Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dammit Jim, I'm a Knitter not a Mathemetician!

I have always hated math, especially once it goes beyond 2+2 or 3*3.  When letters get mixed in with the numbers it means an instant headache for me.  I wasn't completely horrible at math in school, but it was my absolute worst subject.  I was that kid complaining that I would never need to use this stuff in real life.

Imagine my dismay earlier this week when I found myself learning to use the Pythagorean Theorem to find the height of a sleeve cap.  The surprising part is - it wasn't that bad.  If the scary math of my youth is applied to a part of a sweater and yarny goodness, suddenly it doesn't have the same headache inducing abilities. 

That is not to say that all sweater math instantly makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.  Yesterday I spent hours trying to figure out charting curves.  I was staring at a chart in The Knitter's Guide to Sweater Design and it was just making my head hurt. Since the curve is for my recently accepted design, it is probably something super simple, that for anything else would make perfect sense.   But because I am so anxious/excited/nervous to get my prototype done and the first draft of the pattern written...I can't see the forest for the trees, so to speak.

In the end I decided to make my curves another way using a combination of a percentage of bound off stitches followed by decreases.  It was much better for my fragile state of mind and the curves, while not made with a complicated formula, look great.  It still used math, just a simpler formula that made more sense to me.  I am sure, in time, I'll be able to look at the curve chart and laugh that it was once so mysterious and scary.

I remember when calculating finished sizes from gauge swatches used to be intimidating.  Now it is some of the simplest math I encounter in the designing/pattern writing process.  There is hope for me yet!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Next up.

Originally uploaded by Lachesis77
This is Meringue the next design in my sweet themed design collection. A lovely hat like a fluffy swirl of meringue, with an eyelet band that can be laced through with ribbon. I found this lovely chocolate colored ribbon with tiny gold flecks months ago and knew I had to come up with a use for it...voila!

The pattern is currently with test knitters and I am not sure if I want to gradually release the patterns in the collection as they are finished or do them all at the same time. I think I should just get a Magic 8 ball to help me with all of my decisions because I am so indecisive >_<

I have begun the sample for the next pattern from the ribbon, but it does have a ruffle! Currently there are seven designs slated for my little collection, but a really great wrench has been thrown into the of my design proposals has been accepted for publication! So, since that is on someone else's dime it takes precedence over my ebook : )

There is not too much I can say about it, what a tease right?! But, I can tell you that up until a few days ago that idea was nothing but a page with a sketch and a few scribbled notes in my design binder. The past couple of days have been a frenzy of excitement, anxiety, swatching and charting! To tell you the truth I am still in shock and can hardly believe it. Of course we got our first assignment for the tech editing class yesterday...I can hardly concentrate on that! I guess it is pretty good timing, though, as I'll feel much more confident in my pattern writing skills once the class gets rolling.

So if I am not posting that often, it is because I am busy working on super-awesome extra-secret knitterly things!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Brilliant ideas.

Is it just me, that almost all of my bright ideas tend to come to me when I am either in the shower or out running...both times that I don't happen to have a pencil and paper with me!  While it certainly is not a groundbreaking idea, I decided to start working on an ebook, basically to compliment and include my Dulcet pattern.  See I have a bit of an obsession with ribbon lately, as in I want everything to be tied up in pretty bows.

I was washing what little hair I have the other day when I got an idea for a cape/cowl type thing and then thought of a hat that would be cool and a lace scarf that would compliment them too.  And they all have to have names that go along with the Dulcet "sweet" theme, like Fondant, Spun Sugar and Meringue.  It was pretty crazy and I am sure my boyfriend thought I was crazy as I went running out of the shower still dripping trying to get to my design notebook and scribble it all down, just in case my brain decided to lose it!  So here is one of my prototypes:

Fondant is knit in a super bulky yarn, Malabrigo Aquarella, and laced up with 1.5 inch satin ribbon.  I wanted to design a piece that was really versatile and a bit funky...I am pretty pleased with how it turned out!  The pattern is mostly done for this, I just need to get the photo tutorial shot of the different ways to lace and wear it and get a test knitter or two to give it a go and it will be ready for release into the wild!