Am back in states at parents house. Desperate to get sewing room set up. I miss sewing.
This design is one of the things that got me designing professionally. Ironically, if I knew then what I knew now, I would have gone about it in a completely different way. I think it has all worked out just fine.This is the final sweater pattern for the Imagination Collection. You can find full pattern information and buy it here, or on Ravelry.
This pattern is different from the other animal patterns in that it is seamless. The intarsia is also more challenging than the stripes and stranded knitting in Busy Bee and Ribbit. I know intarsia is not everyone’s favorite technique, but I’m hoping a small, fun, pattern like this will inspire some experimentation with it.
This pattern started because when my daughter was not quite a year, she had a little board book about baby animals that ended with tiger cubs needing a tiger snack. We started roaring at the end of it (my parents may have started that) because it was so funny to hear her roar back. Then, for her first birthday she got a small stuffed tiger, the closest thing to a lovey she’s ever had. It’s posing with her in some of these pictures.
Then we started taking her to the zoo. The South Bend zoo is pretty small, but it does have two tigers, and they are the first thing you see when you come in. This all added up to something of a tiger frenzy in our house.
A visit to the yarn store revealed yarn in the perfect semi-solid shadings of orange – Queensland Collection Rustic Wool (link to an online yarn store with swatches). It is superwash, soft, wears well-ours has been through the washing machine many times-and is very forgiving to knit with. The yarn store did not have a black, or even the chocolate color I see on the website above, so I used stash yarn. This ended up being a source of the delay, as I almost reknit the sample. I had a couple of independent dyers considering doing custom colors, and even received a few sample skeins, when at the end of the day there just wasn’t time for me. I decided that the downside of having two different brands in one sweater was not as heavy as the downside of never publishing a pattern I’d put a lot of hours into.
That was actually the second delay. The first delay was when I switched from using Excel for charts to Illustrator. I had a hard time designing in Excel, and with charts as large as these I didn’t think I could get professional results. The Illustrator charts, I flatter myself, are beautiful. In between other deadlines, however, it was easy to put off the fairly tedious task of transcribing all the charts.
I knit this sweater knowing that kids can be fickle, and that it might never get worn, but I figured that one of my kids would like it, some day. As it turns out, it was her favorite sweater as long as she could cram herself into it. She always like having her hood securely on, which inspired the close fitting hood shaped with short rows. It never needed to be tugged back up. The minute it was done she put it on and started roaring.