Late Sunday night, I published the Gatan Balaclava on Ravelry. Working on it has been such a blast, so I thought I’d let you in on a little bit of the process. Both behind developing this design and what goes into releasing a pattern. Or at least how I go about it :)
I begun thinking about designing a balaclava pattern a while back. I was working on a matching neckwarmer and sweater set in garter rib stitch (coming soon) and decided to expand the set with a balaclava as well. For maximum layering and warmth :) I experimented with a bunch of different ways to construct the weird hat and cowl combo a balaclava is. I knit loads of tests in different yarn weights and with varying degrees of fluffiness. This is my favorite part of the process.
After all of these tests I decided to use the very pretty classic heel turn inspired construction. To me it has a great mix of kindergarden outing and 60’s skiresort fashion vibes. Just the best! So I played around with additional shaping in the back of the head. Usually with this kind of construction the directional turn at top will cause creasing in the knit fabric, which I am not a fan of. So I experimented with a way to even out the fabric at the turn and then mirrored the shaping at the back of the neck. Sometimes a practical detail is also very pretty which I think is the case here :) It also has the benefit of giving the balaclava a little extra space at the back. Which gives a better fit if you like your hair up or have big curls etc.
This pattern has been so much fun to work on! Mostly because I was lucky enough to collaborate with some awesome people. My lovely tech editor and testing group helped me get the pattern in tiptop shape. My friend Felicia and her kids modelled for me. We had a couple of really great days hanging out and taking pictures. As you can see below some of the photos where shot in her greenhouse in full winter storage mode :)
Me and my partner Chris have always worked on our projects together. This time around he did a great job holding the background paper :) He also used his graphic design powers on the pdf layout for the pattern. As you can hear creating a pattern is kind of an involved process. There are many steps and a lot of people. I even left out quite a lot. Luckily that I enjoy every step though. It has been a few days since the pattern was released and I am so happy that it was well recieved. Now I am gonna concentrate on getting the kids version ready for this Friday. And then there is another pattern waiting to be worked on :)
You can buy the Gatan Balaclava Here