Blog, Daily Life, Designing, Knitting, Philosophy

Failure

I think there’s a bit of a misconception about pattern design. Many people seem to believe that designers hit a home run with their designs every time. The math always works, the items always fit, etc.

Now,

Check these bad boys out.

Know what they all have in common?

Some of them are pretty decent sized and complex..

But none of them will ever be published.

That’s because pattern concepts don’t always come out right the first time, or the second, or the twelfth.

Now, it could easily be very upsetting to me that I’ve spent so much time working on concepts that will never see the light of day, but I don’t see it that way.

The purple gloves? They were a concept my husband wanted me to work on. I couldn’t communicate the techniques well enough, so the test failed.

The green sweater? I can’t get the dang sleeves right.

The orange shawl? Well, that motif is clearly not proportional!

But what that does mean is that I’ve now got the opportunity to learn from my mistakes. I no longer design patterns because someone else thinks it would be a good idea, I no longer try to make a crocheted acrylic sweater with a massive stitch gauge for my first garment design, and I don’t try to make people purl twisted stitches on the wrong side of a shawl!

So what does a designer do when pattern writing goes wrong?

I cast on a shawl shape that sounds like fun with a yarn I normally wouldn’t use and start knitting.

When something easy works out, it gives me the courage to try again with other designs. So, for now, I’ll just be hanging out with my Therapy Shawl.

Happy knitting, all!

Current Projects, Designing, Knitting

I need therapy after knitting “Therapi”

You guys might remember a while back I talked about working on the Therapi sweater Here.

Well, now i’ve given up, which is not something I do lightly with a project- especially one like this that i’ve put a whole lot of time, effort, and frustration into. I copied all my mods off my Ravelry Project Page and i’m going to be adding them here (probably with a little bit of commentary!) just in case anyone wants to use them (God bless you if you do) or realize this sweater will probably put you IN therapy, rather than BE therapy.

MODS for Medium Size of Therapi Sweater:

After you divide the sleeves from the yoke, the pattern does not match up!

How to make the yoke pattern transition into the body pattern after separating for the sleeves:

  • (RS) Purl 1 row, CO 3 sts under each arm (inc 6 total)
  • (WS) Knit 1 row

Body pattern changes to the following:
Row 1:k4 (p3,k3) until the last 7 sts, p3, k4
Row 2:p4 (k3,p3) until the last 7 sts, k3,p4
Rows 3&4 repeat rows 1&2
Row 5: Work as for row 2
Row 6: Work as for row 1
Rows 7&8: Repeat rows 5&6

Repeat these 8 rows

~I only knit the body for 21 inches from the underarm- it’s quite long enough, and will likely stretch with wear!

When picking up sts for the sleeves,pick up 3- they will automatically fit in the “sleeve pattern” st pattern, which should be begun immediately

-Knit Sleeve Basket weave pattern for 23 blocks (11.5 repeats), or until about 2” before desired sleeve length
{-Next Round: p around -Next Round: k around}
Repeat between { and } to create 2 garter ridges.

Work cuff:
k1,p1, around

*Just so you all know, this cuff is still way to wide to actually be tight on my wrist, or probably even my upper arm! This is the point at which I decided I didn’t want to mod anymore. I don’t even like this sweater anymore! If I was going to actually spend the time working on this, i’d say the cuff probably needs to be about 30-40% less sts than the pattern calls for

~Yardage recommendations are definitely off- at about 5 inches from the bottom of the body, and i’ve already used approximately 750 yds for the medium size.

 

Ok. So you see how much modding has gone into this one sweater that I no longer care to wear. Please notice that I didn’t even attempt to work on the collar. I’d like to say, I respect a designer’s process, and I respect that making multiple sizes is difficult, and that I have not published a multiple sized sweater pattern.

But! I do believe that when you write a pattern it should make a beautiful product in the simplest way possible. If the goal is to make an item that can be reproduced by as many people as possible, don’t make it difficult and make sure your stitch patterns at least line up! The way I wrote these mods out could just as easily have been written into the sweater pattern, and changes it so that someone who has less knitting experience would more easily be able to work this pattern up. Maybe it’s not 100% mathematically perfect, but it’s user friendly and simple.

I can not remember the last time I quit on a sweater pattern. I even re-knit (and modded, check out my Project Page) an Isis Tailcoat by knitting the following:

Lower body: 1
Body: 2
Right front: 3
Left front: 3
Collar: 1

Does that look like someone who quits on sweaters? Nope! And yet here I am.

I’m going to go engage in some yarn therapy now and dream of clear sweater patterns.

Maybe I’ll just start designing my own patterns…