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Hilary Smith Callis

Hilary Smith Callis' debut pattern with Twist Collective, is Blue Daisy, a charming double-breasted cardigan, worked in an artful combination of stitch patterns. In today's post, she talks about coming up with this design. This is cross posted from her own blog

A post I've been meaning to do for awhile now (but someone hasn't let me, the little stinker) is about the origins of the Blue Daisy cardigan, which can be found in the Spring/Summer 2011 issue of Twist Collective. Last spring, I kept seeing dresses and outfits in my favorite shops that combined patterns that I wouldn't normally put together -- stripes with polka dots, paisleys with plaids, florals with all of the above -- in very interesting ways. I wanted to use this idea in a knitted garment, but how? I thought about using different patterning yarns or multiple colors, but ultimately decided that contrasting textures was the way to go. So I got swatching.

For the pattern that would make up the body of the sweater, I thought some sort of light cabley thing might be cool.

Too busy. A more delicate slipped stitch pattern perhaps?

Hmm. I like this, but it still seems a little too dense. Maybe something with some yarnovers...

swatch 3

Getting closer, but definitely not right with this yarn. What's this Little Knot Stitch?...

swatch 4

Bingo! I loved the airiness the eyelets added, and the fact that they looked a bit more delicate in the worsted weight yarn than yarnovers did.

Now onto the contrasting pattern. Double seed stitch?

swatch 5

Meh. But I liked the denser fabric next to the more open and airy Little Knot.

swatch 6

Daisy stitch, yes! 

And the first incarnation of Blue Daisy looked like this, in Tess' Designer Yarns Superwash Merino with some vintage buttons in the exact same color that I coincidentally had in stash.

(Note: This photo is from last year...I have not miraculously returned to my pre-baby state.)

When I submitted the design to the great minds at Twist Collective, I proposed remaking the sweater in a silk or bamboo blend, for an even lighter and more warm weather-appropriate piece. They teamed Blue Daisy up with Briar Rose Fibers' Celebration, a gorgeous blend of bamboo and merino wool. The two stitch patterns worked so well in the more variegated, hand-painted Celebration. Some of the little "daisies" turn out a different shade of blue than their neighbors, which I think is pretty charming. I was so happy with how the cardigan turned out in the Celebration and was beaming when the issue of Twist Collective went live. Of course, the great styling and gorgeous model didn't hurt!

blue daisy