Sunday, February 17, 2013

Design Envy: Granville by Fiona Ellis

Have you ever felt food envy at a restaurant before?  You know, the feeling you get when the plates arrive and you SO wish you had ordered your table neighbor's food instead of yours?

I sometimes feel like that when I browse patterns.  I'll come across one and the time suddenly stops.  I then SO wish we could all go back in time for me to create this design before the designer because every detail is presented exactly as I would have done it.  And the result is so beautiful that it aches a little.  Yep, design envy.

The design is not necessarily a garment I would like to make for myself or my daughters (although it often is). It has more to do with the creative spark behind the design, the way the designer married yarn, color, texture and construction together to come up with the garment.

The great thing about design envy though is that it will often jump-start my imagination.  How can I make something similar yet different?  Is there any technique used in there on which I could build a brand new design?

Let me illustrate.  Here's my design envy of the moment: Granville by Fiona Ellis.

First, it's green.  That caught my attention all right!!  Green is my favorite color.  To me, it represents the incredible feeling you can feel in the air in Spring on the first day you venture outside without your winter gear.  It smells freshly cut grass and tastes like lime.

On top of that, it's a hoodie.  I love hoodies because I don't like hats so the hood comes in handy when it's cold.  I like hoodies too because I constantly lose my umbrella so the hood comes in handy when it rains.

However, that doesn't mean that I get design envy every time I see a green hoodie.  The envy really comes from the use and choice of cables.  I consider cables as a jewel you put on a garment.  Too many of them makes me feel overwhelmed.  I believe that even the most simple cable pattern stands out on an otherwise plain fabric and brings elegance and refinement to the garment.  Granville beautifully illustrates that belief.

I just love how the two cables running up the lower back interconnect in the upper back....

and how the "negative space" between the two cables is used ti adjust for shoulder width...

and how the back cables and the two cables going up on the front all make it all the way to the hood...

One last thing:  the cardigan has a zipper on the front.  I like zippers - they are fast and handy.  I however rarely used some on my knits because I wasn't comfortable putting them on securely and neatly.  But now, thanks to the TECHknitter, I know how to add no-sew zippers!!

It's no surprise that I "design envy" Fiona Ellis.  She is a well-established and fantastic designer.  I was really interested by her design process using i-cords and various pictures, as she explains it in her Craftsy class Mastering Cable Design.  If your budget doesn't allow you to purchase this class, I suggest you go for Creative Cable Neckline:  it's free!!

One final note:  Granville was published in the Winter 2012 Twist Collective.  You can find the publication here.

As I was writing, I thought that I feel design envy often enough to make it a weekly blog thing, like Tami's amis Work in Progress Wednesday and Finished Object Friday.  Sunday would be a good day for this.  You'll tell me that Design Envy Sunday doesn't work because "Design" starts with a "D" and "Sunday" with a "S".  True.  However, I am a francophone and Sunday is Dimanche in French!!

*** UPDATE ***
I have just discovered a Ravelry group for Fiona's fan!!  It seems they are currently knitting Granville along.  We can join them here!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for all the lovely made me blush. I wrote a piece on some behind the scenes insight on Granville on the Twist Collective blog:


Thank you for leaving a comment. I love feedback!