<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d10582443\x26blogName\x3dPink+Lemon+Twist\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://pinklemontwist.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://pinklemontwist.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-8358867803839361769', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I need some feedback

Lately, I've been playing around with different design ideas in my head and while I still have a couple of stole designs that I want to work up as patterns (in addition to the descriptively named Pattern 15), I'm wanting to do some garment design.  Take a look at what I'm thinking and if you have a minute, please leave a comment and let me know what you think at the end of the post.

I'm thinking of designing primarily classic sweaters - both pullovers and cardigans.  I'm thinking simple lines with some tailoring details.  I don't want to get into too many details here (and they aren't all filled out in my head at this point anyway), but I want to design things that can be worn by women of any age and would look as appropriate on today's woman as it would on Audrey Hepburn.  

OK, so all that sounds great, but here's the catch.  I'm thinking of designing these in fingering weight yarn.  Yes, 7-8 stitches an inch.  Now before you all click on to whatever you read after my babbling and delete me from your bookmarks, do one thing - go look in your closet and look at the last 5 sweater type garments you bought.  That's what I thought - they're all knit at a fine gauge aren't they.  Yes, they were knit on a machine, but they're also probably knit at a finer gauge than I'm proposing here.  

See here's where I'm coming from:  I love to knit and I love wearing my knits, but when I'm looking for something to throw on and do whatever it is that I do all day, unless it's really chilly, I grab a fine gauge sweater that I bought.  There are always times for the heavier weights of handknits, but you really can't wear them year round (and this applies to more than just Texas - I could only wear the heavier weights for a brief time in Virginia too).  A lighter weight sweater will work for more months out of the year, can be layered with a heavier garment for truly cold weather, and if it's a cardigan, will even work for summer - either in over air-conditioned spaces, or cool evenings.  If you look honestly at what you really wear, I think you'll agree that this weight is the one you choose more than a worsted weight or heavier garment.  There just aren't many designs at this lighter gauge.

I realize that the idea of taking on an entire garment in fingering weight yarn requires a certain amount of Intestinal Fortitude, but I'm not really thinking of designing for beginners.  I still plan to make the pattern directions as clear and as easy to follow as possible so a beginner could knit one, but most beginners need a more instant gratification type of first sweater.  I'm wanting to be able to grab a handknit on practically any day of the year, without dying of heat stroke and as a knitter, it's ridiculous how many fine gauge sweaters I've purchased.

So, let me know what you think.  Am I out of my mind?  Should I just design for my own garments and leave everyone else out of it?  Or is this something that you'd be interested in seeing and possibly interested in doing?

74 Comments:

Blogger Sara said...

I'm game - I've had the same realization about my own clothes and think the work would be worth it.

8:49 AM  
Blogger Shauneen said...

I agree and recently read a new book that is out Knit So Fine - same sort of idea in terms of gauge. - Shauneen

8:59 AM  
Blogger Bex said...

I knit a lot of garments from finer gauge yarns. I think they are more wearable than worsted weight sweaters, which I use more as jackets. Also, heavier yarn is hard on my hands and wrists.

Usually, I will develop a pattern myself, or attempt to adjust an existing pattern for fingering weight yarn. There just aren't a lot of patterns out there, but I'm starting to see a few more.

9:03 AM  
Blogger Maxine said...

You have hit the nail on the head with this idea. A light sweater is something I'm always looking for. Thanks and good luck. I'm waiting for the pattern(s).

9:05 AM  
Blogger KnittyKat said...

I love knitting garments in fingering weight because there are more stitches the shaping and details seem finer and more classic. I agree with absolutely everything you've said and there should be more patterns out there. I'm a beginner/intermediate beginner and knitting in 4ply doesn't put me off and it has the added advantage that it is often cheaper than knitting in heavier weight yarns.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Sasha said...

Not at all crazy. I'd love to see more choices in fine gauge sweaters. That's one of the reason I love vintage patterns, that plus the flattering fitted shaping.

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Joyce said...

I agree! I have a (store bought) sweater that is getting so old it is fading and since I've lost weight it is really too big, but I won't get rid of it until I can find/make a replacement. I haven't found a similar pattern, and I've been to busy to try and design one myself.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Walden said...

I also agree, the sweaters I prefer to wear are finer gauge and overall, I'd rather put more time into a finer gauged sweater and love the look of it than knit something bulkier and have it sit in my closet most of the time.

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Cathy said...

I'd knit and wear it. So keep in mind, there are larger women out here who are willing to knit fine, too. :)

9:19 AM  
Blogger Otter said...

Oh heck yes! I knit in S.California - I can't tell you how much I envy people who get to wear their heavy woolly sweaters. Some thoughtfully designed fine-gauge patterns would be wonderful. I've just started on a very small cardigan around the same idea, and I would love more ideas. (Especially since as much as I love my vintage pattern collection, my shoulders are just too broad for many of them!)

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Diana said...

Hi Melanie, I don't comment very often but I wanted to add my voice of support for the fingering weight sweater idea! While there's a time and a place for heavier sweaters, you are absolutely right that the lightweight ones are the most practical, particularly for cardigans, and there should definitely be more patterns out there for that sort of garment. Also, there are so many fabulous fingering weight yarns out there that deserve to be more than just socks!

One thing you might consider (and I've seen this in a few patterns) if you're trying to reach the largest number of knitters is to provide numbers for both fingering and DK/worsted weight yarns - that way people will have a choice of which weight they want to knit. Depending on the pattern, though, this may or may not work...

9:29 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

I would love some finer gauge patterns. I bought some finger weight yarn that I just loved and have been searching for a sweater pattern for it for awhile and there just isn't much out there.

9:33 AM  
Blogger CC said...

This last week I've been looking for a fine gauge T-Shirt shaped sweater.

I'm not afraid of fine gauge knitting.

Please, fine gauge sweaters are a wonderful idea just don't forget larger sizes.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Knitting by the Pond said...

Yes, I think that is a great idea! I love light sweaters too!

9:41 AM  
Blogger Sandra said...

the last two cardigans I've knit were off fingering weight. And I wear them, so it's what works. Anything heavier, and really, it's outdoor wear...

9:42 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Oh, definitely! I need more fine gauge sweaters... And I also need to make them in something other than 100% wool...

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Kate said...

I'm interested. I'd love a lighter gauge sweater pattern to knit up and stow away in a drawer in my office, where it gets chilly in the summer with the air conditioning on. But I either haven't found anything I like, or what I do like is knit in heavier yarn and would be entirely too warm. And I'm not an advanced enough knitter to rework a pattern for a different weight.

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Regina said...

Super idea ! Definitely go with it, I think a lot of us would buy your patterns.
Good Luck from your former Sockapalooza pal Regina

10:41 AM  
Blogger Cheryl, the jungian Knitter said...

My hands just won't let me knit with heavier yarns on needles above size 5 or so. Plus I have come to love the drape and fabric of finer weight yarns. So count me as interested!

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Steph said...

You have such a huge following with the Mystery Shawl every year! Those of us who are groupies of that do not follow you for beginner patterns - we follow you because you make the patterns fun and beautiful! Keep your classic idea with the twist of creative, beautiful whimsy that you always do. We will all follow you AGAIN! I am really looking forward to seeing what you design.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Kathleen C. said...

Add me to the chorus! Yes to finer gauge knits!

11:00 AM  
Blogger PogKnits said...

I've had that thought myself, but as you've identified there are so few patterns out there at that gauge. I knit quickly, so a fingering weight sweater would not be overly daunting to me.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Tammy said...

At first I am put off by the fingering weight. I am a really loose knitter and to get gauge, I go down 2 needle sizes. To do a fingering weight garment on size 1's would be horrendous, a sock is a whole different matter as it is a fairly quick knit. However, as I continued to read what you wanted to do, I really want to knit along with you or after you as I know your designs are just amazing!! So, I am interested to see what you come up with.

11:25 AM  
Blogger KillerQueen said...

Many times I have been dissappointed in the lack of sweater patterns in fingering weights! There are so many gorgeous fingering yarns out there and for those of us who are not fans of knitting socks and don't want 10000 shawls need an alternative! Besides, you are absolutley right, most of my store bought sweaters are fine gauge. Rock on!

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Beth said...

Excellent idea, it fills a real void. I like working with fingering weight and am excited about the possibilities. Definitely go for it!

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, a great idea. Pleases look into Marion Foale patterns for inspiration. However, she isn't designing anymore so we need someone new. I have made several of hers and they are my favorites, classic, tailored, beautiful details, wearable, and very enjoyable to knit. They take more time, but well worth it.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Sherry said...

Wow, I guess I'm the first to say - if I want finer gauge knits, I buy them. But I live in Massachusetts where you can get a lot of wear from the heavier gauge knits. I'm also 5'10" with extra long arms, so I already get quite a bit of knitting out of a sweater. So while I might consider knitting the right fingering weight sweater pattern, in general I find there are *so* many patterns I'd like to knit that I'd rather knit the worsteds and buy the fingerings...

12:05 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

You are absolutely correct...a finer gauge sweater is way more practical (although I still haven't even made a larger gauge sweater) in so many instances. I love your idea and think you should go with it!

12:07 PM  
Blogger Maja said...

I completely agree. It would be so wonderful to have more designs available to knit at finer gauge. My own personal style is very classic (Audrey and I would have been great friends, I think) and if I'm going to spend months working on a handknit sweater at fine gauge I want to make sure I'll be able to wear it for years to come. Thank you so much - I can't wait to see your designs!

12:07 PM  
Blogger Lana said...

I prefer to knit at finer gauges. I have a rather petite frame, and finer gauge sweaters are more flattering, and tend to wear better, too.

12:19 PM  
Blogger GoldenTracks said...

I'm game too. I was surprised what a hard time I had finding sweater patterns for DK weight, so a pattern for fingering weight would be great.....I'll be able to do some stash busting.

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mom says "you are right on!" My last 2 sweaters are fine weight.

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Elise said...

I use fingering weight a lot. It takes longer, but I get a drape that looks much better on me than I can get with worsted or bulky. I actually haven't tried sport or DK for a garment yet.

So go for it! I think you'll see lots more opportunities in designing with it.

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I prefer finer gauge yarns and I've been looking for a cardigan-pattern that is simple without being bland and boxy, tailored without being frou-frou.

Short answer: Yes, please! :-)

1:01 PM  
Blogger Auntly H said...

bring it on! Especially as spring arrives, I'm happy to put away the heavy sweaters, but I will need something to keep me warm in the A/C and I would love some fine-guage, tailored pieces I made myself to pull from the sweater shelf.

1:09 PM  
Blogger Clumsy Knitter said...

I wish there were MORE patterns out there for fingering weight yarns. I'm all for it!

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say go for it! For at least the last year (or more), every time I find a pattern I like it's usually for heavier weight yarn, and I just click away because I don't want to knit another heavy sweater that I can't wear that often.
-Kristi

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I love sweaters but have these hot flashes & all, I can comfortably wear is something lighter........any hot sweater comes off as soon as I feel the weight, & know it won't work.......
I too , have gone to finer knits.......
I'm all for it too...!
Dianne

2:10 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

I WEAR heavy gauge sweaters year round (between freezing in winter and air conditioning in summer I am very rarely warm enough). That said, I prefer my base layer be fine gauge thus it is usually store bought. I think that fine gauge sweater patterns sound great. Then again, I love knitting giant lace shawls so committing lots of time to one project is fine by me.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Joyce said...

I think that's a great idea! I wear mostly fine gauge sweaters because I live in Cali and heavy sweaters just aren't necessary. I'm a beginning knitter, but I'd take one on just so I'd have something I could wear more often than the one or two weeks of really cold days we have here.

2:54 PM  
OpenID Judi said...

Great idea! Being rather "fluffy" myself, I don't need fluffy sweaters. I like the drape and smoothness of fingering wt.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Bgstoner said...

As I have yet to graduate to sweaters (I'm stuck on a sock kick right now) I may not be ready for this but would still love to see it so that I could knit it when I am ready.

3:28 PM  
Blogger ayla said...

I think I'd like a fingering weight sweater pattern. Please put pockets on it. Nothing drives me crazier than a sweater with no pockets, but when I look at sweater patterns, almost none of the cute cardigans that I like have them. I'm not experienced enough yet (alright, I'm about to embark on my first sweater) to be able to add pockets to a cardigan.

I like patch pockets better than side pockets, because my chapstick doesn't fall out. :)

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Jan said...

Great idea! And as you've seen in the comments, others are having the same idea.

Also, those of us of that certain age who now seem to be warmer all the time (except when we're having cold chills), would also like the finer gauge sweaters. For the 40-50 degree rainy weather today, I'm wearing my parka without the down lining (for the wind/rain aspects) and my store-bought, finely knit cardigan for the needed warmth. Works great!

And please don't forget the larger sizes, as others have mentioned.

Plus I like knitting with finer yarns most of the time anyway. Feels 'right' to me.

3:33 PM  
OpenID kateohkatie said...

Y'know, I think it's brilliant! And I'm glad to see I'm not the only one :-)

I LOVE your other designs, and would love to see your take on the sweater world, especially at a finer gauge.

3:47 PM  
Blogger TracyKM said...

I have many old (1930s-1960s) knitting books, and they are mostly 7-8 sts per inch. It would be nice to see some of the patterns in modern sizes, but aren't there a couple of books out there right now about vintage knits? But I do have to say--I also machine knit, and I don't think I'd choose to handknit something in this gauge unless there was something fabulous about it :)

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Ivete said...

I completely agree with you about the greater wearable of simple garments in classic shapes . . . however I don't personally want to KNIT that kind of thing! =) Also, there are plenty of patterns already available for small-gauge-classic sweaters, every Rowan magazine has at least a few options . . . definitely something to think about from a business angle!

4:03 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Yes please :)

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

I agree the prettiest sweaters are at a finer gauge. However, I would only consider knitting this for my (skinny) daughter - waaaaay too many stitches for a sweater for me. You're also right that there is little (if anything) out there for this gauge. I'd start with one "classic" and see how they sell.

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Barbara said...

I mostly only knit fine gauge sweaters now. They are more slimming and classic in design. I get joy out of the act of knitting and making something that looks great, it matters not to me if it takes time to finish a project. Go for it!

5:33 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Count me in! I no longer have any interest in knitting with anything heavier than sportweight. Fingering is just peachy!

6:07 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

I've been looking for Sportweight patterns as I like the Brownsheep Naturespun Sport that I made Hanami out of but I wouldn't have a problem with Fingering. Being plus size, my issue would just be the amount of yarn I would have to purchase.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Beth Gray said...

I'm so in for this! As a woman who has frequent "personal summers", something knit from a finer gauge would be wonderful.

6:59 PM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

Go for it! I would be interested - I live in South Florida and ONLY knit lighter weight things. I anxiously await them!

7:42 PM  
Blogger April said...

I agree - I actually prefer to knit with finer gauge yarn and smaller needles. I find that those garments tend to be flattering on more body types and are more 'classic' than some of today's super-bulky styles.

7:50 PM  
Blogger Marie said...

I'm in Texas. too and this is what I knit. I find this weight to be comfortable and fashionable. In fact, I'm currently thinking about how I want to go about replacing my go-to black lace fingering weight cardi. So, yes, bring it on!
Marie

8:03 PM  
Blogger Tricia said...

Hi Melanie,

In Australia, historically we rarely used yarn heavier than 8 ply/DK weight. I look at patterns from the US for heavier yarns, and I would never wear them. Both for climactic reasons, and because they would make me look shorter and bigger than I would prefer. I am less than 5' tall, and am not as svelte as I was.

I have come to the same conclusion as you have. I have laceweight yarn from Colourmart wound into 4 strands so I can knit fine-weight garments. I have swatched extrafine merino on a US 0 [2mm] and a US 2 [2.75] needle. I prefer the fabric on the smaller needles at 8 stitches to the inch.

I am thinking of knitting a basic top-down cardigan as I have never knit top-down before.

I would definitely be interested in any patterns you design for fine-weight yarn. Have fun!

8:29 PM  
Blogger Catlady said...

YES!!!! (can I make the font any bigger???)

We have people coming into our store looking for just such patterns - thinner weight yarns!!!!

Please - It would be loved, I just know it would....

9:05 PM  
Blogger DragonsChest said...

I think this is a marvelous idea! I'd love to see what you come up with. - Suzy

9:38 PM  
Blogger CozyStitches said...

YES! I do think designing w/fine gauge in mind is a great idea! I live in the desert southwest. I love wool yarns. I have little need for sweaters in worsted or larger yarns, few sweaters in dk/sport. :) I also love the idea of seamless....oh and for us bigger gals too. ;)

10:31 PM  
Blogger auntiemichal said...

In addition to fingering weight yarns, sport weights would provide lighter garments, too, and not quite as intimidating as fingering! Great idea! Vests and camisoles/tanks would be good to think about.

2:03 AM  
Anonymous Mairead said...

YES!!! Definitely, go for it! And if the patterns might have some lacy parts, that would be even better.

6:13 AM  
Blogger nimbleknitter said...

I'm interested! I don't make sweaters usually because I hate messing with fit issues. But I'm working on one right now and it's so thick and chunky, I don't really like the look. I'm used to fingering and laceweight.

I would be interested even though I would need a larger size (which makes it even worse).

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would love to knit finer gauge sweaters. I think they're more wearable and much more flattering than heavier sweaters. I'm looking forward to your patterns!

12:40 PM  
Blogger the boogeyman's wife said...

yes. i learned to knit in sweden where they use finer weight yarns for sweaters, and there's so many patterns i'd like to make but the gauge is super bulky. it just seems too big, thick, something. i prefer the smaller gauge (even with the time involved) but there aren't many patterns out there. the closest i've seen is aran weights at 6 st/in or so. those are much more wearable to me than the one semi-bulky sweater i made. when i want something to throw on in my chilly house, that bulky sweater is just too big and clumsy.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sweaters in a fingerweight yarn?!? YES! Excellent idea!!! Do one as a KAL please!

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Madeline said...

You are absolutely right about fine-gauge sweaters. They are the ones we reach for. For most of the winter around the house, I've been wearing a Poetry in Stitches sweater that was knit on #3 needles. It worked up faster than I expected. Yes, please go for it!

9:23 PM  
Anonymous bibliotecaria said...

For me, knitting at a finer gauge is actually my default preference, and I've been frustrated that there have been so few designs available. For example, I'm knitting a summerweight cardigan right now at 7.5 st/inch. I'm having to use Ann Budd's book, and even then, I'm having to rework the numbers, because her book only goes up to 7 st/inch. I regularly do my socks at 9-10 st/inch. So if you are thinking in this direction, please go for it!

7:55 AM  
Anonymous Liz C. said...

It's definitely time for this kind of thinking. Making a fine gauge sweater is not only more wearable, but frankly isn't much more than making a few pairs of socks. I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

8:58 PM  
Blogger TexanaPurls said...

I'd definitely say there's a need for this sweater! I want to knit it now! It may take me a year to knit a fine guage sweater for my ample self, but I'd take it on, as long as it wasn't fair-isle. Contemporary styling for our best yarns is what we knitters want! Yea for Melanie!

10:08 PM  
Anonymous susan said...

As a Yankee transplanted to the South, the fine gauge knits are absolutely perfect for almost the entire year. And as an Audrey Hepburn-framed knitter, I far prefer fine gauge knits; the bulkier gauges, although lovely, are too overwhelming.

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Doreen said...

I would love it! Please do it! I have actually bought sweater quantity fingering weight yarns and have trouble finding patterns to go with it.

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in Southern California, and I never wear the heavy weight sweaters, nor would I like them on my figure. I think you're on the right track. There are tons of patterns for worsted and even bulky sweaters, but not for finer yarns. I'd like to take it a step further and ask for fine yarn plus some lacy areas to act as vents for additional cooling around the neck, the sleeves, maybe the midriff, etc.. That would also speed up the knitting.

Maureen

7:39 PM  
Anonymous www.muebles.pl said...

For my part one and all must browse on this.

10:46 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home