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Swatch 1: Single rep on each side

Swatch 2: Single rep plus it's mirror image 
Swatch 3: (Single rep+mirror image) x2 

Portiere; a heavy curtain used across a doorway to keep out drafts or a cosy sweater featuring swag-like cables to keep out cool Fall breezes.

Sometimes when I set out to design cable patterning I have a pretty strong idea of how I want it to look before I even cast on. Mostly if the first attempts don’t do what I thought I keep working until I finally get what I had in my mind’s eye. But then some times it doesn’t work how I thought but those initial swatches take me off down another avenue. Portiere is the results of one of those explorations. It didn’t end up where I thought it would but I’m still very pleased with the result and the process was fun and educational.
Cable panel is made up of two repeats which in turn comprise of a repeat plus its mirror image. 

  Karen & I look blurry because we are knitting so fast 

​That is the designer part of the behind the scene story, but this project had a few fun little personal asides too. When I was knitting it Karen Alfke from Churchmouse Yarn was visiting and it turned out that we were both knitting with Brooklyn Tweed yarn.  Because I knew that there would be lots of chatting going on during her visit I finished the cable cuff sections of the sleeves before she arrived. Then I could work on the St st upper part, so I could carry it around, gossip and possibly drink beer while I knit. Which worked pretty well except that after a particularly fun eve our waiter from the Queen & Beaver pub had to chase after me…shouting: "excuse Miss you seems to have forgotten your knitting" [blush]. 
​Thanks to him saving my bacon, Portiere was finished in time for the photo shoot.
Close up shots- see how the cables continue running right into the neckline

If you would like to learn more about how to design cables check out my Craftsy class:  Mastering Cable Design.

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Portiere - 

featured in the Fall 2014 issue of Twist Collective.

Earlier in the year I was captivated by the swags, chains and dripping jewels on some chandeliers I saw in a store. So I took some photos so that I could examine them more closely later. Photos somehow amplify the details for me and form a reference for me to sketch from.

I began swatching knowing that to create lines with soft arcs cables need to have a combination of crosses moving at different rates. If you use the exact same speed of traveling across the fabric throughout you end up with simple diagonal lines. More on this here.

So that is where I began. I started with a small repeat but it didn’t really do what I had hoped for. So as I pondered I decided to see what would happen if I combined it with it’s own mirror image, placed right next to each other - all snuggly with no space between.  I liked that version, but then a question popped into my head - I have a lot of those “I wonder what would happen if….” moments. So if one repeat plus its mirror image was interesting (ie 2 repeats) maybe four repeats would be even better. And indeed it was.  That is how the cable used in Portiere was born….which ended up looking nothing like a swag on a chandelier but took on the look of soft drapes from heavy curtains used to keep out drafts…hence the name.