DesignaKnit 8 – Heraldic Sweater - Part One
For my next project after the slax – I remembered a wonderful pattern in an old Brother book that most of us have, The Rowan/Brother Designer Machine Knitting Book by Stephen Sheard. There are 25 patterns from at that time, from top British designers – I have used several of the sweater designs in this book and I particularly love the different necklines and sleeves that the various sweaters and coats offer.
The design I had in mind was a sweater designed by Alison Taylor – The Heraldic Sweater that was a complex single motif design with cables. I wanted to knit this for my husband but the graphs were way too small for me to see and besides which you have the laziest knitter on the planet here. Anyway now I have DesignaKnit 8, I thought I wonder if I can get this sweater into the software then knit it.
Funny thing is – the original pattern would not have been so complex if it was not for that chart – that I was unable to see clearly. I expect it would have been so much easier to knit but to read a full piece chart from a single book page ain't no fun.
There are charts but they are so difficult to see. First I had to draft in the 2 heraldic patterns – the lion and the eagle. The easiest way that I could see was to scan the 2 pics – tidy them up and then take them into DesignaKnit via the DesignaKnit Graphic Studio. As they were grayscale pics this was relatively easy – much easier to my mind than entering in the designs stitch by stitch in stitch designer. (Perhaps I should say it was quicker than easier.) Once this had been achieved successfully, the next step was the shape and what a shape. Seriously complex with the motif and cable set up, one point though at least the motif and cables helped me to count the rows and stitches rather than trying unsuccessfully peering at the stitches and rows. This job required a serious magnifying glass if I could be bothered!
Trial and Error
Well I did after much trial and error manage to get the design drawn up in the original design part and after I managed to get each bit done I saved it and if I altered it, I saved it under a different name ie back 1, back 2 etc. Once I had the design front drafted in and I was satisfied it was reasonably accurate, I then duplicated it and saved it as the back 1.
I had then to alter this piece and again it was relatively straightforward though it was slightly longer at the back ie the neck than the front so I had to go from actual stitch to adding points to do this.
Now to the pattern and this was a definite learning curve as I had never considered single motifs as a design feature and to boot there were cables. The upside was that the cables were 8 rows by 6 stitches with a space either side and to be honest that was the only way I was able to accurately place the cables and once these were placed the rest was relatively easy.
Single motif placing – I thought all I had to do was to place a selection box where I wanted the single motif to go and import it in but no such luck! You have to go out of original garment design and into stitch designer to import the single motif. Once in stitch designer you open up your piece from the shapes option and select the front in this case, then you can use the cut out feature to see the shape, then you import and hopefully place the single motif. To go into the complexities of this it would take an hour or 2 but eventually, I managed to get the 4 motifs into the right spot.
Cables next, to get these accurately you need to know exactly where to place them and again a steep learning curve – but this is what I do, I need to do something to get the hang of it, videos and instructions rarely work for me.
Once again the cables must be applied through stitch designer – first though I had to design a stitch pattern to get them into the right place as there were 5 cable lines on the front of the jersey and to make matters worse it was a raglan type and it was fun to do.
I designed cables across the jersey 3 by 8 rows at the top and this placed them in the correct position across the jersey. If I had not done this, I would have had to place every cable separately and it would have taken forever.
So the cables were set across the jersey front 8 rows from the bottom, with the correct number of stitches in between each cable. Once the stitch pattern is in, you can go back into garment designer and move the pattern to fit side to side. If you want to change individual cables then you must take it into stitch designer and use the select took to either delete a cable or tidy it up. It took me hours and hours to get the gist of this and it was difficult.
Next I downloaded via the integral download feature into the Brother 940 – this took a couple of seconds and viola the pattern was ready to knit – now the fun begins.