Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pom Pom Quarterly

It makes me happier than you know to tell you that the sweater on the cover of the Fall 2014 Pom Pom Quarterly is mine.

If the magazine looks wee that's because it is! I had never seen a Pom Pom in real life, so I was a little surprised to see that it's an adorably little magazine. 

This is Coronis, a cropped, top-down and seamless, striped sweater with a circular yoke. The stripes are worked with slipped stitches, so you only use one color at a time, making it super easy! I went with no waist shaping, because the deep twisted rib at the waist really draws in, creating a vintage, nipped-waist silhouette. If cropped sweaters aren't your thing, the no-shaping makes it so easy to just keep knitting in the stripe pattern until you like the length - ribbing, then do some ribbing. Cake.

I knitted the sample in a new-to-me yarn called John Arbon Knit by Numbers. What a lovely yarn, seriously. It is a super soft DK weight merino, and I love the way they offer six-shade gradients of each color. I wish I lived in the UK so that I could get this yarn all the time.

To chat a little about the process: I submitted to the Fall call for submissions way back in late February. I was thrilled beyond belief when they accepted my proposal! Here is my original sketch and swatch that I emailed to the editors:

As you can see, the finished design turned out a little differently! The idea is there, though, and that's what counts. It's easy to see how just changing the colors makes for a dramatically different finished sweater. The editors picked the colors to go with the other designs in the magazine. Color coordination: it's important. I also ended up with a higher neckline than the original sketch, just for the sake of simplicity. The lower neckline would have required working back-and-forth for a few inches in the beginning of the sweater, and that just wasn't working out. Sometimes the yarn tells you what it wants to be, and you just have to go with it! 

I did a lot of fussing around with the nearly-finished sample. For a brief time, I really hated it! Finally, I realized that the sleeves needed to be just a little longer, and the bottom ribbing needed to be quite a bit longer. I think that the first time I finished the ribbing, it was about 2 inches, but that just didn't look right. So I undid the bound-off edge, put the stitches back on the needle, and did some more twisted rib. Finally, the sample looked right. Well-proportioned, stylish, fun. Of course, all this futzing and thinking meant that I had to rush-ship the sample to England, which was, ahem, not cheap. But it was my own fault, so.

Working with the Pom Pom editors and tech editor was so easy, which is something I really appreciate, because that's not always the case. And I can't believe they picked my design for the cover! I admit that I was hoping, because why not, but I didn't really think it would happen. I bought an extra copy so that I can frame a cover for my new sewing room. Is that kind of vain? Maybe. But I'm gonna do it anyway. :)