birth of joyella

This is how a design starts it’s life at Berroco – as a sketch. This is my sketch of Joyella, now in our Jasper™ booklet . In case you haven’t noticed, since writing “Knitting Nature” I’ve been a bit obsessed by hexagons. So now there are hexagons in norah gaughan volume 1, hexagons in the felting book, hexagons in my sleep….
joyella sketch
You’ll note a few discrepancies between my original sketch and the finished garment:
cropped official joyella
Why did I draw the hexagons with the points at the center front? Two minutes later, I knew better – because the little sketch, meant to clarify, is drawn correctly. Go figure. The biggest change is from cardigan to pullover. When we received the sample sweater from our knitter, Margery (Winter) and I put it on a co-worker (acting as fit model) and we knew immediately that the sweater wanted to become a pullover. It was one of those “maybe I’m crazy, but…” eureka kinda moments.

16 thoughts on “birth of joyella

  1. I’m thrilled that you featured Joyella in your blog! I just started knitting it, and no one on Ravelry has posted it yet. I love the sweater, but hate the idea of all that seaming…I have an impulse to knit the hexagons in the round, and to pick up stitches around the edges, (like the snapping turtle skirt in Knitting Nature) instead of knitting each one separately. Is there a reason why the pattern isn’t written that way?

  2. Thanks for the peek into your “process”. I love looking at sketches, dreams, hopes, and then the finished product!

    I would love, for example, to assemble my published design sketches, swatches, etc into a binder, but unfortunately I don’t get to keep the “winners”, only the “losers”. Oh well, I shouldn’t complain! 🙂

  3. Pat – Oh yes, please pick up sts instead of seaming! We wrote it as seamed because explaining which order to knit the hexagons in and how many sts to pick up each time made the process sound overly complicated – but really it’s simple to knit that way.

    Connie – If you scan your swatches and sketches before you send them out you’ll have a record of your submissions AND a virtual scrapbook. I love my scanner!

  4. I just discovered this blog: fun & insightful! (love the kitties!)

    I’ve been daydreaming of knitting a garment and intentionally fulling it. My inspiration is the classic “boiled wool” jacket. But my pal Lisa says that won’t work: It would shrink unevenly. The seams would pull. I’d have to knit blocks and trim/cut out the pieces, like a regular sewing project.
    I know fulling shrinks more in length than width, so my stubborn imagination insists that abundant swatching would allow me to re-calculate the knitting schematics. What do you think?

    Anyway, the reason I’m putting this question on this blog entry is: Since Joyella is not tailored AND the modular pieces are plain stitch, would fulling the completed garment be a less cavalier enterprise? I’d greatly appreciate your opinion.

  5. Jenna- Your question is very interesting and I am thinking of answering it as a blog entry. I don’t have a definite answer, but do have some thoughts… look for more about Joyella & felted hexagons in the next few weeks.

  6. Dear Norah: I love the sweater but the front hexagon is right in the
    middle of her stomach. Any way to minimize that “bullseye” look?

  7. I just found your website–this is wonderful. I too have been experimenting with hexagons and half hexagons. Currently I am experimenting with them for both cuff down and toe up socks which started with a another yarn companies design contest aand I want to see how the design works out in other yarns including my own handdyed homepun ones. But hexagons and other shapes are a blast to play with and see how they can be shaped into new designs and ways of constructing garments. I have some of your purple Lavender Mix
    6283 Ultra Alpaca I’m going to try a pair of cuff down socks with. I’ll let you know how that works out. Though Jasper or some other yarn with distinicive striping patterns would make it more interesting–hexs are a bit more dynamic with multi colors than just solids.

    Vickey in SC

  8. Loved this hexagon design as have been a patchworker for years and loved them in quilts. Unfortunately I can’t but your pattern books in England

  9. Hi Norah, I loved knitting this pattern! I made the sweater for my mom for Christmas. I liked it because I could easily get a hex done each day and it felt like I was always making progress. I made it out of Keltic, though, because I got a really good deal on it at my LYS. Went up a needle size, down two sizes in the pattern and it all worked out swell. My mom loved it.

    Thanks for coming up with such fun, innovative designs!

    Linda in Cleveland, OH

  10. Loved this design. Made two for xmas. one for sister and for a niece. they both loved them. I am now making one for myself. Liked the hexs, could make them one at a time and put them together all at once. easy to take along with me on trips.
    enjoy all of your designs.

  11. I just love the Joyella pattern! I made my first hexagon, however, it had a giant point coming out the center when I cast off! Please, tell me what did I do wrong? and suggestions for fixing it would be appreciated! I love the Jasper yarn. My hexagon actually looks like a pointed hat, or something Madonna might have worn in days gone by.

  12. Love this design. I must buy the booklet. I just finished one of your scarves and EVERYONE comments on it. Keep them coming!

  13. Brendij – Your results are a bit odd , as the way we have the hexagons written for Joyella, they tend to come out a bit ruffly, which is the opposite of pointy. When you have too many rows the piece is pointy. When you have too few the piece is ruffly. Every yarn is different. It depends on the ratio between sts and rows.

  14. Thank you for the reply. I actually think you must be right. I am thinking that the error I made was in the counting of the rows. I will pull it out and start again. I just love the yarn and the pattern.

  15. Dear Norah,

    I have been reading and rereadig Knitting By Nature since I bought it with my dads xmas book tokens! I love it, so itelligent and inspiring! I am having a little trouble with the Asymmetrical Cardigan I wonder if you can help at all please? All my left k2 stitches are perfect, but the right direction K2s all but disappear, clearly I am doing something wrong though I have tried many variations on the theme in an attempt to make them as protuberant as the leftgoig ones. Could you show me how to do it? yours immeasurable gratefully

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