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Knitting with a Twist: Unravelling the Deep Sea Dickie Design

The Deep Sea Dickie: A Distinctive and Captivating Accessory

Knitting is a craft that allows for boundless creativity, and one designer who is making her mark in the knitting world is Valerie Ng.
Valerie’s journey from a Hong Kong-based musician to a knitting pattern designer in the Netherlands is an inspiring tale of creative reinvention. Her Deep Sea Dickie knitting pattern showcases her unique design insights, as she draws inspiration from the past and infuses it with modern knitting techniques.
In this blog post, we’ll delve into the world of Valerie Ng and her unique Deep Sea Dickie knitting pattern. We’ll explore what inspired the design, why she chose Lore yarn, and her intriguing design process.
The Deep Sea Dickie offers protection from cold winds without the bulk of a sweater

The Deep Sea Dickie Designer, Valerie Ng

Valerie’s journey into the world of knitting and design is a fascinating one. She hails from Hong Kong and initially pursued a career in music, dedicating her time to playing musical instruments and teaching. However, a life-changing decision to relocate to the Netherlands led her to discover the world of knitting.

After leaving her teaching job, Valerie decided to try something new and started learning how to knit by watching online tutorials. This marked the beginning of her love for knitting and yarn shopping. Valerie published her first knitting design in 2016 and has been sharing her creative knitting patterns with the world ever since.

The Deep Sea Dickie has a folded turtleneck collar for warmth

The Deep Sea Dickie Design

The Deep Sea Dickie pattern draws its inspiration from a beach at Scarborough in  Northern England, a place that holds a special emotional connection for Valerie. Visiting Scarborough with her late mother left a deep impression. The dickie pattern captures the moodiness and melancholy of the seascape in this windswept area, reflecting the emotions she experienced during her visit. 

The standout feature of this design is the Soumak stitch, a special technique that creates an abstract ocean waves colour block pattern, which is influenced by Valerie’s fascination with knitted fabric that doesn’t resemble the traditional look of knitting.

Deep Sea Dickie Soumak Stitch Design Swatch in The Fibre Company Lore
The Deep Sea Dickie uses an unusual weaving technique to create the seascape design

The Soumak Stitch

Valerie took an interesting approach to creating the fascinating texture on the Deep Sea Dickie. The special technique gives a stretchy fabric that resembles the look of the Soumak weave in handweaving, and is inspired by a similar technique used in Turkish slipper knitting to add colourwork motifs to the top of slippers.

Instead of going for a delicate, pixelated look (those slippers are usually worked in a thin yarn, and the decoration is woven using a fingering weight yarn held double), Valerie decided to go bold and use thicker yarn and a colour block design.

Nothing works better than short-row wedges when it comes to creating a waving pattern in knitting and by knitting the fabric flat, with the change in the direction of knitting that short rows offer, she was able to create lines that are slanted in both directions to achieve the Soumak look (the aforementioned slippers are usually knit in the round and hence, the slanted lines only tilt from right to left).

Valerie’s decision to use Lore yarn from The Fibre Co. complements the design perfectly, as the woollen spun yarn’s texture and heathered look add depth and character to the piece.

Deep Sea Dickie Soumak Stitch Design Fabric in The Fibre Company Lore
The texture and heathered shades of The Fibre Co.'s Lore add depth and character

The Deep Sea Dickie Construction

The front and back of this unique piece are knitted flat, from the bottom up. They are joined at the shoulder using the 3-Needle Cast-Off method and stitches for the neck ribbing are then picked up along the neck opening.  The turtleneck can be adjusted to your desired length so the ribbing can be folded down comfortably.

The Soumak stitch is seamlessly integrated into the main body as you knit the Deep Sea Dickie.  The wonderful texture is brought to life using accent yarn shades, referred to as ‘Weaving Yarns’, which are held double throughout the weaving process. The ‘Background Yarn,’ on the other hand, is held single from the hem up to the neck, where it transitions to a double layer for the turtleneck ribbing.

There are also two options for the back piece, offering a choice between a cropped version and a regular version mirroring the length of the front piece. 

The Deep Sea Dickie offers two back lengths so you can create a piece that suits your style

Why Lore?

Valerie believes in using tools and materials that are perfectly suited for a specific project that she has in mind. Her combinations of yarn, fibre and needles is based on their compatibility with the way she wants her project to look and feel when it is finished. 

Lore, as a woollen spun yarn, has a lovely, rustic texture. By holding it double and using it as the weaving yarn (letting a short length of it sit loosely on top of a plain stockinette background), the yarn is allowed to bloom and shine after washing. The subtle heathered look adds character to the piece and also to the seascape pattern. Valerie chose a subtle moody midnight palette to recreate the atmosphere of the beach in her dickie. 

‘I think the yarn and the Soumak stitch pattern work well together–apparently, I have a rough sea in mind!’ —Valerie Ng

Lore shades clockwise from top Reliable, Pensive, Serene, Confident & Caring

Valerie’s Design Process

Valerie’s design process is a thoughtful and creative journey. She starts by selecting a technique or stitch pattern that intrigues her. Extensive research and swatching follow, where she explores the potential of the chosen stitch pattern for different projects. Yarn selection is crucial, as it must show off her chosen stitches and technique to their best. The final step involves planning, including stitch counts and measurements, before starting the actual knitting process.

About The Almanac Series III

The Almanac Series is an ongoing collection celebrating each month of the year with a Yarn of the Month. It is based on the original farmer’s Almanac, a nature-inspired guide to the seasons. In our first two Almanacs, we looked to land with our theme of herbalism. Then to the skies, with our theme of astronomy. Now we look to the seas.

Our third Almanac Series is inspired by the oceans to acknowledge the importance of maintaining a balanced and thriving ocean ecosystem. The moodiness of the deep ocean, the chill of polar seas, the patterns and rhythm of winter swells, and the great migrations of sea birds were some of the inspirations behind this Almanac Series. 

The Almanac Series is a seasonal guide to knitting with The Fibre Co. yarns.

Knitting the Deep Sea Dickie?

We’d love to know if you are knitting the Deep Sea Dickie so please do share it with us!

If you are sharing on social media, please use the hashtags #MadeWithTheFibreCo and tag us @thefibrecompany so we don’t miss it. You can also follow us on social media by clicking the icons below.

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