Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

Treasures from Verb

August 1, 2011

It’s no secret that I love A Verb for Keeping Warm‘s yarns, and I live close enough to A Verb for Keeping Warm’s brick and mortar store that I can go there on a semi-regular basis. This is dangerous and wonderful all at once. I want ALL THE YARNS! Luckily, I have some small modicum of self restraint, and I am holding off from buying ALL THE YARNS until I’ve used up some of the yarns I already have. That doesn’t mean I haven’t gotten to play with Verb yarns in the meantime, though.

This year, Verb started its first yarn (or fiber) club, complete with four shawl patterns by four designers. I was designer number four, and I got to knit in the lovely and amazing Verb Floating, which is a delectable blend of alpaca, silk, and cashmere. Seriously, this stuff makes kitten fur feel like sandpaper. The color was an exclusive club shade of gorgeous corally pink, 2 Gems and a Pearl. I am not usually a fan of pink, nor do I think it flatters my skin tones, but Kristine managed to dye this yarn a pink that looks great on pretty much everyone. I have no idea how this is possible, but there you go.

I was excited by the fact that Verb is a local to me company, and I sought inspiration in the bay. One of my very favorite lace patterns is the one called Split Leaf in the first Barbara Walker treasury. Although I know it is an ostensibly arboreal pattern, I’ve always thought it looked more like scales. I also adapted an umbrella themed stitch pattern to create what I thought looked like a seashell edging. Fish scales and seashells, but the end result actually looked more like the architecture of old movie palaces than something sea related. The name of the pattern, Grand Lake, is after the beautiful old Grand Lake Theater in Oakland.

Getting to use such a luscious yarn and getting to work so many of my long held favorite ideas was a treat. Thank you so much to A Verb for Keeping Warm for including me in this first club!

The other Verb related object I have to show you is this Felicity hat knit in Verb Toasted.

I am the last knitter in the universe to make the Felicity hat, but it seems to be universally flattering to everyone. I love this hat so much and I will wear it often this winter. The color is Tidepool, and it is so so pretty. It reminds me of a smouldering volcano more than anything. I think I messed up the decreases of this hat somehow – mine certainly do not look like the ones I’ve seen in other people’s photographs – but I still love how it looks and wears. My husband told me I looked like a whaler and then a Jacobin on the day I finished it, and I’m choosing to take both remarks as compliments, because this is one damn cute chapeau.

What’s next for me in Verb yarn? I don’t exactly know, but I have this terribly inspiring skein of Creating just waiting for me to come up with something!

Collection design and me

May 14, 2011

First things first – thank you to everyone who entered my raffle for earthquake relief in Japan, and congratulations to Natalie, Rosemary, Jenny, and Hanne, who won the prizes! I sent them off yesterday, and ladies, my apologies for the weird handwritten notes in blue marker. I couldn’t find grown up writing implements. Yup.

It’s been a long week. I had all three kids at home for a lot of it, and then I caught whatever bug they had, which meant that there was one ugly day where they were getting better and I was coming down with what they had, and they had a lot more energy than I did and basically ran the show all day. There was also one blessedly easy day where two of the sickies slept for the vast majority of the day, so I suppose it evens out.

Heyo! I’ve returned, slowly, to the ebook I was working on prior to Understory. I had it in my head that it was best not to show anything from that enterprise until it was done, but frankly, that no longer seems to make as much sense to me, and I can’t quite remember why I had that idea. I’m planning for the collection to have 9 or 10 accessory patterns, but which ones are still in flux.

The general idea is that each of these projects, with the exception of a shawl that is not pictured, would use relatively small amounts of yarn, enabling a knitter to get some pretty matching accessory sets out of one or two skeins of yarn. I like this idea because, I hope, it would give knitters a chance to try some luxury yarns without spending as much as one would on yarn for a large project. I also got excited about this because, like many knitters, I have a lot of pretty scarves and hats and mitts and other cool weather accessories and most of them cannot be worn together without making me look a little silly. Matching accessory sets can make an outfit look neat and tailored, and I’m hoping that many of the items in the collection can be mixed and matched as well.

As it stands, I’m currently planning on the collection consisting of two hats, two shawls, one cowl, one neckwarmer, one mitt set, a pair of boot socks, and a headband. Work on it is sporadic, as it comes between deadline projects, but I’m still excited about it.

This is the first ebook I started, but has become my second ebook. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I thought I’d talk a little about how I plan a collection. I don’t claim to be speaking for anyone but myself, and I suspect there are better, more efficient ways to work. However, for me, a pattern or a collection starts with a color palette. I want the different items in the collection to be harmonious with each other, but also to showcase different colors. I also think color can set a mood and a connecting theme behind a variety of disparate items.

In Understory, the colors were meant to reflect the setting of the collection – the understory of a forest after spring rains. The basic palette was suggested by Hannah Thiessen, and I had some leeway to choose my own colors, picking spring greens, yellows, greys, and a flash of bright red. The current project, Jolie With Pointy Sticks, is somewhat vintage inspired, more urban, and has a palette primarily of reds and yellows with beiges, golds, and purples, not currently in the picture. I have an idea board for a future collection as well with a completely different palette of bright and dark colors meant to convey youth and energy.

Colors tell a story, whether we mean them to or not, and it seems to me that any design is itself a story that we’re selling. There are many patterns out in the world, but the ones that speak to us as knitters and consumers are the ones that tell a story we want to hear or be a part of. My personal rule for knitting patterns is that I have to have fun knitting them myself before I’m willing to sell them to other people. I also try to tell stories I want to hear. None of us can please everyone, and I think in trying, we tend to create something pretty bland that doesn’t reflect our personal vision. (The painting experiment form of this is Komar and Melamid’s Most and Least Wanted series, in which they created paintings based on polling information from different countries.) This isn’t to say that the opinions of others should be disregarded outright, but that if a project doesn’t speak to you, it probably won’t be one you invest in wholly. I start with colors because they set a tone, literally, that lets me know which way I want to go with the project as a whole.

The colors sort of direct the aesthetic for me a bit. The reds and yellows I picked are less high school mascot colors and more warm tones that I have seen used in a lot of vintage dresses. I started looking at movie stills and vintage fabrics and picking up on ideas and details I liked from them. The end results are not necessarily going to reflect their inspiration to everyone who looks at them, but if the story is harmonious to me, the projects fun to knit and wear, and the end result feels whole, I think at least I can be comfortable with what I’m offering.

Into existence

August 7, 2010

All those long months back, I had this idea for a sweater that I drew on paper and submitted to Knitscene. They didn’t want it, which I’m ultimately happy with, because I got to take my time and keep getting more and more fiddly until I had two versions of the sweater.  Yesterday I finally finished the second version, and today I’m having that moment you get in any sort of creative endeavor where you look at something you’ve made and realize that the thing that once existed only in your own head is now a physical reality.

I got unsure about the lace panels as I was finishing them up, but now I’m so glad I went through with it!  It feels finished now, and I think the lace does something really different and special to a simple tee shirt pattern.  The buttons, Victorian glass numbers from Green Ray Productions, are the final touch to make this special.  The body of the sweater is knit in Malabrigo Sock (under two skeins) and the lace is Misti Alpaca Lace.  It is a ridiculously soft little number.

For comparison’s sake, here’s this photo paired with the original drawing.  Admittedly, the angle of the photograph isn’t wholly conducive to comparison, but I think you can see how it turned out.  I’ll probably take at least one photo with the silly ribbon belt I originally imagined!

So with this done, it should be less of the all Sunniva all the time situation that it’s been for months around here.  I tell you, I’m very happy with how this turned out, but I will think twice before deciding to design a sweater in two versions and light fingering weight yarn any time soon!

Making my own sunshine

August 5, 2010

This is a weird grey summer here in usually sunny California. I like the fact that it’s not been hot, but it really hasn’t even been warm all that often.  My summer garden is suffering – our usual bumper crop of tomatoes is reduced to the odd fruit here or there, and my peppers have nearly given up.

Yellow Sunniva, though, is like a sunshine injection for me. It’s such a pretty soft golden color, and it’s so soft and drapey and cheerful that it has to make the world look a little brighter.

Sadly, the lack of light is affecting my photographs as well!  It’s a brighter, more cheerful color in real life. I’m excited about the buttons as well – I always like grellow knitwear, but since grey looks bad on me, I can’t usually wear it.  Grey buttons I can manage.

To give you a better idea of the flutter sleeve when worn, here’s a bad picture I snapped in my poorly lit bathroom before I’d finished the neckline.

I’m now working on the lace edging for the neckline, and then it’s just a matter of sewing in ends, attaching buttons and lace, and taking pictures! Well, and writing up the pattern, but I’m very excited to already have some great test knitters lined up.  I can see an end in sight for this poor pattern!

I am also planning an end to the Lace Triangle series soon, too, with a long awaited post on edgings.

Wonderful

June 28, 2010

I came out of last week exhausted, but I am going into this week feeling happy and refreshed.  My tenth wedding anniversary was on the 24th, and yesterday, my husband and I finally got our big anniversary date.  (We did go out on our anniversary as well, making this an unprecedented two-dates-in-one-week extravaganza.)  I have yet to get the rather silly pictures off of Mr. Kninja’s phone, but we went to Stow Lake and rented a rowboat and had a romantic afternoon out of a Renoir painting.  It was perfect, and I feel like my soul has been refreshed – rather lavish wording for a pragmatic atheist, but it’s true nonetheless.

I’m also so so very close to finishing up the first Sunniva sample.  I’m a knitting monogamist at the moment, very unusual for me, but I feel so excited, both about finishing and about starting on a new idea, that I’m sticking to finishing Sunniva until I find out that I need to do something else.  (I have some submissions still up in the air places, so it’s possible that my monogamy will be broken by an acceptance.  I’m not counting on it, though.)

So Red-Violet Sunniva is currently one-sleeved, with most of a second sleeve done.  I expect to finish the second sleeve today and then it’s a matter of edging the neck and deciding whether to add the lace to this sample or not.  (Since the lace is optional, I’m thinking I’ll do one with and one without.)

Anyway, once the Sunnivas are done, I have had an inspiration for a small collection of accessories, and the sketching, yarn planning, and various inspiration boards have already begun.  I’m very, very excited about this idea.  Many of the projects are quite small, but I think they’re all a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to get started.  I’m using the energy I have for that new project as inspiration to finish up my current project!  And I got to scout out some gorgeous yarn from A Verb for Keeping Warm for one of the projects this weekend, so as soon as I have the extra cash on hand, I’ll be picking up some more lovely yarn for my future projects!  Happy happy.

I need to get together with knitting friends, something I’ve been wanting to arrange for a while yet, but while Mr. Kninja’s schedule is so wonky, it’s quite hard.  So that’s the one little thing left to wish for this week, but overall, life’s pretty darn good.

Finally seeing progress

June 15, 2010

So this isn’t the most flattering picture of me ever, but this is what Sunniva currently looks like.  I love the edge, which has a hem bind off that looks nice and neat and tailored, and I love the color, which is so rich and beautiful, and I love the way the Bluefaced Leicester wool feels and drapes.  (I have the worst time spelling Leicester.  I pronounce it Lester in my head, which I think is right or close to right, but then I want to spell it sans the ce. English, man.  Tough language.)

This version is going to have three quarter length sleeves that puff close to the ends.  I have a shirt with this sort of sleeve, and I think it’s very flattering, though there’s a part of me that thinks I shouldn’t push it and should just make fitted sleeves instead.  Or half sleeves.  A number of people have commented on liking the sleeves as they are, as cap sleeves, too, but I think I’d like this version to be the longer sleeved version.

The kids are now home for the summer, and we’re in the midst of our annual Rotten Cereal Week.  This is a tradition I have carried on from my childhood.  We’re pretty healthy eaters for most of the year, but one week out of the year, the week school lets out, each child can select a box of sugar coated evil and have it for breakfast.  Most mornings, breakfast is a bowl of Joe’s Os and milk with eggs and toast and orange juice or something.  But not this week.  This week breakfast comes in candy colors and candy flavors and it will make you completely insane.

Despite the unhealthy start to the day, we’re having a pleasantly laid back week thus far.  Poor Liam has a virus in his eyes, and he’s passed it on to me, but it’s not full blown pink eye, and we’re weathering it OK.  We’ve extended Rotten Cereal Week into Rot Your Brain Week as well, and have been watching far more cartoons than is usual, but I feel like the kids worked hard through the school year and need a little decompression right now.

Mr. Kninja’s week is not so laid back.  He’s working on a freelance job currently, which means his hours are 9 to 7 three days a week, and 9 (AM) to midnight the other two days.  He’s enjoying himself, but I have to admit that I’m looking forward to a time when he’s home more and gets a little more sleep.

I’m going to see this week how easy it is to transition to working on pattern design with three kids present nearly all of the time.  This should be exciting!

On Designing a Lace Triangle II

April 30, 2010

Yesterday, I posted about designing a lace triangle using inserts.  Today I’m going to talk about all over lace, such as the lace used in Arabella.  Keep in mind that these are partial explanations, and that I will try to continue to add to this series as people make specific requests (or I remember something I left out, like cast on advice, etc.) so if there’s something you’d really like to know about how I design a lace triangle, email or comment and I’ll try to answer as best I can.

There are a lot of gorgeous all over lace patterns out there that do not work well in the basic framework we laid out yesterday of a shawl with increases on the right side.  The simplest way to make an all over lace that I’ve found is to use the yarn overs at the edges as a guide.

These yarn overs are static for the type of shawl we’re making.  You need them at the edges to create your triangle, and they give you some simple rules.  You’re not going to want to put another yarn over next to them, for instance.  And you can use them to create an all over lace.

Below is a blank for an all over lace.  We’re using the angle of the increases at the edges to play around with the structure.

As you probably noticed, I took out some of the yarn overs.  A single yarn over where the two “lines” meet would change your stitch count.  It would have to be paired with a single decrease, and that would mess up the symmetry of your lace.  You can space the lines of yarn overs closer together or farther apart for a larger or smaller lace pattern.  This is just a basic template, but you can do a lot of different things with it.

At this point, you can fill in the lace blank with anything you want, provided you match each increase, including those already shown here, to a decrease.  I filled it in simply, and without planning a particular look, below.

Note that I can’t just repeat the bottom half of each diamond shape up at the top, unless I add more increases.  Each of the yarn overs we already had in place needs only ONE matching decrease, and repeating the decreases will mean that the number of stitches shrinks as we get to the top of the diamonds.  Since the pattern is tiled, we have to look at the diamond shapes not as individual shapes, but as part of a whole.

Now, let’s see how the above chart would work in our shawl blank.  This is a little trickier than the lace inserts, and will require some decision making.  We’re working with the restrictions of the edge yarn overs, which are increases to the overall triangle shape, so we DO NOT want to match them with decreases.  We’re lining our stitch pattern yarn overs up with the edge yarn overs, but we are eliminating the matching decreases on the edge sides at the same time.

This is easier to demonstrate on a chart for the pattern repeat, rather than the set up.  Click through for a larger image.

We’re using the yarn overs at the edges to guide the shapes, but we also have to eliminate the decreases that match the edge yarn overs in order to keep the shape even.  Note that this includes changing a double decrease to a single decrease.

Below is the portion of chart that will be repeated across the row.  If we tiled this piece, it would not match our original rectangular lace chart, but the shawl shaping will naturally shift the 12 stitch by 12 stitch piece six stitches to the right on each pattern repeat.  We have twelve rows per pattern repeat, which means six increases on either side of each body panel, since we’re increasing on the right side rows. Adding these six stitches shifts the pattern repeats over by six stitches, to tile it like in our original graph.

Really, this is all a giant math problem.  You’re maintaining a steady increase rate to create an angle while trying to line up and maintain a stitch count within the shape.  Every increase that is not contributing to the slant of the edge needs a matching decrease to keep to the math.

Because our edge increases are automatically shifting the repeat to the right, the repeat is half as tall as the repeat you’d need to use for a rectangular lace stole.  Here’s the same lace as it would appear on the chart for a rectangular scarf or stole.

I hope this is helpful!  The next time I return to this tutorial, we’ll move backward for a moment to talk about casting on for a lace triangle.

On Designing a Lace Triangle I

April 29, 2010

The first and only time I knit a lace triangle prior to designing Clothilde, I found myself really taken with the way the pattern sped along to a quick finish.  (The pattern was the Diamonds and Pearls Shawl, from The Knitter’s Book of Yarn, and I completely forgot that I made it soon after finishing.)  The next time I thought of making a shawl, I got it into my head that I had to design one myself.  And I liked the triangle shape.  It was going to be a triangle. Nevermind that I was not an experienced lace knitter and that I had little idea of how to construct a lace triangle.  I was going to make one.

I don’t know how other people design lace triangles, but I’ve had some questions about my methods lately, so I thought I’d put together a little description of how I work on this sort of thing.  Keep in mind that I am not the most organized or natural designer.  It takes me a lot of trial and error to get what I want.

I have to admit that Clothilde was a long haul.  My original idea was far more complex than my limited experience was ready to allow.  I wanted an all over lace that flowed seamlessly from one lace pattern into another.  I started with charts of laces I liked and played around with them, but whenever it came time to plug them into a shawl, the tiling stopped working out and they didn’t line up properly with my shawl edge.  I swatched so many times and found myself starting over each time.

It was only in frustration that I decided to use the Gull Wing Lace insert as a main design element.  I wanted to simplify the pattern to the point where I could make things work, and the easiest answer to having a lacy body that wasn’t as hard to chart seemed to be using an insert rather than an all over pattern.

I make my charts in Excel.  (Marnie MacLean has some excellent tutorials on using Excel for this purpose.)  This is a blank shawl chart to show you the shape I was using.  The increases occur on every right side row.  It’s very possible, of course, to make a triangle shawl with increases on every row, which will give you a shallower triangle with longer wings.  But for the purposes of this explanation, we’ll be assuming that you’re making a shawl with increases on the right side only.

This set up is the one I use for my charts.  I have two garter edge stitches on the right hand side of the chart, the shawl body in the center triangle portion, and a center stitch on the left.  After the center stitch, the knitter will start over with the body stitches, working from right to left, and ending with two more edge stitches.  You can use as many or as few edge stitches as you please.  Some shawls use one or three, though I don’t think I’ve generally seen shawls with more than three edge stitches. Not to say it’s not possible, of course!

Below is a crude mock up of how these chart pieces look on a finished shawl.

Using the shawl blank, I can fill in anything I like.  This is easiest with lace inserts.  These are like lace stripes.  You decide on your lace, and then decide on how far you’d like them to be spaced from one another.  Then it’s simply a matter of placing these stripes over your shawl blank.  You need to maintain a consistent stitch count for a simple shawl, so it’s important to remember that every increase stitch needs a matching decrease stitch and vice versa.  I’ll demonstrate with a very simple lace insert below.

We have a simple lace insert of two yarn overs surrounding a double decrease, spaced three stitches apart.  I picked this at random, and for simplicity’s sake, but you can use any insert in a similar way.  Note that as the lace insert gets close the shawl edges, the double decrease is replaced by a single decrease.  We’re keeping our stitch count even.  There’s only one yarn over, so there can be only one decrease.

I’ll continue in a future post with discussion of how to make an all lace.  My methods are perhaps a little crude and not necessarily like other people’s, so keep in mind that I’m hardly the last word.  For a more detailed method, I’ve heard excellent things about Evelyn Clark’s Knitting Lace Triangles.  (I do not have this book, but I’ve flipped through it and it’s nifty.)

Oh, God, I can see forever!

April 20, 2010

Look at that!  It’s most of a sock!  I am not getting cocky yet, because I’ve made single socks before, but hey, it’s most of a sock!

The yarn is my Snowflake Sock in Cthulhu from Little Red Bicycle and my picture here does not do it justice.  This yarn, pretty as it was in the skein, is even better knit up.  The way the colors fall reminds me of Dream in Color, but the tones themselves are quite different.  The blacks and greens look almost metallic, and I’m so so glad I picked this color, because even though it is essentially a semi solid, the various tones are so beautiful that I keep wanting to knit just a little more to see what it will look like.

The pattern is Child’s First Sock (appropriately enough) from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush.  This is such a cool little book.  I don’t own it, not being a sock knitter, but my library has it, and it’s worth a look through even if you don’t plan on knitting anything in it.  The patterns are updated versions of vintage sock patterns, and they’re really lovely and clear.

I’d originally started on a pair of Julia socks.  These are, in my opinion, just about the prettiest socks out there.  Unfortunately, the twisted stitches were hurting my hands a bit (they’re very stiff this week) and I had to put Julia on hold for the future.  The whole point of this project is to start and finish a pair of fingering weight socks, and I want no reasons to stop or to turn back partway through, so I’m going to save the pattern for later.  Other socks I will eventually knit, provided this goes well, include the gorgeous Francie socks, the Delicious Knee Socks, and the ubiquitous Monkeys.  I am a great admirer of handknit socks, and the single socks I’ve completed have convinced me that yes, it’s worth the cost and time to have such comfy and lovely foot coverings, but my hands are just not as keen on working socks as they are at working on sweaters and mitts and hats.

Moving on from socks, I will be writing up the baby sweater over the next couple of weeks and then hopefully getting it tested, edited, and released in May.  Surprisingly, I used only one skein of Shibui Sock for the main color, and a very small amount for the contrast color, so if you’re knitting for a small baby, you can probably make this using leftover sock yarn, or single skeins of Koigu and Louet Gems, or other smaller skeined fingering weights.

I’ve been thinking a lot about good patterns.  Not just well written patterns, but patterns that result in a garment that looks good on a lot of different people, despite differing body types and looks.  There are very few of these patterns out there and many, many excellent patterns that don’t quite fit the category.  However, I’ve noticed that Audrey in Unst has looked good on every single person who has made it.  I hadn’t considered making it when it came out, even though I liked it, but as I see person after person complete it and not a one look anything other than great, it hit my list.  Kate Davies’ Manu is another that has moved up my mental queue as I’ve seen people complete them and have noticed that it looks great on everyone.  Are there other patterns you’ve noticed that tend to work for almost everyone who knits them?  I’m trying to mentally connect the dots and see what these various patterns have in common.

Edited to add: The creepy title of this post is a Lovecraft quote, in reference to the Cthulhu colored sock yarn.  I’ve never read Lovecraft, but I do like to see Cthulu jokes on the internet, like Hello Cthulhu, the Family Cthulhu, and some of the LOLTHULHUs. I apologize in advance for the work you now will not get done.

Jum

April 8, 2010

Jum, jum, jum!  Those were the keys that weren’t working on my keyboard: u, j, and m.  Today, a new to me keyboard arrived in the mail!  Hooray!  I no longer have laryngitis of the keyboard, which is nice, as I actually have a lot to say, as usual.  You never realize how often you use various letters until they’re no longer available.  (And I do apologize on a much more general level to everyone.  Even before the keyboard, I’d dropped off in emailing folks.  I’m trying to catch back up, but I’m slow and forgetful, so please know that I’m not ignoring anyone.  I’m just bad at being organized.)

Here’s where we’re at: I pushed Sunniva back in schedule to a summer release, though I’m still working on it.  I still would like to release at least one pattern for spring.  I have three options, all of them appealing on some levels, all with some disadvantages.  I am working on two of them already, and a third would be very easy to begin, as I have a mock up already.  I thought, since I’m trying to be all open about the design process, I’d open up this decision making process as well.

First up, a design submitted and rejected!  Never any hard feelings in rejection, because each publication gets so many submissions and has only so much room.  It’s also very possible that this design didn’t fit the tone of the issue.  It’s out of character for me, but struck me one day out of the ether as I glanced over at my yarn cabinet.  These colors were originally purchased to swatch for a skirt idea I had, but when I got them home, I found that I didn’t love the idea of bright orange for a skirt, much as I loved the orange in question.  However, somehow the idea of a capelet struck me and I knew instantly what it would look like.  Rather than work a traditional swatch, I decided to knit a miniature version of the capelet.  This small one fits my daughter’s American Girl doll, but is meant to represent a design for women.  It’s called the Creamsicle Capelet.

Pros:

  • Mock up will help lots with making a larger version.
  • I adore the colors and the ruffles and garter stitch – it’s just a fun design for me.
  • Meant for autumn, but light and fun for spring.
  • Fairly simple, which is a plus in many ways.  I think simple, but fun to knit and attractive is the magic formula for an accessible design.

Cons:

  • I would need to buy more yarn.  I don’t currently have enough for an adult version.
  • I love how this looks, I do, but I have trouble imagining how to wear it.  It’s cute and fun and it’s practical in some ways (good shoulder warmer, buttons would keep it in place) but I’m not sure if it’s going to fit easily into a wardrobe.
  • Laceweight yarn.  I’ve been working with thin yarns a lot lately, and I’m a wee bit sick of it.  It’s a simple design, but the yarn’s thinness may mean it would take a while to knit up, and I’d like to go fast.

The next possibility is an old one.  Do you remember last summer that I reknit my Textured Toddler Tank and reworked the design, but never wrote it up?  (Note: the name of this design will certainly be changing, especially as the new sizes are not just for toddlers.)  I really would like to write it up.  I love the little tank top I made, and I love the feel of the Cotton Bam Boo yarn I used to make it.  There are a few details I want to improve, but I feel pretty excited about this possibility.

Pros:

  • Yarn is already taken care of.  I purchased some Cotton Bam Boo from a Ravelry destash.
  • I have my notes from the previous version, as well as the actual physical previous version, and so a lot of that work is done.
  • Knits up fast, and the yarn is thicker than anything I’ve worked with in a little while.
  • Texture keeps the knitting interesting.
  • I really like the pattern.
  • Seasonally appropriate.

Cons:

  • It’s an old pattern, and it never has generated a lot of interest.
  • I was planning on sizing it just for kids.  I’m not sure how strong the interest is in kids’ knits.
  • There are some problems yet to solve with the pattern.

The third and final possibility is something I’ll be knitting no matter what, and will probably write up eventually.  I’m making a baby sweater for a friend’s baby, and I came up with an idea I like very much.  I don’t have a picture of my sketch currently available, but I can tell you that it’s a unisex baby cardigan, knit in one piece from the top down, with raglan sleeves, and some simple colorwork.  The teal and brown yarn  I posted a picture of yesterday is what I’m using.  I’m about a quarter of the way into the actual knitting.

Pros:

  • Already started, and most of the math is worked out.
  • Fun colors.
  • I have a baby model available!  This never happens!
  • One piece, and using small amounts of sock yarn, so good for folks knitting from the stash for gifts.

Cons:

  • I’ve never graded a sweater for babies.  Their proportions are tricky, and the standards I have sound off.
  • There are a few things I’ve done that sound tricky to write up.  I feel foolish, because it looks like it should be simple, but I’m having trouble writing it up concisely.

And that’s pretty much it, at least as far as I’m thinking right now.  This is where my brain is currently at.  If you’d really like to see one of these patterns, or if you have some thoughts of your own, let me know!  I’m going to keep working away on the baby sweater and hopefully something will strike me soon.