Following impulses—for color or pattern, or for building our fantasy wardrobe—is a huge part of the fun of knitting. When knitwear designer Julia Farwell-Clay wrote an article for MDK about her fascination with a crazy-quilt sweater that was modeled by a movie star in Prada’s fall/winter 2016 collection, we were smitten.
When Julia then pitched us a pattern that would make this design accessible to (and wearable by) the average curious knitter, we didn’t hesitate. Do that, Julia! Make it happen!
It’s been a delight to see this design come to life in real time, and we’re excited to share it with you. We’re also grateful to Berroco for its commitment to Ultra Alpaca, a yarn that we’ve turned to again and again for its beauty, affordability and incredible range of colors.
We hope many of you will join us on this lark, and soon find yourselves swathed in a Prada-inspired masterpiece that flew off your own needles.
—Kay and Ann
The Eddies of the Eddy Wrap
When I wrote about my Prada sweater swatching experiments, many knitters were piqued by the process and wanted to know above all else if I could be talked into releasing a pattern for a Prada-inspired sweater.
I wrote a long explanation about my feelings on the subject in the comments to that post. You can read it if you’re curious, but the blunt answer was a simple “no.”
Somebody at Prada had a ton of fun playing with this stitch motif.
Then, after a number of conversations with smart people with good arguments, I wavered. Just a little. While I thought about it, I kept knitting and posted my progress to Instagram, hoping intrepid knitters would pick up their needles and follow suit. There were indeed a few fellow travelers, and in my next post I’ll share with you some of the conversations I’ve had with them.
In the meantime, a lightbulb moment, in the form of advice from fellow designer Thea Colman, changed my direction in thinking. “You’re designing a lot of shawls lately,” she said. “Why don’t you make a shawl?”
Or whatever sound a light bulb makes when it turns on overhead.
I had an instant visual of what that would look like, and a few emails later I had yarn to make it. Kay and Ann agreed to host it here on MDK, where the journey began, and so I worked it out.
Instead of fitting shells into a tube for a sweater, I let the shells be their happy triangular selves. I had to work out the difference between a shell worked at an edge and a shell worked in the middle, but once the basics of geometry were conquered, the whole design fell into colorful place.
The shells were so fun to knit, I could hardly wait while I was working through the garter stitch foundation. Once I got to the shells, I was excited to see each new addition grow and complement its neighbor with color. The whole wrap flew off my needles.
As to details, I chose Berroco’s Ultra Alpaca for the available palette, how quickly the worsted weight gauge would work up, and for how cozy the final product would be in that yarn. I thought seven colors would cover the bases for a shawl—though the sweater features nine, it does get a bit unwieldy in the knitting bag—and I even put together alternate colorways for Kay and Ann to consider, each evoking a different mood.
How handy that we happen to have a photo of the three colorways. From left to right, we have Kay’s Colorway, EddY (THE colorway used for the photography sample), and PATINA. —YOUR FAITHFUL Editors
You start with a top-down triangle, plump up the final row with some short row units for a foundation, then add the colored shells using more short rows. The shawl works up quickly, and you might even get carried away once you start in on the shells. I used six rows, but you can keep going.
The pattern has tips for adjusting the size or if you want to go a little crazy and add a few rows of shells; meanwhile you can follow the color map or go your own way, it’s all fine in my book.
I’ve started a thread in The Lounge, “The Eddy Wrap,” to serve as a centralized forum for questions and progress photos, and I’ll be available there for as long as people remain interested. I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that you’ll find this inspiring, and hope you’ll knit one. Or two.
And for more about that sweater? Stay tuned.
The Eddy Wrap pattern is now available in the MDK Shop and on Ravelry.