A Design Journey…part 1..

Come…take a journey with me…a design journey.

Everyone experiences events that changes their life…how we perceive things…future plans…or simply how we approach everyday life. A recent event for me was the diagnosis of cancer for a family member. And because of that, designing hats for chemo patients is an idea I need to pursue – not just want to – in my heart need to…and something I had not given much thought to before.

Over the past month I’ve been testing out different design ideas, some knit & some crochet. Cancer affects so many families that inviting my readers to join my journey just seems the right thing to do. So come along…let’s design a chemo hat together….

The first step for any design is the design idea itself. How should it look? What weight yarn? Needle size? Stitch patterns?

lavender sheep sw merino berry pie colorwayFor this hat I went looking for the right yarn first. It has to be soft, yet easy to work with and have sufficient body to hold a hat’s shape. As it turned out I happened to ‘meet’ (through a Facebook post) an indie dyer – Yvonne, who had the perfect yarn. Her Oregon based company is Lavender Sheep, and the yarn is a 100% superwash merino that she hand dyes. And she graciously agreed to provide yarn support for this chemo hat design. The colorway she sent is “Berry Pie”…a lovely mix of shades & tones of lavender.

The next step was to decide on the shape of the hat. One idea I had tested was something similar to a pill-box hat, although more slouchy. How to give the hat that look? Here’s a couple of sketches (I don’t claim to be the best sketch artist, kinda suck at it actually) of my concept.

bias-hat-sketchIt seems to me that if I knit the hat body on the bias, it will have the ‘slouchy’ feel I am looking for. chemo hat top design idea

And my idea for the top, or crown of the hat is work it so it both forms a fairly flat top like a pill-box hat while also gathering the hat body. Ending up with a star design would be the result of the decreases used to shape the top.

How would you work out these design details?

Next stop on our journey….swatching for needle size & stitch pattern(s).

Until then ~ Happy Knitting ~ Jean