Today I am so excited to share that “All You Knit is Love” is now available to download on Ravelry! This sweater pattern was originally designed for The Fiber Factor Knitting Design Contest Challenge #2 “Knit Inside the Box”. We were challenged to design a boxy sweater that incorporated creative colorwork, using up to 8 colors. I thought it would be fun to revisit this design and give you a behind the scenes look at my creative process and inspiration. Hope you enjoy!
When we first got this challenge I was a little overwhelmed with possibility because I LOVE colorwork. If you are familiar with my designs you know that I use colorwork quite frequently, and just love color in general! Because of that, I wanted to experiment with some new techniques that I had not seen done and had never tried out before, and really push myself to be creative.
My first idea was to create a heart argyle pattern using cables. I hadn’t seen it done before in knitting the way I was envisioning it, so I thought it would be fun to try out. Off to swatching I went, and after much trial and error, I figured out a technique I was happy with. Basically there are 2 single cables, and when they cross, there’s an intarsia heart behind them. It’s kindof like you’re knitting love into your sweater, and I loved the idea of that! 🙂
The other inspiration I had for this sweater was to use big block letters to create a bold statement message, a popular trend at the time. I had seen this image of a storefront in Barcelona that I had previously posted about, and it stuck with me – the perfect phrase would be “All You Knit is Love”! I thought it would be fun to play with colorwork inside the letters, and was also very inspired by the trend of bright pastel colors. I had seen images of artwork by pip & pop in one of my trend reports at work, and I was obsessed with the color scheme and wanted to use a similar palette for my design. Fun fact – even though I designed this sweater in 2013, I am still loving pastels! They really stuck with me 🙂
I had also seen this sweater at Urban Outfitters and loved the idea of creating a similar ombre effect for this challenge. Now that was the challenging part, because we weren’t offered color changing yarns for this challenge. Hmmm….but onto the next step, choosing colors!
Skacel provided us with these awesome swatch cards to choose our desired colors, which they would normally offer to their wholesale clients. It’s not always that we would get the actual yarns to look at and play with, sometimes it was just pictures of the colors, so this was especially nice for this challenge. You could actually take a small cutting of the yarn off the page and place it next to another one – this was beyond helpful in creating my pastel rainbow of colors!
So I ordered my yarn and hoped for the best. Much to my delight, the colors were beautiful and went really well together!
Now to figure out how to create the ombre effect I was hoping for. I charted out the block letters and was playing with ideas. My first idea was to have a stippling effect where the colors changed – kind of speckled and fair isle looking. This indeed turned out to look more like fair isle than ombre so I tried again.
I had seen some knitted designs where the yarn was held double with the same color, then held together with the transition color, then to double of the transition color. This technique really seemed to be the most successful in creating a smooth gradient. I hadn’t planned to double ply my yarn with this design though, so I thought, what if I un-plied the yarn to half the plies, did that with the transition color, and then held them together and knitted them?! I tried this out and indeed it worked. Now, this isn’t the easiest or most practical thing to do, but it was a creative solution to the problem and it looked great!
In case you’re wondering what the inside of this sweater looks like…here it is! Needless to say, finishing this chart felt like a HUGE accomplishment! I had a lot of fun, however, watching it take form 🙂 The heart argyle or “heart-gyle” as I like to call it 😉 became a theme in this pattern, which I incorporated into the front, back, and a fun elbow patch!
I also enjoyed adding this mesh lace shoulder insert for some fun and flirtiness 🙂 Now, I have to admit, when I finished this design, I was like yeah, there’s a lot going on, and the judges confirmed that worry! I honestly did just have so many ideas and wanted to use THEM ALL. While I do love all of the bells and whistles and think they ended up working together in a special way, the great thing is that because this is a knitting pattern, you can customize it however you want!
I think it would be fun to have a plain stockinette front with just the words to speak for themselves in the back, to use the heart argyle pattern all over the front and back, or to make the the entire sweater in stockinette and just have a fun pop color of mesh lace at the shoulder inserts. It’s really like you’re getting 3 sweaters in 1 as there’s so many ways you can knit this sweater! You could even knit the shoulder inserts in stockinette in the base sweater color for a more toned down look.
I’ve posted about this sweater a few times on Instagram recently and the message was clear – you want to knit this design! I appologize for not getting it out sooner, I honestly didn’t realize so many people would want to knit it! I am thrilled that you do and CAN’T WAIT to see how you interpret it! The pattern is now available on Ravelry for download here: