The Ythan Hat

Ythan HatLet's talk a little about what goes into a producing a design. I will usually start by sketching and annotating the sketch with keywords. Then I start to look for yarns that will work with the idea and if I haven't worked with the yarns before, I will swatch to check stitch definition and drape. Next on the agenda: a skeleton pattern. This pattern is pretty rough-looking, though you'd be able to follow it without any difficulty. It has a full set of instructions, a rudimentary chart and my first sketch. The sample is knitted using the skeleton pattern. After the sample is knitted, I will clean up the pattern:  eg. making sure the same abbreviations are used throughout, special instructions are spelled out, flesh out the materials section, and checking the charts are clear and correct.

Now comes the stage where the other half of Team Bookish gets involved - and that is him in the photo to the left. David will redraw my preliminary sketch and work on the actual photo shoot. A photo shoot includes finding the right location, making sure that the clothes work with the knitted item, and obviously taking the photos.

Working on the Ythan hat pattern was no different except that suddenly David had to step in front of the camera and I had to take the photos. It was interesting to swap places but try to look at the difference between the photo of David and the photo he shot of me some five minutes later. One of us is a talented photographer - the other one is a middling amateur!

Ythan HatI am not posing in the photo, I'm not dressed for a shoot, it is the same location, and we are using the same camera .. but Dave's just a far better photographer than me. Something about the way he uses light and understands depth of field.. well, I just cannot do what he does with a camera.

However, I can knit and I can design and this is the Ythan hat.

Ythan is the fifth pattern to be released from the Doggerland collection. The first four patterns were all about the periphery of the Doggerland region but I wanted to travel into the heart of Doggerland with this pattern.

Ythan is inspired by the carved artefacts - particularly antlers - that have been uncovered from the seabed underneath the North Sea. Most of the artefacts just have a few lines incised across the antlers - nothing major in terms of decoration or ornamentation - but I wanted to explore the idea of carved lines and how simple lines across a surface can be both functional and decorative. Knitted ribbing is a great example: it is elastic (functional) but also provides vertical lines (decorative). And what would happens if you sudden added texture (twisted stitches) and a very simple motif of vertical lines to the ribbing?

I'm tempted to say that just like the North Sea, this design has a lot more going on under the surface of things.

(And next time David will be back on photography duty.)