Twist Collective Blog
Design Process: Laredo
by Angela Hahn
Years ago I knitted my then-boyfriend, now-husband a sweater. He's not an especially big man, but he's significantly larger than I am, and I remember that it seemed like it took months to finish. On top of that, I inserted a simple geometric stranded pattern on the lower body, but my floats were too tight, which created an unfortunate gathered effect -- accentuated because my gauge was a little too loose, giving the sweater's fabric too much drape. All in all, it's probably no surprise that that sweater disappeared a year or two after it was finished, never to be seen again.
2) Medium gauge (in my original concept, DK to worsted). I don't picture most men wearing something knitted with bulky yarn; on the other hand, although the machine-knit sweaters my husband wears are almost all of a fine gauge, even a sleeveless man's sweater would take a lot of knitting if worked in fingering weight yarn. So this item is somewhat of a compromise.
For the stitch patterns for the side panels, I started from the top: that is, I knew I wanted a twisted stitch pattern in the center, to reinforce the bottom of the armhole and to coordinate with the front and back panels, and I knew I wanted a self-finished edge at the armholes, which required something that would lie flat, like a rib. Fiddling with the decreases that shape the bottom armhole edges led me to start off with three twisted stitch columns separated by single ribs, which transitioned nicely into 1X1 ribbing along the armhole edges.
And finally, 6) Fit!! Incorporating the neckline split into the stitch pattern meant that, unless I wanted to start the stitch pattern at the bottom with a partial rep for some sizes (which I didn't), changing the vest length in small increments would require changing the armhole depth-- which would then affect the depth of the V-neck and the width of the shoulder pieces. So instead I decided to write the pattern for three different lengths in all sizes-- adding a full pattern repeat is what changes the length, which allowed me to calculate the depth of the V-neck without worrying that the vest would be too long or too short overall. Eight sizes and three lengths...there should be a Laredo that fits almost anyone!
*I donned Laredo to shoot a few photos before sending it off to Twist, and loved it! The sample is a little too small for my husband, so after it's returned to me, I guess I'll just have to wear it myself.
Angela's pattern is in good company in the men's section of the pattern shop. Check it out.