Spice Trail from the East
This pattern is my idea of what makes Japanese patterns special, on a simplified level (believe it or not!). I’ve taken two pattern stitches from my Japanese stitch libraries, and worked them into a sweater design in a very detailed and specific way to create a vintage-looking, classicly-styled cropped cardigan with three-quarter length sleeves. A Japanese designer would probably have added additional detail such as bobbles, textural elements or more elaborate finishing to this design.
The hard part came when I had to grade the pattern to create 7 different sizes. Japanese patterns come in one size, small or extra-small, and that’s how I designed my original cardigan. To change this design to one larger size, say L or 1X for myself, would have required some thought and patience. Creating seven different sizes that scale up to the standard Craft Yarn Council of America size range that Knitty uses was another matter all together! I originally tried to work out each size the way I would design a sweater in that size only. The results were much too complicated to write a pattern. Working with my tech editor as well as my friend, Susan Crawford, author of A Stitch In Time volumes 1 & 2, we’ve come up with a design that maintains the structure and style elements of my original idea, with sizing that could be written into a pattern.