Design Process: Wildflower Meadow

Posted on July 27, 2020 by Gauge Dye Works

 

Andrea and I started working on this club in the golden days of January 2020. We met in person for coffee and chatted about what this summer's club might look like. We settled on a botanical theme and Andrea created this Pinterest board for inspiration. 

Cut to two months later and we are both going into isolation. I'm not telling you anything you don't already know when I say that all of a sudden everything was uncertain. We decided the best plan (when you can't really plan anything) was to break what is usually a three-month club into separate projects. We could quietly work away on the club at our own pace, and put each one out into the world when the time was right. Meetings happened more often, and looked like this:

Andrea Rangel via Facetime

(Sidenote: just took a closer look at that photo and wtf was I doing in the background? Summoning demons? Preparing for a sacrifice? I'd like to think no, but the evidence suggests otherwise.)

We knew our first project was going to be a pair of socks. We didn't want to do anything too similar to our previous sock projects, but realistically there's only so many ways make a sock. We decided on a gradient with colourwork motifs on at the cuff and toe. I played around with the colours while Andrea worked on the sock pattern. 

 

 

I liked the idea of a gradient that could be knit from either end, depending on your colour preferences. So you could have either a mostly purple sock that faded to green at the toe, or a mostly green sock that faded to purple at the toe. The problem was that we didn't want the heel to interrupt the gradient along the front of the sock. If the pattern is only for one size of foot, you can take a good guess about where the heel is going to be and add extra yarn in the right place. But we wanted to offer a wide range of sizes in the sock pattern, so we were going to have to do something clever for the heel. 
We also wanted to fit all that yarn into a single skein, without worrying about running out of one of the colours for the largest size. In the end there was just too much going on and we didn't want to distract from the simple beauty of the overall design. We settled on a one-way gradient and put the extra yarn for the heel at the "bottom" end. 
(Can you still knit it from the other end? Yes, and never let anyone tell you otherwise. It's your knitting and you can do whatever you want with it. It just won't match the pictures, that's all.)
 
Looking through this process, we didn't stray too far from our original swatches and ideas, but you can see how many times we tweaked and re-tweaked the details to get them just the way we wanted them. 

(Sidenote: figured it out. I was watching Good Omens. It was on pause in the background.)

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