I haven't known knits to be very controversial, but this particular cardigan in knit.wear's Spring 2013 issue has prompted some surprisingly strong reactions.  People seem to either love it or hate it. Of course, I'm happier if people love it, since I put a great deal of time into thinking about the design, planning it out, knitting it, and writing and grading the pattern.  BUT, after I got over my initial surprise at the few vocal folks who believed the sweater was extremely dangerous, I was pretty pleased.  In this day and age, when everything seems to have been done before, I'm thrilled to have come up with something new.  In a centuries old craft, how awesome to create something that gets people talking about knitting! 

Just a little note about the Dropped Stitch Cardigan, it was certainly not intended to harm anyone; knitters, non-knitters or innocent bystanders! I love interesting design, things that are unique, novel, thought provoking, clever, smart. I think it's just the way my brain works. It gets bored easily, and the twists in the expected and hum drum make me smile.  It all began when I won a scholarship to go to Interweave Knitting Lab in Manchester, New Hampshire. I needed something to wear. Perhaps like a lot of knitters, I've got more yarn than I have stylish garments, and I desperately wanted to wear something unique and striking, something interesting to Manchester. 

I hit on the idea of a cascade of unraveled stitches, maybe inspired by a trip to the Unravel exhibition of knitwear at the Mode Museum in Antwerp. I usually lay in bed and think about stitch construction or design puzzles before I can drift off to sleep. One night, as I was thinking about unraveling stitches and cascades and columns of dropped stitches, it all came together; a masterpiece of deconstructed knitwear, an homage to knitting mistakes, my opus of dropped stitches. A waterfall of unraveled strands down the back, dropped stitch loops used to link the raglan seams together, a ladder effect of dropped and twisted stitch columns to create a non-curling front edge, collar and cuff.  It was exactly what I would create to wear to the Knitting Lab. It was unique, quirky, pretty; a perfect conversation piece for a knitting designer to wear to a knitting conference, and a little bit tongue in cheek. I make my living with sticks and string. I absolutely LOVE what I do, but I can't take myself too seriously. 

So for those of you that love it, cool.  I love it, too. For those of you that really hate it, at least I have you talking and thinking about knitting. Score! 
 


03/14/2013 11:50am

Don't bother because of these comments, Erica, you did a great job with this cardigan!

Of course I noticed that one of the designs in this knit.wear issue is yours - congrats on that, it's great to see something new from you after all this time! - and I loved it.

I read the comments, too, and what should I say... some people think a soft pillow is dangerous, too.

Your blog entry sounds like your a bit disappointed or sad, and I could understand that. It's always hard if people talk bad about something you love and something you put so much time, thoughts and work into. It can hurt.

But luckily we're not all the same. There are tons of people who adore your work and who see the cleverness in it. I'm one of them!

All the best to you,
Melanie.

PS: Hope you're fine, too!

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Erica
03/21/2013 3:38am

Hi Melanie!
So good to hear from you! I think of you often. How are the little ones? I promise you once they get a little older it's so much easier to find blocks of time to design! I'm reveling in my new found freedom now that Lorelei has started school.

And I was surprised by the reaction, but also surprised that it didn't bother me. I guess it's one of the risks you take when you put your work out there. I'd rather be remembered for being daring than forgotten!

Hugs to you,
Erica

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Ruth B
03/15/2013 10:46am

GASP! The Dropped Stitch Cardigan is Gorgeous! I am going to make this without a doubt. I can imagine the comments I might hear..."since you are a senior did you forget a lot of your stitches". I will let you know. It should be fun to wear. I will let you know how it goes. I can imagine beads on the cascading loops on the back.

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Erica
03/21/2013 3:42am

Ruth! Thanks for the note. You reminded me of a funny story. I wore this to Interweave's knitting lab where Anne Berk was teaching a class on fixing knitting mistakes. One of her students suggested I ask her for help picking up a few of my dropped stitches. That got a good laugh.

Happy knitting and can't wait to see your cardi!

Erica

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Barbara Bobo
04/18/2013 6:06pm

Well, I for one loved it! Of course you could always knit a solid back, but then where would the excitement be! Not behind you that's for sure!

I once did a drop stitch sweater from an 80's Vogue mag and love it still...it was a little crop waisted long sleeved 'ski' sweater with random runs here and there...I call it my cat's scratch sweater. I wear it often, so keep up the exciting work! I might just try this next fall, when I get all my current projects done.

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Jackie
04/19/2013 11:47am

Hi, Beautiful!
Thank you for your innovation! I am so excited that you have achieved your goal of getting people to talk about knitting!
Thank you for what you do!

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Kate McCallum
07/17/2013 8:24pm

Hi Erica, I love this pattern! I'm halfway through knitting it for my 13 year old daughter. I really wanted to make it for myself, but Eve found the pattern first. But I'm sure if I knit it in a completely different colour it will be fine! Not sure what Eve will think of that though!

Kate

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Bobbie Blitz
10/16/2014 4:40pm

I love this cardigan so much, I am making a second one! Every time I wear it, people gasp. It is so unusual and just fabulous!!!
Erica, you are the best!

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