Crescent shawls - useful and fun knits
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The story of a new design - Ardmore sweater dress

Introducing Ardmore my new sweater dress design for Knitting magazine.


For a long time before I started designing myself and indeed before I was a tech editor for other designers and magazines, I was keen to know how particular designs came about.

With this in mind, rather than just share a pic of the new design I thought I'd share a little of its story. 

In May the editor of the magazine put out a call for designs influenced by high street fashion for an autumn issue. She provided designers with a mood board showing shapes, lengths, necklines, colour pallets etc. There were plenty of over-sized knits, so as someone who likes easily worn items as well as tunics and knitted dresses, I thought a chunky sweater dress with quite an over-sized neck would work.

I was also interested in the ombre and dip-dyed looks at the moment so decided to use Fair Isle type colour work to give that effect.

Graduated sweater dressThe result was this sketch which I submitted along with possible colour combinations and yarn suggestions.

One of the interesting parts of a submission is the eventual yarn and colour choices. The designer will have preferences but will also have made suggestions based on the magazine brief. The magazine will need to have a range of yarns and colours across the collection for that issue. Luckily in this case Rowan Cocoon worked as a yarn choice and we were able to come up with a colour combination that as a fit. But with Knitting magazine they helpfully show you how some of the patterns might work in other colours (as well as how to accessorise them).

Style file spread

Once it was agreed it was as always a matter of getting the sample and pattern in for the deadline (yes chunky knitting in a heatwave was involved) and waiting to see the issue. It is really interesting to see how the piece looks in the shoot and I love the background and styling in this issue.

I hope some of you enjoy knitting this dress as much as I enjoyed creating it and check out some of my other patterns.