Learning to Break It Down

So for today’s lesson, I’m using what I consider the ultimate in knitwear porn.  This was designed by Jean Paul Gaultier and I’m kicking myself for not realizing I could have seen it in front of me at the De Young museum exhibit in San Francisco while I was there.  Jebus, it’s stunning.

There’s a technique that I want to teach you whenever you are looking at inspiration.  And that’s breaking things down into their technical elements.  

You can see a simplified breakdown in the last picture.  The upper body of the garment is actually just a really good version of a ribbing and cable panel sweater.  The cable panels are all different, and all used in slightly different ways.  They’re not symmetrical, which adds tremendously to the sheer excitement of this garment. (Now there’s an easy to add dose of inspiration to add to whatever you’re making… panels of stitch patterns don’t have to be applied symmetrically.)

The bottom is a crochet lace base.  There’s another idea… mixing up knitting and crochet.  There’s no rules that say it has to be one or the other.  

There’s a tremendous amount of surface detailing, from the applied i-cord, to those wonderful flowers and grapes.  And it manages to do it in a way that isn’t overwhelming.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love Nicky Epstein as much as the next person.  But a wide shawl collar filled with knitted roses is a bit much.  This shows that careful application of surface detailing has a much greater impact.

So break it down.  Look at those ideas.  It’s not about ripping off other designers or attempting to recreate what they made.  It’s about expanding the potential of design and seeing how different looks are accomplished and then using those ideas and elements in your own way.

The Abbotsford Twist

So, who remembers this scene?

Alright, everyone remembers it. It’s probably the second most romantic scene in three series of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.

Not only did it inspire a million girlish sighs, it also sparked a bit of inspiration in my knitter’s heart. What if this is the first of many footie matches Phryne takes in with Jack. If so, she’s going to need a scarf of her own.

But this is Phryne Fisher. Not any scarf will do. So, the question becomes, what would Phryne wear to show her Abbotsford pride? I think I have an idea.

I give you the Abbotsford Twist!

A Mobius cowl knit using two strands of Cascade 220 Heathers in the Abbotsford green and wine.

The double strands and garter stitch make the cowl super squishy and warm and we all know how cold it gets in the stands during a football match!

Oh, and the twist?

You can wear it as a shrug.

It’s super comfy and warm when you pull it down over your shoulders. The cowl is large enough so that you can wear it over a light coat if you need to double up against the cold

I’ll be posting the pattern on my Ravelry page if you’re interested in making one of your own once it’s edited. Let me know if you like it.

Maybe I’ll design something for West Melbourn fans next. I wouldn’t want Cec to feel left out. ;)