Patterns Archives - Page 4 of 4 - Patty Lyons | Knitting Teacher

Designing Cables

I often get asked about my “design process,” and I feel sheepish and inadequate and usually make up some kind of nonsense about being inspired by the colors of the turning leaves or the way the light hits the brick of a New York building. . . but since it’s just us, I thought I’d give you a peek into how my days really go, and my real design process (and hi-tech tools!)

I’m a knitter, and I’m a knitting teacher, and I also design sweaters. I think more like a knitter than a great artist, so mostly my designs are wearable sweaters that I would want to knit for myself.

In design I do use a lot of fancy schmancy computer tools like Excel for pattern grading, charting software, and Illustrator for schematics . . . but since I didn’t go to fashion school, I approach my designs with several other highly professional tools (like twist ties, old t-shirts, scissors, paper, and scotch tape).

I thought it would be fun from time to time to peek under the hood and look at some of my silly tools . . . today’s exploration:

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Design Inspiration: A Day At The Beach Scarf

Designing Knitting Stitches


So where does inspiration come from? From a sunset, a beautiful field, a work of art . . . a laundry hamper.

Yep, you heard me right. Sometimes inspiration comes from the weirdest places.  A little over a year ago, my husband David and I were at an adorable Inn In Woodstock New York, and I just loved the laundry hamper.  It was a cool basket with a kind of weird swirley pattern.

Even though I was on deadline at the time for another sweater (more on that hoodie at a later date), I picked up my needles and started playing around to see if I could recreate it. I tried traditional cables, and lace stitches, and finally, I just invented a weird twisted stitch pass over thingy that I quite liked.

1 Basket

Laundry Basket

2 Swatch

Stitch it Inspired








Does the stitch look exactly like the basket?  Not at all, but that’s not the point. The basket was a jumping off point that made me pick up my needles.  I stopped trying to “match” it when I got something on my needles that said “hey, stop, look at me, aren’t I cute?”

Since I loved the way it added a certain structure to a really floopy silk, and the swatch trapped air in a pleasing way, I thought, scarf or shawl???  How bout scawl or sharf. That’s when you can’t quite make up your mind so you design a really wide scarf that can stretch out over your shoulders, or squinch up around your neck.  Also, it’s easy to adjust at any length or width because it’s a 4 stitch repeat.

So if you want to make one for yourself,

Here ya go (click on the picture or name for more info, or the “buy now” to .  . . well, you know)

Day at the Beach Scarf