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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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?