Choose your own adventure!

Inspired by traditional Nordic patterning the asymmetric placement of the stranded colour-work patterning gives this cardigan an updated contemporary look. We asked Fiona Ellis to use our River City Yarns Epic wool to create a cardigan that shouts, “Oh, Canada” and we think she knocked it out of the park.
— River City Yarns
Rosalind by Fiona Ellis for River City Yarns

Rosalind by Fiona Ellis for River City Yarns

As a little girl I loved kits for sewing or other crafts, but as soon as I’d seen what had been intended I would throw away the instructions and head out on a journey of my own devising. These days I see the pattern instructions that I write as a blue print or guideline for knitters. I enjoy designing patterns that gives the knitter choices and tempts them into new territory…giving them the chance to “choose their own adventure”.

Here are a few things you might like to consider as you embark on your Rosalind adventure.

Adventure level: Using a guidebook

Symmetrical or Asymmetrical

I love asymmetry but I also know that it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. So even though I designed Rosalind as a fun asymmetrical cardigan you can choose to use the pattern elements in a different combination to make it symmetrical, or your own asymmetric version.

Pattern Placement

In the original the sleeves are non-identical, but if you prefer to have both with the stranded colour-work throughout then you can do that. Or if you like a simpler cleaner look, work both sleeves in mostly solid colour Stockinette with the band of colour-work at the cuff only, or how about adding a small band of patterning around the bicep instead?

Similarly you can feature the stranded patterning at just the yoke, or just the hem, or both and make each front the same, rather than the mis-match look I worked.

A few ideas (sketches) to whet your appetite:

Adventure level: Following your nose

In the original version I selected a bright red as the main colour, but you can give Rosalind a completely different look by simply changing up the colours. Pay attention to tonal values (how light or dark colours are) and make sure that you add a shot of something unexpected to make everything “pop”.

Choosing a colour palette

Colours all have associations for us. They provoke us to feel a certain way when we see them. Keep this in mind when choosing your palette, especially the main colour. 

  • Red: Active, warm, passionate, powerful
  • Navy: Regal, dignified, formal
  • Grey: Soft, dream-like, meditative, moody
  • Green: Cool, tranquil, nature
  • White: Pure, innocent, brilliant, dramatic
  • Yellow: Radiant, lively, positive, happy
A few different palettes to get you started

A few different palettes to get you started

Adventure level: Going off-piste

If you are brave and fearless and happy venturing into uncharted waters then how about trying out some variations of the colourwork patterning. 

Getting inventive with charts

  • Repeat chart rows in a different order or specific rows multiple times
  • Offset elements
  • Work the same rows but place the lights & darks in different places
  • Rotate or flip elements

Here are a few examples...

Adventure level: Side trips

It could be that you are quite happy working Rosalind just as I originally intended, but you need to change up the silhouette to your preferred style or have specific body shape considerations that need to be accommodated. Use the schematic included in the pattern to check against your favourite cardigan so that your Rosalind will fit you perfectly. 

Changing fit

  • Make it longer or make it shorter- we all have a perfect length for a garment that is most flattering. 
  • You can change the position of the waist shaping, higher up or lower down, make it more form fitting or leave out the waist shaping all together.
  • There is plenty of plain stockinette on the body for those who want to add short rows for bust shaping. 
  • If you need to adjust the length of the sleeves take a look at this article in Twist Collective. In it I give you the trick up every designer’s sleeve when it comes to calculating the rate of increases throughout a sleeve’s length. With this information you will be able to make whatever adjustments you need. 

Links! You can find Fiona online in many places! Visit her website and check out the monthly post on her creative process on the 9th of each month: "On-line, On-nine". Fiona is a busy designer! Check out her designs on Ravelry. You can connect with Fiona on Instagram: Fiona.ellis61 and on Twitter: @fionaellis.