On Designing

Is that too pretentious of a title? Meh. Anyway, I have finished many things recently, but I am not ready to write everything up about them just yet. So instead, I thought I’d share a bit about how I go about designing patterns.

Most of the time, it starts with a swatch and a bit of math on paper. I have to write it out, and often a few different times, so I can see what is going to happen. With these socks in particular, I had to draw out the increases several times, and I am having to do that for each size because I cannot wrap my brain around it to just jump into it.

Other times, I can just measure a swatch and work from there. But that just means I have to do the piece over and over. Like with this blanket. I thought I was going to like the larger squares, but it was too much.

The second time I started this blanket, I still went too large with the squares. But I did find out that you can get a full scarf out of a single ball of Lion Brand Heartland Tweed yarn, in case that information is of use to anyone.

Third times the charm for this particular blanket. Once I finally make the piece I was aiming to make, taking notes on it all the way, I write the pattern up fully, wait at least a week, and then make one following the pattern exactly to make sure I’ve gotten all the steps down. That final version is usually the one I use for the pictures I include in my patterns, though I sometimes also include the one from which I wrote the pattern if it didn’t change much.

There’s a bit of a sneak peek into my design process. Hopefully it’s helpful for anyone looking to design their own knitting or crochet patterns.


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In Development

I’m still working on my Starry Stoles, just not currently. I needed a teensy break from the monotony of swaths of stockinette and beads. Instead, I am working on this:

A bag full of yarn doesn’t make sense to you? Pssh, picky. Here’s more:

It’s a new lace hat that I am taking row by row, as you can see by the notebook in the picture. Basically I’ve picked out a lace pattern and am figuring out the specifics of each row as I get to it. Helps keep my place in the pattern, really, since it doesn’t exist until I get to it.

I’ve just gotten to the widest part, so now I’m just working my way through the length. I’m thinking another color change repeat and finishing off the band in gray. Hopefully I will have this hat finished by this weekend.

Sidetracked…By Blankets

Remember how I said I was going to knit an entire sweater over the past two weeks? Well, I didn’t. I did manage to get the back of the sweater fully finished, though:

So that’s something.

I didn’t end up watching much of the competition because NBC requires that you log in to their website through your cable provider to watch the replays of the events. I was trying to watch online because I don’t have a cable provider, so that didn’t work out so well.

I also had something else sneak its way into my work schedule as well – blankets! Two baby blankets to be exact. One out of a fluffy, bulky yarn:

and the other out of a light, lace yarn:

It doesn’t look like it in the picture, but this one if also going to be a square. It is just gathered on the circular needle right now.

The first one was fairly easy to create. I kept the pattern in my head/made it up as I went. Lace, on the other hand, well…

That took a bit more planning – and paper.

I finally managed to puzzle out a good chart. Well, several charts used together:

I am chugging along at it. I’m hoping to be able to have enough of the yarn left over to make matching hats. Lace yarn really does go a long way.

Ever get sidetracked in the middle of a project by a bigger project? What did you do while watching the Olympics this time around?