Today we have a guest post from knitwear designer Mari Chiba. Mari has designed many patterns for Louet and this month her design, the Colbie Tank, featuring Louet Euroflax Sport and Gems Sport is on the cover of the Spring 2015 issue of Knitscene! We’re so excited to see our yarn, and Mari’s design on the cover. You can learn more about Mari and her designs at mariknits.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram as @mariknits, or on Ravelry as MariChiba. 

© Knitscene/Harper Point Photography

When I first imagined this sweater I knew it had to be in Louet yarn. I couldn’t think of another yarn that would have the same color and the same weight in two different bases that would work together as perfectly as Euroflax Sport and Gems Sport do for this design. The cable portion on the neck is worked in Gems Sport, which means the cables have great definition and and hold the shape of the top well. The body is worked in Euroflax, a fabric that gets softer the more you wash and wear, and is effortlessly comfortable and drapes beautifully.

You may have also noticed that I LOVE Crabapple, I’ve designed two other patterns using this color, the Chibi Maruko Cowl and Coleen from Louet North America Fall 2014. So when I sketched this top and sent it off to Knitscene I always hoped it would come to life in Crabapple.

Colbie Tank Sketch by Mari Chiba

Colbie Tank Sketch by Mari Chiba

 

However, when it came to making this cable come to life there was a bit more challenge than I initially expected. I ended up knitting and re-knitting the cable and the back of the top about 8 times before I finally came up with the short row ratio that the final top has in the cable section to make it lie flat.

Colbie Tanks WIP photo by Mari Chiba

 

You can see in this first photo that this clearly wasn’t going to work. Who wants a droopy cable on their neck?

Colbie Tanks WIP photo by Mari Chiba

I also tried eliminating the cable on one side, but this both departed from my original vision AND still didn’t lie flat.

Needless to say, as simple as this top looks, it was a challenging design for me to figure out how to make it match my original vision. I’ll be blogging more about the short rows in the cable section on my own blog at mariknits.com.