It’s no secret that I am a big fan of cable patterns, and ever since my designs were first published (1999) I have been exploring creative ways to update the classics.
I have long held the notion that maybe cables don’t have to be strictly vertical in placement with the same row pattern being repeated over and over. Maybe they can change, or morph, into new patterning so that they appear to determine their own path through the garment piece. I have played with this notion a lot over the years – Made to Border is my latest in this series of what I call “morphing cables” designs.
Along the way I have designed patterns where the cable gets wider and wider until it forms a yoke, attached I-cords to give the appearance of the cables beginning outside of the fabric piece, cables that have just given up and become simple stockinette, or ones that extend beyond a hemline or have parts cut away. The idea is always to make it look deliberate, rather than something odd happening because the knitter forgot to follow the pattern. In order to achieve this look I have found that each section has to relate to each other rather than simply introducing (in the words of Monty Python) “something completely different”.
What this means for the knitter is that there is often a complete change of pace part way through a garment, which I hope makes for interesting knitting – a carrot being dangled as it were. Of course there is a comfort to a learned pattern being repeated over and over, but sometimes we want something a little more challenging or to break up the regularity. The downside is that the charts for this type of patterning can be large and somewhat daunting at first glance. But they always build on the patterning that you have already worked (remember Monty Python), so when you do reach the point of change it seems like a natural progression.
In Made to Border I have lightened the overall look of the cabled garment by adding lacy elements. Nestled in between the lace are simple rope cables, which slowly begin a journey through the piece, first defining the border and then playfully diminishing in size, before finally becoming the simple rope once again. The lacy element comes along for the ride by being reintroduced in the center of each diamond shape. The cardigan is edged with an elegant attached I-cord, which you will know from my earlier posts is a personal favourite in combination with cables, but is also a minimal finishing look which doesn’t detract from the cables within the piece.
I hope that you have as much fun knitting this project as I had designing it! If you would like to hear more about what inspires me please join me on my website where I post on a new theme on the 9th of each month – I call it On-line, On-nine.