The Highs and Lows of Designing

This week has showed the two opposites of designing. Things either go really well, or, well to be honest they really really don’t.

Sometimes you have an idea in your head, you get it down on paper and it just works. Sometimes you think it has worked, but when you come to actually put it on the needles, everything just falls to pieces and then it is a case of rip, rip, rip, and start again.

At the begining of the week my test knitters and I decided that although Heidi looked great on paper, and actually knitted up fine , she was just going to be too small. This is another issue. When designing with set amounts of yarn, it is a fine line between making sure that all knitters have enough yarn to finish the design and so much left that they feel that they have been short changed. After all they have paid a great deal of their hard earned cash for a colourway of either 4 or 6 graduated skeins (depending on the weight of the yarn) and they expect to be able to use all those colours – or why buy them ;-).

This prompted a complete rewrite of the pattern. It still looks the same overall, I have added repeats of stitch patterns and of course that means that all the rows are longer and enlarged and basically after about the first 30 rows it was a complete recharting. 

When I design, I create one huge chart that contains the whole design and then break it down into individual clues, these clues then have to be compressed to show a single repeat of the stitch pattern plus the edges.  Then the written versions of the clues have to be generated from the charts by the software and they have to be formatted, and in the case of a triangular shawl, the right and left hand versions have to be amalgamated into one set of instructions, remembering that right side rows read right hand followed by left hand and wrong side rows read the opposite way.

The re charting took two evenings and the reformatting of the written versions took 12 hours straight, and you have to remember that I do have a day job, so this sort of thing has to be done in lunch hours, evenings and weekends. These are the times when you honestly wonder why you do it. So I was happy to break off for a few minutes to answer the phone. This is where the high comes in.

It was the secretary of our local Eisteddfod craft section, phoning to tell me that I had won a prize! I put in two or three of my shawls every year and last year I was delighted to win THE knitting cup ( The A W Bell Cup for Knitting) for The Snow Queen. 

This year I retained the cup with A Wrinkle in Time

I liked this one so much I wore it for my promo photos earlier this month. I am pretty happy with those too!

For those who like to know, it is knitted in Unique Sheep Luxe, fingering weight; colourway Serengetti.

As for Heidi, she has been ripped back and the test knit will start again this evening. Meanwhile work carries on apace with the design for The Knitting Collection, Volume 2. Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo, this is a thicker yarn than I normally design with, so it is growing quickly thank goodness.

So now I need to shut up and keep on knitting. 

A la prochaine!


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