I’ve been trying to inspire you to create a jumper with a motif on the front by explaining how I made my Brushed Fleece Snowflake Jumper…

In the first instalment, the previous blog post, I ended up at the part where I had chosen the snowflake design…

In this second part I will continue with how to create the knitting chart and how to work out the yarn quantities needed.

The snowflake design I chose was a fairly complicated design and would be knitted using a combination of the Fair Isle method (stranding the yarn across the back of the work) and the Intarsia method where you do not strand across the back.

To work out where to place it on the front of my jumper I printed out the snowflake design to the size I envisaged I would like it to be. I had to play about with the size of the snowflake until I got it just right…I did not want the snowflake motif to be too wide and start to extend towards my underarm area. Wearing a similar jumper to the one I designed for my snowflake jumper I positioned the printed snowflake on my front as I stood looking in the mirror. I decided that the centre of the snowflake would look best around the centre of my bust, with the uppermost part starting below the nape of my neck and the lower part extending down to my waist.

Now I had to work out where this would be in terms of the rows and stitches of my pattern.

To do this I needed knitting graph paper. You can’t use the regular graph paper you buy in the stationers or art shops because if you do when you knit up your design your motif’s proportions will be completely wrong. This is because the little squares on the regular graph paper are square and knitting graph paper squares are not. The graph paper squares need to match a knitted stitch which is not square; it is wider than it is tall.

Many years ago I found a great site which allows you to create your own knitting graph paper using your desired knitting tension. Take a look below to see what it can do…

It will create graph paper to your exact tension. So, as mine was 14 stitches by 20 rows, I input 14 for the stitches and 20 for the rows and created graph paper which I could print out and design my own snowflake knitting chart. This is what I got when I clicked the “Create” button…

You can see that the squares are squashed in height with each square representing a stitch.

I was almost ready to create the snowflake chart but I had to check a few things first. I placed my graph paper over my snowflake design and then over a small light table so I could see the snowflake’s outlines through the graph paper. I marked the centre, the top and bottom and width of the snowflake making sure it was not going to be too big for the number of stitches and rows of my design. From the graph paper you just count the number of stitches and rows (squares on your graph paper) it takes to knit the whole snowflake. Using my tension square I could work out the exact size the finished snowflake motif would be.

As I was confident that it was going to fit within the boundary of my jumper’s front I was ready to create the snowflake chart. I only needed to draw up half the snowflake as the top half is just a mirror image of the lower half. Here’s my chart below; you can see all my working scribbles on it…

From the chart I was able to work out:

- The centre stitch of the snowflake. My jumper was 67 stitches across so the centre stitch of the snowflake was the 34th.
- The centre row of the snowflake. For my jumper that was row 73. From my cast on row to my mid bust would be 73 rows.
- On which row will be the first stitch of the snowflake. Using my snowflake chart I can count down from the centre row (73) and mark the row that I would start knitting the first stitch for the snowflake. For my jumper that was row 43.
- How many stitches wide is the snowflake and how many rows tall? I could also re-check that the snowflake design would not be too wide and extend over the armhole decreases or too far up into the neck.

Now I needed to work out how much yarn I needed for the jumper and how much for the snowflake motif. Get ready for some maths!

First I knitted a swatch measuring 10 x 10 cm (4 x 4 in) which will make the area 100cm (16 in) squared. Then I turned each part of my jumper, including the motif, into basic rectangles as shown below by the red outlines…

Using these rectangles I…

- Worked out the area of each rectangle: width x length = area in cm (in) squared.
- Added the areas of all the sections together, except the snowflake’s.
- Divided the total area of all the sections, except the snowflake’s, by the area of my swatch.
- Multiplied this figure by the weight of the swatch which gives the quantity of yarn needed for my jumper. (You can find the weight of each ball of yarn on the ball band).
- Divided the total area of the snowflake’s rectangle by the area of my swatch.
- Multiplied this figure by the weight of the swatch which gives the quantity of yarn needed for the snowflake.
- Then I was able to work out the number of balls required for the jumper and the snowflake. For example, if I worked out that I needed 8 balls of yarn for the whole jumper (if it was knitted in one colour) and 1 ball of yarn for the motif, 8 minus 1 = 7. So, 7 balls for the jumper and 1 ball for the motif.

So I began knitting and here is the result. I think it turned out great!

I love my snowflake jumper!

What do you think? Have you knitted a jumper with a motif on the front? Have I inspired you to design your own? Please do let me know by scrolling down to “Leave a Reply” below.

Esther x

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