Tuesday, 4 December 2018

How To Design A Christmas Jumper

What does designing a Christmas jumper involve? How do you decide whether to go Scandi stylish or full-on festive fun? Today we talk to published designer Torya Winters to get behind-the-scenes information on what it takes to turn your sparkly sweater idea from imagination into reality.

Torya Winters
Photo courtesy of Torya Hughes
She looks fabulously festive in her photo (above) and Christmas is a happy time for Winters, whose ideal December 25th would involve wearing a festive jumper, knitting in a big armchair near a warm fire and having a chocolate orange within reach (preferably not melted!)

Winters started knitting at the age of four and "really got into it in a big way as a teenager. I knitted lots of clothes for my children when they were small and then started designing when I was on maternity leave with my second child. I'm entirely self-taught, and I find the maths part the hardest! My first designs were self-published on Ravelry, and then I started submitting to magazine calls."

As well as Ravelry she sells her designs on Love Knitting and has been published in Knit Now, Crochet Now, Your Crochet and Knitting, Knotions and Knit Picks IDP.

When it comes to Christmas jumpers Winters thinks that "loud and blingy Christmas jumpers are still on-trend. I do like subtle sweaters which hint at the festive season, but you can't beat a really sparkly colourful jumper at Christmas time."

For her Christmas jumper design Winters explains that she "wanted to create something which screamed Christmas, so I was influenced by colours and elements from the traditional festive season. I found this amazing Tinsel yarn from King Cole which was perfect to create a tree, and added candy cane cables and ribbing."

The first stage was to sketch out her design:
Image courtesy of Torya Hughes
Says Winters, "do lots of sketching to get all your ideas down on paper, and never underestimate the importance of swatching. I'd recommend Design Your Own Knits in 5 Easy Steps by Debbie Abrahams - it's a great book which goes through all the stages of designing and offers tips on working out the Mathis for things like sleeve caps and shaping ... it's also a good idea to look at the CYC sizing guidelines, as many publishers want you to fit in with those sizes."

The next stage was to knit up the pattern so see if it looks as good in yarn as it does on paper:
Image courtesy of Torya Hughes
Then it was time to see if Winters could sell her pattern. After submitting her design to Knit Now, following their call-out to designers, the magazine picked her Christmas jumper design for the cover of issue 95. It went on sale earlier this year. Here is the finished product!

Image courtesy of Knit Now magazine
If you missed the magazine in the shops then you can a back issue from More Mags. Huge thanks to Torya Winters for answering our nosey questions!

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