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What is Romance in Knitting Design?

Romance copy is that section of the pattern — usually on the first page of the pattern, or at the top of the pattern notes on the pattern description in Ravelry — that’s meant to engage you, the knitter.

It’s supposed to intrigue or inspire you. It tells you about the inspiration behind the pattern, or tries to tell a story about the design. It often ties in with the name of the pattern.

It’s a challenge for, it seems, many designers (per many posts in the Ravelry designer group: scroll down to Hunter’s post 5524 and go forward from there). I usually save it for last.

Things I include in the romance section (usually not all of these in every pattern):

  1. Inspiration
  2. Background of the pattern name
  3. Design features (can include stitch pattern sources)
  4. Benefits to you as the knitter, or what you’ll learn

It’s much easier when I’m designing something for one of my themed collections. It’s next to impossible when the pattern is based on stitch patterns that I just really liked!

Here’s the romance for my Artemisia Cowl:

The genus Artemisia includes California Sagebrush (Artemisia californica) and a whole host of cultivars. It smells fantastic in the garden, though can get a bit unkempt. Its foliage has a soft, lacy appearance.

The Artemisia Cowl includes one of the my favorite Aran Lace cables (#28 from Annie Maloney’s book, Aran Lace), flanking the larger panel that I’ve used either directly in Sedona or as a variation in Jackalope.

I chose these panels not only for aesthetics but because they allow the knitter to gain practice in two of the main Aran Lace techniques: paired yarnovers and decreases to outline the path of the cable, and yarnovers and decreases within the cable itself.

 

Sand Ripples is a bit more terse, just focusing on the design details.

This shawl features a lovely bi-colored cable pattern, complementary lace edging, and short-rowed garter stitch body. The edging, worked as a combination of stranding (for the cables) and intarsia (for the lace), is worked first. Stitches are picked up along the edge for the short-rowed body.

Do you, as a knitter, pay attention to the romance copy? Let me know in the comments!

3 comments… add one
  • Anya April 1, 2017, 11:34 pm

    Yes, I definitely do. Then again, I was an English and History double-major, so I love a good, descriptive story.

    Do you remember the J. Peterman catalog? Now THAT was romance copy. I remember finally saving up and ordering something and being disappointed that the dress was cheaply made with no shaping and that I didn’t look like the tomboyish, beguiling ingenue described in the copy. 🙂

    • StephCat April 26, 2017, 7:30 am

      I *do* remember that catalog! And the descriptions were great. I never ordered anything because the clothing was beyond my budget. That’s too bad the quality didn’t live up to the romance.

      Re: ingenue….That’s one of the reasons I like modeling my own sweaters, so that folks can see what they look like on a non-model-sized person!

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