25th Anniversary Issue
In our fast-paced, mass-produced world, few things remain more cherished than a personal item that has been made by hand. Every knitter enters the creative process in their own way. My fascination has been with hand-knit clothing design. Within that realm, my design journey has always begun with a stitch pattern. For me, there is a particular joy in tapping into different types of stitch patterns created in different cultures and in different centuries.
As a solid design reference, my book, Knitwear Design Workshop can be helpful in many ways. It can be used as a step-by-step guide through The Design Process in its entirety, or to focus on the specific area that you are working on. No matter how you choose to use it, I recommend that you begin by reading chapters 1 through 3. These chapters will walk you through all the basic concepts you will need to work through the remaining chapters that focus on specific design elements. Chapter 1 walks you through The Thought Process where you learn how to create a Design Profile Outline, draw a garment sketch, take accurate body measurements, and create different types of schematics. Chapter 2 walks you through the Fabric Selection Process from discussing the fabrics and stitch patterns that will best suit your design to yarn qualities and gauge. Even though you may not be making a Classic Pullover, Chapter 3 explains The Planning Process and the shaping calculation technique that I use throughout the book.
When I’m designing I try to showcase the subtleties and versatility of hand-made artwork. “Remember, a clothing designer is an artist. As Michelangelo explained that he could see David inside the block of marble, we see the garment in the ball of yarn. It is the same creative process.” Here, through photos, you get a glimpse of Shirley’s Travel & Lecture series with retreats and conferences shown in Europe, on both coasts of the US, and in Canada. Her overriding objective remains to keep the antique cloth making art of hand knitting alive. Then, in the spirit of excellence chronicled on the16th and 17th-century European knitting guilds, Shirley endeavors to pass along the expert skills needed for designing and constructing hand knit clothing.