Designing With Shirley Paden

When I heard that designer Shirley Paden had written a book I immediately pre-ordered. I love Shirley’s designs. The book arrived & I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a large spiral bound workshop/class/pattern book in a hardcover.
Then by chance I stumbled across a group on Ravelry of Shirley fans who were embarking on a KAL. I had missed the initial webinar held by Shirley so was a bit unsure of all the details but I signed up anyway. I’m so glad I did!
Shirley supplied us with a lovely lacey stitch motif and we are designing our own garments based on this, either a classic body garment or a scarf. I decided that I would knit a sweater in the round using the lace pattern all over, with a low round neckline and probably 3/4 sleeves.
Swatching began

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My first swatch was using Jo Sharp Soho Summer 100% cotton DK in Calico. It was very drapey & open and the yarn was horribly splitty so I tried something else.

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The second swatch was done with a favourite of mine Filatura Di Crosa Zara. It has great stitch definition but the lace pattern didn’t show up too well in the black. While I looked around at the other colours available in the quantity I needed (having to order online) I started crunching numbers.
In the meantime Shirley organised to hold webinars with us in small groups to discuss our designs, go through our calculations and offer advice. I can’t believe how generous she has been, in both her time & her knowledge.

I’ve had a few setbacks…like twisting the cast on, not once but twice, confusing my k2togs & ssks, making the mistake of swatching flat and then knitting in the round (my stitch gauge was different by 1.5 stitches) so I had to number crunch all over again, next I had a needle tip snap!
Thankfully it seems I’m back on track (& it helps that Shirley has extended the deadline for having the body section complete before we tackle the sleeves & sleeve caps).

I decided to go with a denim colour in the Zara and love it.

shirley paden kal 001