Following on from the launch of my collection for Eden Cottage Yarns last week and the posts about the inspiration behind the collection, the crochet pieces and the knitted accessories, today I’d like to introduce you to the final two pieces, the knitted garments.
Colossus was the first programmable digital computer and it was designed to assist the codebreakers in their work. Technology that would probably now fit on your fingertip takes a whole room and each connection is a physical cable rather than slivers of silicon. (Probably. I don’t actually know how all this works, I was software not hardware!) So there are cables everywhere, weaving in and out across the machine. This complex mess became the inspiration for this heavily cabled knitted tank top or vest. Here are the original sketch and swatch from the proposal:
The cables are a little more orderly in the knitted version and although complex looking, the twenty row repeat is easily learnt for a satisfying knit.
What I really enjoyed about designing this vest is the nice knitterly touches like the way the cables flow up the straps and the cabled waist shaping that echos the main pattern.
It’s worked seamlessly in the round to the under arms where it is split and the back and front are worked separately in rows. You’ll need to be on your toes to stay in pattern and not lose your cable needle but other than that bit of concentration required there is nothing too challenging in the pattern. It took me a fair while to make – one friend was shocked to see me still knitting the same thing three weeks in a row, she’d never seen me do that before! (I think that was more to do with how busy life was at that point though!)
Elegant enough for even the most sophisticated Wren operator to wear as mufti, it looks just as good layered over a shirt for the office as it does with a long sleeved tee and jeans.
I’m planning on doing a post showing all the garments a little more casually styled if people would be interested. I love the office smart feel we created for the shoot but its always nice to show how versatile a knit is, isn’t it?
Hut 8 cardigan is my homage to the civilian admin staff who carried out the routine admin, including punching holes in cards and filing messages. Around 130 women worked on these admin tasks and are the unsung heroes of the war – without their support the code breakers wouldn’t have been able to do their work. Hut 8 is an ordinary, everyday knitted cardigan. Its not showy but it does its job elegantly. Its a workhorse, its a staple, it will be absolutely essential to your wardrobe. I wish I had the time to knit one in every colour because I’ve been wearing Hut 8 non stop since its release ( a bit before actually- shhhh! – I got impatient!) and I find it so comfortable and so flattering. Luckily it should be hard wearing with the rolled hems and cuffs, the high twist and 15% silk in the yarn.
Because I like seeing them from other designers here is the original sketch of the design from the proposal (I wish I had some gorgeous wide legged trousers like these to team it with!)
Because I became a little obsessed with codes while working on the collection you will notice that the number eight comes up a lot in the pattern. Things get worked eight times, the garter stitch and stocking stitch bands are eight rows wide. See how many eights you can spot!
The cardigan is knitted seamlessly in one piece from the top down which allows for easy adjustment for fit. The three quarter length sleeves are worked in the round from live stitches and the button band is worked as you go for minimal finishing. Once you’ve finished the knitting its ready to wash and wear. Its an easy enough knit to make it your first garment or first seamless garment, you can try it on as you go to check it is progressing as it should.