dusktreader knits

January 6, 2012

Bitten by the Design Bug Again

Filed under: Designing, Projects — Tags: , , , , , , — dusktreader @ 7:33 pm

Maybe you remember that when I started this blog, I was excited about designing my own knitting patterns. That was about two years ago, and I spent a few months reading about designing, sketching out ideas, playing with stitch combinations, and learning as much as I could. Then summer came and I let my designs-in-progress lapse. Last year at this time, I started having ideas again, but the urge wasn’t as strong, and then my knitting life got taken over by a mammoth project which I can now reveal was an afghan for my mom’s wedding present. Since I couldn’t blog about it (secrets!), and I was enthralled with the project (I have always wanted to make afghans), I stopped blogging and let my design ideas stew for awhile in the back of my head.

I finished the project in December, and  it was followed by a wave of enthusiasm for smaller projects. I finished the mittens I’d been working on for three years (on and off), made a hat in two days, and started a scarf. And then the ideas started flooding in again.

I have all sorts of ideas, and my main problem last time was picking one and focusing on it. Most of them don’t make it to the detailed sketch phase, where I plan every section. Sometimes I’d get stuck on one detail that wasn’t working right, or sometimes I’d try to swatch and find I’d made things too complicated for myself. I’d have multiple ideas for different things I could do within a project, and be unable to settle on one. This time, I am picking the most straightforward and developed idea that I have, and seeing it through from start (idea, sketch, swatch) to finish (pattern write-up, getting test-knitters, publication). I am going to tweak it until it is just the way I want it, I am going to make sure that other people can understand the pattern I’ve written, and then I am going to publish it as a free download.

And last night, after a few sketches, I managed to make a swatch that I’m pretty happy with:

A swatch of knitted fabric showing a cabled arrow pointing upwards.

It’s a cabled arrow pattern that I want to use as the main design element for a pair of wristwarmers. Fairly straightforward to do, but I searched the Ravelry pattern database and didn’t see anything like it. There’s still a few tweaks I’d like to make. For instance, at the points where three columns of knit stitches converge, I’d like to use a centred double decrease instead of the k3tog that I used here, so it looks more polished. I think I will make the shaft of the arrow a little bit longer by adding more rows. But it’s enough to get me started on knitting the first wristwarmer, which I was up late last night doing. I forced myself to stop so that I could try to get some sleep, but I was too buzzed to fall asleep right away. (What was that I said about knitting before bed again?) I was so happy that it came out the way I wanted I pictured it in my head. This feels like something that I can actually finish.
And when I finish, I have another idea all lined up that I’ve worked up a detailed sketch for. I am excited for that one too, but it’s a little more complicated.

January 28, 2010

Two beagles

Filed under: Projects — Tags: , , , , — dusktreader @ 1:35 pm

If you know me, you might have heard me talk about about getting beagles. Two beagles. Someday, when the boy and I are a bit more settled and live in a dog-friendly place, there will be two beagles, Cedric and Schindler.

And then there will be sweaters. Matching sweaters. Not just dog sweaters that match each other, dog sweaters that match each other and the people sweaters I will make for me and the boy.

Tacky, tacky sweaters. I think the colours orange and green will be used, but those will not be the only colours. I expect several fair-isle motifs will also be involved.

And then we will have a portrait taken and put it on our Christmas cards for that year and send them to everyone we’ve ever met.

The only thing stopping me from casting on right this instant is that beagles come in a range of sizes and I want to wait until we have them and can take accurate measuments. I will probably start the people sweaters sometime in the next year or so. It will take a lot of yarn, so I should probably wait until I come across some sort of deal on dog-appropriate (read: washable) yarn for the main colour.

This has been my dream for over a year now. It was my anchor, something to make plans around, during all the uncertainty that graduating brings up around where to live and where they’ll hire me and what my life will look like in 5 years.

Two beagles. Four matching sweaters. It’s happening.

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