3. Ready Set Raglan's Origin Story

Elowen from Ready Set Raglan. 

For this week’s ’12 Weeks of Raglan’ story, we’ve been chatting to Lydia Gluck, Ready Set Raglan‘s author and one of Pom Pom’s founding editors! In this mini interview, Lydia talks about the origins of the new book, her decision to include many samples, and how the process of writing a book differs from producing the mag every quarter!

What inspired Ready Set Raglan?
Ready Set Raglan was inspired by the pattern I designed for 
Pom Pom Issue 28 – Woodwardia [see image below]! I got the idea for a top-down jumper that would have a fern-like textured Raglan seam and I was working on the idea while travelling to Rhinebeck’s Sheep and Wool Festival in 2018. Once I finished the jumper I just wanted to make more! I realised that I loved the simplicity of the design (great for TV knitting), and that shape-wise it was exactly the sort of jumper I could wear with anything. I thought ‘wouldn’t it be great if I could just make this same jumper over and over but in slightly different stitch patterns?!’… and that’s when the idea was born! Meghan’s design from Issue 4 (vintage pom!) Lobelia was an influence, as was her design Abuelita from Issue 2 (even more vintage!). Both are based around raglan shaping – Abuelita is crochet but has the exact same principle! Meghan used to teach a class called Beautiful Increases for Top-Down Raglans based around Lobelia, so clearly the obsession with Raglans has been with Pom Pom for a long time! This book was just waiting to happen!

The original Woodwardia from Issue 28! The pattern for Woodwardia is also included within Ready Set Raglan. 

What do you love about the raglan-style pullover?
I love that the increases create diagonals, and that those ‘seams’ are a great place to play with using increases in a decorative way. I personally don’t like seaming jumpers (although I know many people prefer seamed jumpers for all sorts of reasons!) so I like that the design involves very little finishing. Also, because it’s top-down you can try it on as you go, so you can adjust the length of the body, sleeves, and neckline easily. I like a boxy shape in a jumper, and raglans lend themselves to this shape! I love that they are quite accessible in terms of skill as well. Once you can knit in the round and know how to increase you are most of the way there!

Do you think creating a book requires a different set of skills from creating the quarterly mag?
It requires some of the same skills and a few different ones. For each issue of the magazine we think carefully about the colour palette (which for the magazine is informed by the theme and mood board), and we thought carefully about the palette for the book too! We pulled the palette together from Georgia O’Keeffe paintings which was a lot of fun. The main things that were different to working on an issue of the magazine were the fact that the patterns were designed and written in-house, and that the photoshoot was just pullovers! When we work on a magazine we normally have a variety of garments and accessories but this was just garments!

There are a lot of samples and yarns featured in the book! Why did you decide to show each style in at least two different yarns?
One of my favourite things about the simplicity of these pullovers is that they can become a canvas for colour and texture. We wanted to show the possibilities of playing with holding various types of yarn double, colour-blocking and drape. We think these pullovers could be a staple in any person’s wardrobe so it was important to us to show how versatile they are, and that lead to the large amount of samples we had made (and made ourselves!) for the shoot. Oh – this is another way in which Ready Set Raglan differed from the quarterly mag! Usually, the designers make their own samples for the magazine photoshoots, but for Ready Set Raglan the Pom Pom Team made most of them! It’s so fun seeing the possibilities in the many samples and we hope they inspire anyone who picks up the book to swatch and experiment to create a fabric and/or colour-scheme they love! I am so excited to see what our readers make!

What’s your dream pullover style?
I wear my pullovers not too long because I like to wear high-waisted trousers most of the time. I am currently very into high roll-necks and I like a roomy sleeve and body. I like to layer my clothes in the winter so making the pullovers with lots of ease means I can get layering! I love a bit of colour blocking, or just to cast off in a contrast colour for a little pop of something! I also love to experiment with marling, and I especially love a fluffy jumper whether it’s alpaca or mohair. Just so snuggly!

And there you have it, Pom Pals! A little insight into Lydia’s creative and planning processes! You can order Ready Set Raglan here or click here to see what Lydia means by ‘large amount of samples’!

(Eirys from Ready Set Raglan)

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