Design Discussion: LaMancha

LaManchaThis pullover is a ladies pullover, and is knit with worsted weight yarn. Chest measurements are as most of my other patterns, 40 (44, 48, 52, 56) inches. This particular design feature the Channel Island cast on, and has saddle shoulders. The design was inspired by one of the breeds of Dairy Goats we have at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo.  Our local zoo is ranked among the top 10 in the nation and we enjoy going at least once a season. 

One of my favorite areas in our zoo is the Indiana Family Farm. It has an area that used to be called the petting zoo. Although the name is different, the animals are the same. The goats are highly inquisitive, sometimes obtrusive, and just a lot of fun. You have to watch anything loose and dangling though, as it is likely to end up in their mouth.

Typically, even when the rest of their bodies are still, their tail is moving. Their tails are often held stiffly at attention, with a bit of a curve in them, and they swish back and forth,back and forth.

The LaMancha goat also has small nubby ears. This is a distinguishing characteristic of this goat, and I wanted to bring that into the design. I felt the Channel Island cast-on was a good choice for the cast on as adds a layer of detail as well as reflects the inspiration fo the design.Three Little Goats

I also chose to use panels of garter stitch in the design. There are those who turn up their noses to garter stitch, feeling it is too common or plain, but I really like to use it.

In this case, it is reflective of the feel of the inspiration of the design in an emotional or intellectual sense.

Imagination is a powerful part of design. I wanted something that reflected the very utilitarian nature of the inspiration. The farm, dairy goats, things common and simple. Garter stitch is perfect for this, and it also added a textural contrast to the eyelet zig zag. The columns of garter stitch are strongly vertical while having a horizontal texture, so the more formal or lofty feel you can get from strong vertical lines is balanced by the horizontal lines of the stitch pattern.

The eyelet zig zag is also representative of a portion of the body of the goat. I feel their tails are a lot of fun and so expressive. The eyelet zig zag makes me think of their tails swishing back and forth. The diagonal lines of this stitch pattern balance nicely with the vertical and horizontal lines. Lastly, I felt the garment needed just a little more detail to round out the design.

I don’t know if you can see it in the photo or not, but it has a saddle shoulder. For those who may not know what a saddle shoulder is, it is a portion that extends up from the sleeve across the top of the shoulder. It is used in Gansey and Aran knitting, but in this case it was another detail that made the design a bit more special.

Since I was dealing with fairly simple stitch patterns, I wanted to have details that were not so simple or run of the mill. That is why the Channel Island cast on is so important to the success of this design, as is the saddle shoulder. It will not be at my vendors quite yet, as the pattern is at the tech editor right now. If all goes well, Black Water Abbey will be introducing it at Stitches East. Up North Fiber Art Supply, my American Distributor, has already placed their order. So it will be available in the shops soon.

WooHoo! I finally have a new design that is out. This is the first new pattern leaflet since I had my accident a year ago this past March. It feels so good to be productive.

Peace and Knitting, JoLene Treace

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2 Responses to “Design Discussion: LaMancha”

  1. angelarae Says:

    It looks like the saddle shoulders may be garter stitch? The sweater is lovely. Especially the color, like butter. That Black Water Abbey yarn is yummy. I got a color card last year and they are all so rich and lovely.
    Congratulations:)

    Ang

  2. jolenetreace Says:

    Hi Ang!

    The saddle has the eyelet zig zag flanked by the garter column on either side that continues up from the center of the sleeve.

    Yes, I liked the color a lot. I actually was going to do a different sweater with it, and had gotten it I think the August before my accident. Funny how things can change.

    The first time I tried Black Water Abbey yarn I did not know what to think of it. It doesn’t feel soft like merino does, although it softens with the first washing and the wear. Then I got used to it. It has a lot of life in it, this yarn does. Now in contrast there are a number of soft yarns that feel over processed in comparison.

    I do like it, and Marilyn King is simply wonderful.

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