Influence: Part 4 (Fronts and sleeves!)


Oof! Between the Cold of Death and the lovely Hawaiian honeymoon, I'm so behind on the Influence series! I was going to do separate posts on my thought processes with the sleeves and fronts, but I think I'll combine them into one post. As it turns out, the two are united anyway, by the theme of "things in need of substantial tinkering."

As you'll recall, I'm designing an original sweater influenced by an all-time favorite cardi of mine, my russet version of Kim Hargreaves's Breeze.


As much as I adore this sweater, there are two things about it that have always bugged me. You can see one even on the dress form: the fronts, with their narrow button bands fastened by buttons only about every four inches or so, have always gapped, and the problem has gotten worse with time. I'm sure there are many of you out there who share my hatred of gapping: I definitely wanted to alter the front of my new cardigan to avoid a repeat. Plus, the more I thought about it, the more I felt that a ribbed button band up the front of the sweater would be dwarfed by, and at the same time distract from, the cables on either side—the cables I'm using, after all, are a lot bolder and chunkier than Hargreaves's. Also, my "background stitch" is more textured, and I was afraid that a button band would be one piece of visual stimulation too many.


I played around with the idea of a chunky/wide button band, but it just wasn't working for me. In the end I decided to go in the opposite direction: taking my cue from another Hargreaves pattern, the Darcy Jacket, I knit the relatively close-set buttonholes right into the seed-stitch fabric. No bands necessary!


(Buttons to come soon; you know they'll be cute because they were selected with the help of the awesome Jodi of Green Ray Productions!)

Sleeves are the other part of the original Breeze that always bugged me: they were about an inch shorter than I'd really like, and quite wide. I made that sweater before I understood what a simple mod sleeve-lengthening is, or I would have changed it in the beginning. In addition to longer sleeves, though, there was another issue.


As you can see, the original sweater uses the same cable motif on the sleeve as it does on the fronts and back. My cable motif, though, is just too huge to look good on your average sleeve. I decided to take the general cabling "moves" present in the main cable, and design a smaller version appropriate for sleeves. This is what I came up with:


I think it looks like it "belongs," while taking up significantly fewer stitches. I do love the transition from ribbing to cabling in Breeze, and adapted my sleeve ribbing accordingly:


It doesn't have that beautiful flowing elegance of line that Hargreaves's has, but I'm pleased with it. The one thing I regret about the sleeves on my new sweater is that I had to make them narrower than I would have liked: between the garter stitch background and the heavy cabling, my six skeins of Madelinetosh DK were consumed at an alarming rate, and the colorway is (of course) unmatchable these days. So I had to scrimp a little bit on the sleeve width. When I write up the pattern, though, it should be easy enough to add a few stitches on either side of my sample numbers.

And speaking of the pattern: any ideas on what it should be called? I've been trying to come up with some kind of riff on "Breeze" (Gale? Typhoon?), but I can't say I've had much of a brain-wave yet. I'd be happy to pay you in patterns for The Right Name!

Up next: the finished product!


  • Oh my gosh, Emily. Seriously. Gorgeous.

  • That is some gorgeous sweater! Simply beautiful modifications.

    How about Zephyr? Sirocco?

  • I love it! The color is lovely, and the cables look so pretty!

    How about Flurry or Gust? I like the suggestion of Zephyr as well. Mistral would be pretty, but more violent than Breeze.

  • Awesome, as always!

    I found some cool wind names here (some more appropriate than others):

  • before i even read the comments, i was thinking 'hmm... maybe zephyr?' there's plenty more classicly influenced options on the wiki anemoi page.

  • Oddly my first thought was also zephyr. If this is a democratic process then zephyr is definitely in the lead!

    It's a gorgeous sweater and I think you did a wonderful job matching the sleeve cables to the body without having them be identical.

  • Since there's another designer who uses Zephyr, maybe Zephyrus? Or Aeolus?

  • It is beautiful. The time and effort you've put into this design is admirable. I'm sure you will be rewarded by the end product, though.
    Thinking about your name suggestions, I was going to suggest naming it after a famous hurricane, such as Audrey, Camille, or Katrina, but I don't think such destructive forces have much in common with your sweater.
    How about another famous wind name--Maria?

  • The beautiful colorway you have reminds me of deserts and their colorful browns, and I think your cable is a tad more violent than a breezy cable... how about Santa Ana?

    I just discovered you, by the way, through ravelry and your family trunk project, and I love what you do. Thank you for designing such inspired items!

  • Hm, funny, I too thought Zephyr, but my second thought was that a Zephyr is a light wind, and your sweater is so cushy sqooshy and heavyweight that the name sounds too... light.

    I think Clipper could be fun though - (a fast ship circa 1812 or so). For me, the name Clipper evokes ropes and knotwork, like the cables of your sweater, and it's a classic.

    Have fun naming!

  • Wow. It's looking beautiful. I've been dying for you to post another one of these so I could tell you how much this series has inspired me. I've started trying to design a sweater influenced by a favorite sweater of mine now, and I'm really enjoying it. So, thanks, and keep up the good work.

    As for names, Chinook and Tempest come to mind. Maybe tempest is too stormy? For some reason I've always loved that word though.

  • beautiful cables!
    bluster: much more fierce than a breeze but, implies that it looks more harsh than it really is. . . that is how i see your sweater. it appears to be more rugged than the breeze but i suspect it's really not!

  • I do like Zephyr -- but I will put in for "Current." It still plays off of the breeze theme in terms of air flow, but it's also a pun on temporal currency -- on how it's a current version of the original KH pattern.

  • Chinook? (My mother liked the winter "Chinooks" in the Northwest because they brought warm air, I think.) Lovely cardigan!

  • For some reason, the first name that popped into my head was "Monami". It's a rather obscure word, but refers to the action of fluid turbulence on vegetation. Picture a rolling field of wheat, or seaweed washing in deep waves... the bending of the stalks is a monami.
    It seems to fit with your theme of influences, as a monami is caused not just by the breeze, but by the interaction of the breeze with the landscape it crosses.

  • Holy cow, thank you so much for all the nice words & all the suggestions, everyone! So hard to choose...

  • What a beautiful sweater. I love it! You mentioned that it is almost ready for test knitters....can I volunteer? LMK.

  • Well done! Keep up the good work!

  • great) liked everything very much) keep it up and dont stop)

  • Nice post! This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to more times this year! Thanks for the informative post.

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