Becky Baker is our Design Manager at The Fibre Co. as well as the designer behind our upcoming One Sweater pattern.
A lifelong knitter, she lives in Scotland with her husband Lewis. Becky has worked for us for over a year now after working in the commercial knitwear industry for several years. We love the creativity and technical skill that she brings to our team. She is also one of the most organised people we know – crucial when you’re coordinating knitting pattern collections on a regular basis!
In this blog post, Becky will share the creative journey that brought our One Sweater pattern to life. We hope you enjoy following along.
When Daphne first briefed me on her idea of the One Sweater, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the project. From the initial design planning, design research, sizing research, pattern writing, grading, tech editing, sample knitting, all the way through to the graphic layout, the whole process has taken about 9 months.
Inspiration: Chris Blott’s One Jumper Project
The seed of inspiration for our One Sweater was first planted when Daphne read an article about an accomplished photographer named Chris Blott who was just starting a knitwear company.
He travelled around the country and asked various people if he could photograph them in the same jumper; the first flagship piece in his collection. It was a beautiful pullover with lots of cables and textured stitches.
The article showed black and white images of the same jumper being worn by people of all ages, sizes and lifestyles. There was a roofer, a ballerina, a painter, a surfer, a child, a stylist and many more. Chris called it the One Jumper Project.
The images were powerful and Daphne was drawn in wanting to know more about the people wearing this same jumper. Why did they agree to have their photos taken? Were they curious how the other subjects looked in the jumper? She romanticised the notion that the subjects felt some sort of kinship with one another.
Designing the One Sweater
Based on Daphne’s inspiration, I started researching sweater designs, silhouettes, fit, gauge and sizing. The brief called for a simple design; it would be an heirloom piece that you would want to keep and wear for years – a design with longevity.
I created various mood boards to tell the story from inspiration to final concept and pitched my ideas to the team back in November 2018. We decided on a raglan silhouette with beautiful tubular ribbing and short rows at the neck to achieve a neat, modern fit. I wanted it to be worn by all genders with two length options to choose from and plenty of opportunities to modify.
Once the details were agreed, I started to write the pattern, grading to 13 sizes from age 1-2 through to a 56” chest. Whilst I have offered size and ease recommendations in the pattern, I like that this top-down design can be worn with different amounts of ease for varying fits, whilst ensuring that the length still works for your body. One Sweater is the perfect opportunity to knit to your own style rather than just your body size.
We knew from the beginning that we wanted to design One Sweater in our Cumbria yarn because it’s a yarn that was inspired by the beautiful landscapes surrounding our HQ. I chose to make our samples in the Scafell Pike colourway, a neutral that would look great on everyone and ultimately create a garment that makers could envision with multiple wardrobe items.
Seeing the One Sweater Come to Life
The sweaters began to come to life in January 2019 when our pattern was complete and sample knitting began. To see and try on the first finished sweater was so exciting – the cosiness and comfort I wanted to achieve shone through!
Now, we have made multiple samples in varying colours, many of which will be travelling to trunk shows at yarn shops across Europe and North America. We have also been working with a wonderful group of beta knitters who are knitting their own One Sweaters using the Cumbria yarn that we gave them. We love seeing how they have personalised this design with their own colour and fit preferences. You can see their progress on Instagram using the #OneSweaterPattern hashtag.
My husband Lewis and I recently took our One Sweaters to Culross, a small historic town in Central Scotland. Fans of Outlander might recognise the small door in our photos because Culross Palace was used as a filming location in Season 4!
We are both wearing the 42-44” size, but we each styled them differently. I wore mine quite slouchy whilst Lewis wore his with a more traditional fit. Lewis has been asking me to knit him something for a long time and this simple pullover suits him perfectly.
Launching on 1st August 2019, One Sweater is a simple, raglan pullover that would be welcome in almost any wardrobe. This gender-inclusive design is available in 13 sizes and knitted from the top-down. Our two length suggestions allow you to tailor your sweater to your own measurements as you try it on throughout the process.
An accompanying video series walks you through every step of the pattern, making One Sweater a fantastic project for first-time sweater knitters.