One of the beautiful designs featured in issue 6 is Hiroko Payne’s stunning Sode cardigan, immediately recognisable thanks to its intricate array of cables. We asked Hiroko to tell us about her design process and also about the inspiration for designing Sode. Here’s what she told us:
“Sode started with a my desire to have a specific sort of finished object. I wanted a heavily cabled grandfather cardigan with an extravagantly deep shawl collar. I love saddle shoulder cardigans and jumpers with cables, and I kept coming back to the idea of a deeply textured arm panel, radiating out from the shoulder. It made me think of armour, and protection. All the other elements came out of the collar and the shoulders.
I have a tendency to start a design with every element I’m currently obsessing over, be it certain types of cables, stitch patterns, construction, fabric hand, etc. I will sketch many versions of the design, throughout the process, until I get to the final prototype. I start with a process of elimination: Who is wearing this? What is my fit model? How does my imagined knitter wear this? When is he/she wearing it? Usually I will only begin seriously swatching once I’ve got a pretty solid idea of which major elements have made the final cut, and what my construction will be.
Once I get to the swatching stage, I will keep cutting things back. I usually know a design is right and ready to go once I’ve had to cut at least two of my beloved original ideas. That signals to me that I’ve really begun to think of the design as a whole object, and I’m not just obsessing over disparate elements thrown together.
While designing Sode, I learned that the time it takes me to do something is the time it takes. I have a tendency to pressure myself for not being able to finish something within arbitrary limits I've set for myself. But, there is no rushing the moment when things slot together, fall into place. It took two full prototypes and a bewildering number of changes to come to the final version of Sode. When it was what I wanted it to be, what it should be, it happened when I wasn’t pushing to finish, fix, or find a quick solution for one thing or another.
My favourite thing about this cardigan is the collar and the general fit. I love an easy wear open cardigan and this is my go-to for wearing around the house or when I need to do a quick trip outside. It layers under my mac and protects my neck and chest from the cold. It does what I wanted it to do, it makes me feel safe and I can snuggle down into it.
The yarn choice for this is La Bien Aimée’s Merino Aran, which is a pretty heavy aran weight at 166m p/100g. If you’re looking to substitute wool for this cardigan, you would be best off looking for a two to three ply with a similar weight-to-metre ratio. I would advise against choosing something with a lot of slippery, heavy fibre content. Something light and/or grippy is best as there is a lot of wool in this piece and using something like alpaca or silk will add weight and distort the cable work over time.”
Pictured below is Hiroko Payne in her beautiful Sode cardigan.
Find the pattern for Sode in Laine Magazine issue 6. For stockists please visit https://lainemagazine.com/stockists/.