My crochet pattern for the woven look Wefan tee is included in the Layers themed issue 44 of Pom Pom Magazine this Spring, amongst so many other lovely designs that I'd love to try making each one. Do take a look at Pom Pom's website to see what tempts you too!
When I first heard that my design was selected, I was so excited and thrilled to think it would be included in such a lovely publication. It's not been easy to keep it secret, especially after seeing the lovely photos by Diana Ascarrunz where the model, Angel Joy Flores, posed against colourful, overlapping, transparent curtains which formed an ideal backdrop for the layering inspired designs in this issue.
Whilst it's always a wonderful feeling when one of my designs is selected for publication in a magazine, it can feel slightly scary too and especially so when it's such a well known magazine with a worldwide audience but the team at Pom Pom could not have been more friendly and helpful right throughout the process.
I have really enjoyed working on Wefan, right from the start. Before I could knit or crochet, I loved to sew and was fascinated by different fabric fibres and construction techniques, so the magazine’s colourful overlapping layers theme made me think of woven fabrics with textures and patterns created by different weaving techniques, e.g. tartans, jacquard weaving and Indian handloom sarees. An idea of the stitch pattern came to mind instantly and I wanted contrasting colours and textures of yarn to draw attention to the overlapped texture of the stitch.
I was delighted when Pom Pom told me that Qing Fibre a yarn dyer based locally in London, would supply yarn for the sample. Their fascinating range of bases and stunning colourways looked exciting enough on their website but seeing them in person when they arrived revealed so much I'd missed, like tiny intense specks of gold, teal and magenta on the soft Almond colourway of the Dashing DK and the sheen and weight of the Rapunzel base and perhaps happiest of all, when creating a design in a slightly complex stitch pattern, the fact that Veranita is astonishingly easy to unpick compared to any other fluffy yarns I'd used!
I think Wefan offers a great deal of opportunity to have fun playing with colours and textures and I am really excited to see what others use, so don't forget to share your photos if you use social media! You can choose from most weights from fine thread or laceweight up to perhaps including one aran/worsted yarn in your choice or variable thickness handspun yarns. I think two or three aran yarns would make it too dense to work well. Consider textures too: I suggest one slippy yarn to allow the weave to move, e.g. maybe something with silk or a shiny cotton, one sturdy yarn to maintain shape, like cotton, linen or a springy wool and something high texture like a fluffy mohair/ alpaca or maybe a boucle yarn or one with beads, sequins or slubs to catch the eye. A word of caution: check your gauge! Swatch, wash your swatch, block well and if one yarn grows differently to the others so the stitches don'tsit the right distance apart or if the length to width ratio changes, think again. That problem will be so much worse in a full size garment. Some yarns I'd be nervous about using are viscose (bamboo or wood based) and superwash yarns both of those can stretch an unexpected amount when wetted and not always spring back.
Here are two swatches I made for the Wefan Tee. The first is the one I sent to Pom Pom to propose a design for this issue, just made of scraps leftover from other projects. In this sample, the pink is a 4ply mercerised cotton; the purple is a laceweight mohair yarn and the sand colour is an undyed baby camel and silk blend 4ply.
The second I made of yarn supplied for the sample. I couldn't have wished for a better yarn choice than Qing Fibre's range. I loved working with all three yarns so definitely try them if you can but if they aren't within your budget or available where you live right now, you can still make a stunning Wefan with what you have. Even if you can't find yarns with the texture variations I suggest, you can make a statement with bold colour contrasts instead. I can't wait to see the results!
Developing the stitch pattern was very enjoyable despite much need for unpicking and trying again until it was just right and the sense of triumph I felt when it finally came out correctly was worth all the frustrations of unpicking and rewriting. After the first few rows are set up, which honestly do take a bit of concentration, it's a really easy pattern to follow and I loved working on it while listening to the radio or watching yarncraft and gardening videos with my feet up. As if handling the beautiful yarns wasn't pleasure enough in itself, every row reveals more of the woven pattern and I found that very motivating: a real "I'll just finish this row... ...well maybe one more row!" type of project. I love having a project with a good balance of easy relaxing stages and fun, interesting stitches.
As a new designer, one of the most helpful parts of the process was working through aspects of the pattern with Pom Pom's Technical Editor to ensure the pattern would be accurate, clear, concise and accessible to as many readers as possible. She helpfully checked and revised the instructions I'd drafted for the new stitch pattern before I started writing the pattern for the garment and I think that saved us finding a lot of more complicated changes during the final edit. As always, I learnt a lot from the feedback that has improved my pattern writing skills for future designs.
Published in: Pom Pom Magazine Issue 44
Photographer: Diana Ascarrunz
Model: Angel Joy Flores
Hair and make-up: Erica Gray Beauty
Technical editing: Laura Chau Designs
I love to hear from anyone who uses one of my patterns to create a project. Any feedback you give about the pattern will help me develop future patterns that are easy to follow and it’s always exciting to see in-progress or finished projects created using my patterns. Leave me a comment below or get in touch if you have any thoughts about this design.