Design Files: Evolution of a Cable Pattern

I thought it would be fun to try something new here, a little idea I'm calling Design Files, where we examine a design or finished project and discuss the process, inspiration, and thinking behind the piece.

For my first Design Files, I wanted to take a closer look at the cable I was obsessed with all summer and show you how the stitch pattern evolved and changed over time.

Top: L / TallinR / Nico.
Bottom: L / Baby Jane. R / modified Birch Bay for Summer of Basics.

I first used this cable pattern on the Tallin scarf I designed for our inaugural Tundra Collection, published when the The Fibre Co. Tundra was released in 2012. Over four years later, when brainstorming ideas for The Fibre Co. Arranmore Light, I knew I wanted to work cables with the yarn, as I love the look of the woolen spun tweed with the dimensionality of cables.

I first began with a more traditional aran-style swatch, using the Tallin cable as a starting point, adding panels to either side and filling in with moss stitch. It was too reminiscent of other Aran designs, so I wanted to see what it would look like if I used the main cable in an all-over pattern. I copied and pasted the pattern into a half drop repeat, offsetting the motifs so there was very little space between them. I kept the size of the diamond the same - 17 stitches wide - but lengthened it by 2 rows to 20 so it would fit better into the half drop. The final change was to make the inside of the diamond seed instead of moss stitch. In order to make the all over repeat fit on the flat ground of the scarf, I divided the first and last repeat in half down the middle and ran a 4 stitch cable up the sides. It makes for a really lovely clean edge without feeling as if the all over pattern is cut off in any way.

I knit the original sample of Nico the last month of my pregnancy, and found the repetitive cables to be very relaxing. Once the scarf was complete, I didn't want to say goodbye to the cable, so I modified it even further and reduced the scale so that the main diamond was 15 stitches wide and 16 rounds long to better suit the smaller size of a hat. Instead of the repeat divided down the middle with an edging for the flat scarf, I worked the pattern in an all-over repeat. This requires a little finagling on the cables that cross over the repeat lines, but I created a tutorial for this technique, as it appears on a few of our all over cable patterns.

Once I finished Baby Jane, I still couldn't get enough of the cable pattern, so I used the repeat and edging from the scarf on my Birch Bay!

I really enjoy the swatching and scheming process, starting with an idea and seeing where it ends up. It was nice to apply this particular cable to a few different designs to see how it changes when the scale is adjusted. I really love it in such a high-impact application like the front of a sweater. It would be amazing in an all-over garment, too! 

KW Style It: Bibbe For Any Occasion

Bibbe by Meghan Kelly has definitely been the runaway hit from The Pop Collection. A casual turtleneck sweater meant to be worn with a large amount of ease, the sweater is designed to be comfortable and flattering to a wide variety of body types. One of the best parts of TNNA was watching so many people try the sample on in the booth - it looked great on everyone who put it on!

When planning the styling for The Pop Collection, we wanted to play with the dichotomy between the really classic Irish tweed yarn of The Fibre Co. Arranmore Light and American mod styling. Our amazing model, Megan Mesveskas, and hair and makeup artist, Katelynn Walsh Monticciolo were happy to push this even further, and they both really nailed the look we were going for. 

Such styling sometimes isn't practical for everyday wear in the 21st century, though, so I thought it would be fun to show three additional styling options for Bibbe

I find myself creating a casual look for pretty much every post, partially because it is a style I find most practical for everyday life, but also because it can be the most relatable, even if the particular brand of sneaker or watch isn't your exact preferred "look".  I love the slightly tomboyesque look of the practical backpack with the Mallet sneakers paired with the gold watch and rose pink notebook.

I put together this style with a date night in mind, but it also made me think of my awesome neighbor who lived in France for 14 years and now has a corporate job downtown in Philadelphia and has to balance her conservative office expectations and more liberal style on a daily basis. Cranberry and turquoise are a classic color combination, and paired with black, the look has just the right amount of personality without being over the top. 

STYLE THREE: Night at the Museum
I thought of a lovely museum visit or First Friday event when putting this style together, but if I'm being honest, this is a look I would probably wear every day if my life took a different trajectory and I worked in a less casual office or gallery or was a professor or some other creative profession.

How would you style your Bibbe?