Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New Educator Gabrielle Stanley ... Guest Post

If you are part of any of our groups, you have seen Gabrielle Stanley's name and may have realized she is very knowledgeable about Garment Designer, for both Sewing and Knitting. She runs Gabrielle's Sewing Studio and has her own blog at

She is now our newest Educator (she's in the UK), you can find her contact information on our Educator page. If you are an Educator (or not) and would like to do a blog post please email Sonia at

Here is her Guest Blog post:

The story of a cardigan

On holiday a couple of years ago, I wandered into a yarn shop and fell in love with a colourway of Noro Blossom. I bought up what the shop had in stock, even though it was not enough for a complete garment, then sourced some more from a couple of online sites. I felt with such a variety of colours in the yarn, a mismatch of dyelots would not notice too much.

After researching the available patterns, I did not like any enough, so I looked at pictures of other garments, and finally decided on a sidew
ays knit cardigan with an asymmetric front opening.

Since the yarn is self-striping, I decided I would need to ke
ep the widths of the pattern pieces fairly even to reduce the amount the stripe widths varied. This led to my choosing to design a pattern with separate sleeves, and a separate front and back. To make the garment fit together easily with the stripes, I decided on square shoulders, and for such a garment I felt darts would be unnecessary.

With such a basic garment shape I was able to use a Simple Fit sloper.

So the choices were:

Top Group: Basic
Top Style: Average
Shoulder: Straight
Neck Group: Round
Neck Style: Standard
Darts: None
Sleeve Group: Separate
Sleeve Type: Drop Shoulder
Combo: None
Armhole: Standard
Sleeve Shape: Tapered
Sleeve Length: Long

Looking at the on-screen pattern, my first thought was that the sleeve was too wide at the top, so I changed the armhole depth by selecting the underarm point and nudging it upwards using the up arrow key.

Next I worked on the front opening. Changing the L/R Symmetry to Give/Take, and switching off F/B Symmetry so I didn't affect the back neckline.

I selected the centre front segment and moved it to the right using the right arrow key. When I had moved it so the left neckline was almost straight, I changed the Display to Actual Size and was able to nudge the line using the arrow kes until I completely got rid of any jagged sections of the neckline. (I often change the display scale to get an exact measurement or straight line.)

I then turned L/R symmetry off completely, made sure I only had the right frontís centre front segment selected, and moved it further over to obtain an overlap for closure.

My cardigan was now ready for the yarn information. I hand knitted a test swatch on the needles recommended on the ball band, measured it, and recorded the information:

Next came the conversion to sideways knitting. I generated my Pattern Pixel-Per-Stitch Graphics.

Selecting each front piece in turn, I pressed 'Z' once to rotate them clockwise.I then selected the back piece and pressed 'Z' 3 times to rotate it to the same position as going anticlockwise. The sleeve did not need rotating as I planned to knit it in the conventional direction.

I now changed from displaying Dimensions to displaying Stitch Counts.

Because I was planning to knit by hand from the left side, I set the cast on points to be the bottom left of the fronts and the top left of the back, by clicking on the numbers at these points. I also decided to work the sleeves top-down to allow for easy length adjustment, so I set the cast on point at the top right of the sleeve.

The shaping instructions were fairly straightforward. In order to work a moss stitch edge, I needed to manually add instructions to start and finish a moss stitch portion around the neckline as well as the opening edges at the fronts and the bottom edges of all pieces. I also needed to manually add the buttonhole.

I started knitting with the left front, so I could check my tension, and also weighthe finished piece to determine the stitch count by weight to determine if I had enough yarn.

I finished the cardigan with a large button at the top of the asymmetric opening, and press studs down the rest of the opening to prevent it flapping open.

~Gabrielle Stanley

1 comment:

  1. Wow! It fits perfectly! Thank you for writing about your sweater adventure!