Design Process: Wrap „Sunset at the sea“

Last month I took a look inside my wardrobe and decided that it was time to reorganize and declutter a bit – I get this need for cleaning up every now and then.

In this process I stumbled across my wrap I knitted last year with some of my first selfspun yarn and realized that I never told you about what I had done with it!

So here it goes:

Deciding on a project

After Spinnig up my first wool tops I was looking forward to making something with them. Normally I would browse through my idea collection (every time I see something I like – for example other people wearing or on Instagram or TV etc. – I add it to my inspiration list for later) and have a look if there is anything that feels like making right now.

Sometimes I have the project at hand first and search for the right yarn. Other times I already know which yarn I want to use and include this in my decision – like in this case. But there was one exception: I really wanted it to be something that will live up to this special yarn that is the first I ever made myself. There were some ideas I might consider but none was feeling really right.

Luckily I got a perfect inspiration once I shared my finished yarn and asked for a little help regarding ideas on garment decisions on our Instagram profile:

The idea of the sea and sunset mixed into a cuddly shrug or wrap was exactly what I needed to get this final little push towards the right project. I had been thinking about a wrap before but the thought about sea and sun almost immediately gave me an idea for the composition: I wanted the finished wrap to mirror the sight when you are standing at a beach looking towards the sea.

Starting with the ocean at the bottom and going up the colours changing with the sun and finally the sky above.

Getting the idea into a pattern

The idea was set – the next part was getting the idea from my head into an actual pattern.

My starting point after deciding on a project is making some rough sketches for the shape and making measurements to fit my size. In this case the sketch is a very simple rectangle with folded edges. (A little teaser: This is not the way the wrap will be made in the end – I changed the plan after a few rows)

When I am happy with the planned shape I will grab one of my pattern books and browse through searching for something suitable. After the bumpy start this was quite easy cause I wanted something wavy to represent the waves of the sea and found a wonderful pattern fast.

Changing plans

After a few rows I realized that due to the thickness of my yarn my original plan wouldn’t work out – there simply was too little wool for the size I had in mind. As I did not want to give up one my sea wrap I did a little stash diving keeping my eyes open for anything that could be a match.

And I found these! I bought them on small island in the North Sea from local sheep.

The colours could represent the beach or a cloudy sky – my idea was safed and I returned to the needles happily.

Watching the wrap grow very quickly (Yay big needle sizes!) was so much fun and with these unique yarns felt really special, too.

Sooner than I imagined the last yarn was used and it was time to go onto the blocking mat. As always I was totally surprised how much more you can see a pattern or how the whole piece seems to relax.

Finishing up

After two days of waiting for the wrap to dry there was only the sewing part left turning the big rectangle into a shrug.

Before actually sewing the sides together I took some (a lot) safety pins and secured the edges. That way I hoped to find the perfect size for the arm holes without having to undo and redo the seam.

It looked not good. The proportions were way off cause the yarn used up much quicker than I thought, even with the two additional skeins. I tried some other ways, but that would have meant some compromises like changing the orientation and not having the original idea of mirroring the beach.

In the end I decided not to sew the sides together at all. This was the way I had various opportunities to arrange the wrap while keeping the blue at the bottom.

In the end my wrap turned out different than I had planned, but that is one thing I love about making my own designs: The ability to adapt the pattern or the idea to new circumstances and therefore creating a piece that is unique and something the yarn wanted to become.

Do you want to know more about our approaches to making designs? And maybe want to start learning your own way? Let us know!

Love, Katharina

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