fun with it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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