Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dulcet is done, man!

After editing for the rest of yesterday and most of today, I was able to get the PDF finished for Dulcet.  I am so excited!  Here is the full description for you:

An airy shrug knit in lightweight yarn great for adding a little modesty to a slinky dress or giving some style to a T-shirt and jeans. Sweet details include eyelets threaded with ribbon and turned picot hems on the cuffs and neckband.

This shrug is worked from cuff to cuff, starting in the round, switching to knitting flat and then back to in the round. Once the sleeves and body are complete, the neckband is picked up from the body and knit in the round. A provisional CO for the left sleeve hem helps eliminate a bulky seam when sewing down the cuff. On both cuffs the live stitches are sewn down instead of bound off. A knitted bind off is used to attach the neckband to the body.

The sizing on this shrug is easy to suit to your own shape. By knowing your upper arm and shoulder to shoulder measurements, you’ll be able to get a great custom fit! Size chart and instructions on how to customize your fit are included.

To purchase the pattern PDF for $5.00, click here: 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Getting there.

 Yesterday I got the revisions that need to be made to Dulcet from my tech editor.  Can I just say, tech editors are awesome!?!  I had messed up the sizing in my effort to keep the pattern that means I have been doing a lot of editing since last night. 

For any designer that isn't sure if a tech editor is worth it...they so are.  Not only are they great for catching the little typos or symbol discrepancies in charts, but they check your math.  Sometimes, as in my case, one little error can throw the whole thing off the rails! 

Luckily everything is back on track and I should be finishing up my first round of editing tonight.  I also took some new pictures, since you could see through my shirt on the last set...heheh.  It was absolutely bugging the crap out of me, so I got dolled up and braved 93 degree temperatures in my wool shrug!

Hopefully, everything will keep moving along and this pattern will be done by the end of the week.  I would really love to have it released by Friday...or even earlier if I can buckle down and get to work!  Obviously I could probably be working on it right now, but I had to give a little update!

So fingers crossed that I will be posting about the release in a few days!  Also poor Winsome is still coming along.  I had planned to work on it all day yesterday, but my AC broke and by the time that was under control, I had to get to work on Dulcet.  Man, if only I were a speed knitter!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Decisions, decisions.

The second great swatch-a-palooza has been completed.  It actually took me a few days to decide which I liked best...definitely the hardest part!  I had to keep telling myself, that  just because I didn't use a design element I loved on this sweater doesn't mean I can't use it on another project.  So after all the debate, I made a decision and ripped my Winsome back to the waist ribbing and started in the new stitch pattern.  Hopefully the millionth time is the charm ; )

Testing on the Dulcet shrug is coming along, almost all of my test knitters are done or almost done!  That means it is time for me to get least favorite part of pattern writing.  It is not hard and doesn't take a lot of time (compared to the first draft), I think the problem is going back to something that hasn't been worked on in weeks or months.  It is difficult for me to get back into the mindset of older projects when I have been working on new designs in the interim.  I'll probably have to resort to setting a timer and forcing myself to work on it! Dulcet should be ready to go sometime around July 4th, and luckily still in "season."

Friday, June 18, 2010

Let's Swatch

Let's Swatch
Originally uploaded by Lachesis77
I have gone swatching mad lately! My original swatch (in the burgundy yarn) looked great, except I paid no mind to what the actual stitch count would be in the knitted garment so it wouldn't work...ugh. The very large swatch, that could almost be a scarf, in the aquamarine yarn is what I have been adding to every time I ran into a problem on the sweater or changed my mind on the stitch pattern. Finally the periwinkle swatch is my last resort swatch. This is the lace hem I'll use on a plain stockinette version if I can't get the eyelets to play nicely.

The biggest lesson I have learned from all this swatch ridiculousness is...always swatch in the design yarn! Though the gauge and stitch count were correct in my other two peri and aqua swatches, the fiber content of the yarn is different so the stitch definition and drape varies greatly. The color variation in the project yarn (madelinetosh pashmina) also has an effect on how the stitch patterns look

So what I am I going to be doing today? You've got it...more swatching! I'll take the lace hem and my favorite eyelet pattern from the swatches and knit them up and block in the pashmina. Hopefully it will clear everything up and I can finish this prototype!

I think that is the most important info I can pass on to other budding designers and knitters in everything in the project yarn. Let this experience of mine be the lesson of what happens when you just want to grab a lonesome skein of cheap yarn from your stash to test a stitch pattern! I like to think I am usually a pretty smart knitter too, but I guess this is proof that no matter how much you think you know, there is always something more to learn :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Riiiip, sigh.

My poor, poor Winsome is all my fault really....I messed up the stitch count.  What does that mean?  Yes, a lot of ripping.  I am giving the stitch pattern one last try, if it doesn't work out this time I am calling it quits and just doing plain old Stockinette.  At least I love the shape and structure, so it won't be too horrible if it comes to that...but I don't want to give up yet on my idea of progressively more eyelets that merge into a lattice or mesh pattern at the hem.

Really, I shouldn't be too upset, this is only the first major design set back (hopefully not of many) that I have encountered.  I know that all the headaches are part of the learning process and I am trying not to be impatient...because that only leads to more mistakes.  Plus I have a small problem with perfectionism and that isn't doing me any favors.

In other non-whiny news, I have signed up for knitgrrl's tech editing class!  I am very excited about this opportunity to learn about knitwear design from such talented people in the industry and to be able to chat with other designers like myself.  The great thing about this class is learning, hopefully, a  better way to size knitted garments, which is one of the main topics of the class.  That means no more hunting down 50 different sources with 50 different ideas on sizing and grading, at the end of which I end up in frustrated tears and just go knit a scarf!  Hopefully it will also mean more concise and well written patterns from me with better schematics :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

I Love Darts!

I am amazed and in love with using darts in knitting!  Actually, I haven't had much experience until recently, and I wonder why you don't see it more often in patterns.  They look great and I feel the increases and decreases follow the shape of the body better than the traditional increase/decrease along the side seam.  It definitely suits certain styles and stitch patterns better, though.  I find they give the knitted garment a wonderfully polished and tailored look.

Why this sudden need to proclaim my love?  Well I was taking some shots of my progress on the Winsome proto and I am just so pleased with how it is coming along...including the darts.  I am sure you know that feeling (or want to!), when the design idea in your head and the actual knitted piece are the this could be different here or I should change that neckline, etc.  It is exactly how I pictured it in my head and I couldn't be happier!

I hope to finish up this week, though my carpal tunnel is acting up a bit...I just have to be patient and not push it.  While I am so excited about the prospect of this sweater, it is hotter than Hades out!  It 100 degrees F here today with a heat index of 112, so I won't be wearing this anytime soon!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

San Diego and whatnots.

I just got back from coaching my team for the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon.  I was sad that I didn't get as much knitting done on the flight as I had hoped, but I do hate knitting socks...if only my boyfriend didn't like them.  The weather was fabulous, even if I did get some serious sunburn/chafing on race day...that comes with the territory, though  when you're on a race course for close to 10 hours and run close to 30 miles!

In other news, things went a little wonky with a submission, so I am now planning on self publishing that prototype I was talking about.  It is a lace weight shrug, featuring eyelets laced with ribbon and turned picot hems and collar.  I currently have one tester done and a few in progress.  Hopefully it will be all prettied up and ready for release by the end of the month!  Here's a shot of the finished prototype:

It is knit in Willow Creek from Pagewood Farm, a nice heavy lace weight that seems almost a light fingering weight to me.  That works well for a completely impatient knitter like myself!  The weather was quite chilly in San Diego for a Georgia peach, so I got to wear this a lot while I was there and happily garnered a few compliments along the way!

Now that Olive is done, though it is big and may require some altering, I am back to work on my Winsome Proto:

I have made some more progress since this photo, the waist decreases are done and I am almost finished the increases.  Today I did some more swatching of the lace pattern I'll be using and I think my math is sound and I am ready to continue.  Hopefully by the end of the week I'll have more pictures to post for you!