Birth of a Knitting Pattern

A couple weeks ago, I was ready to throw in the towel on the 4! Ounce! Challenge! The whole “challenge” part was getting to me. I was caving under the stress of life.

My first swatch was fugly, my yarn wasn’t finished and I was all wrapped up in maintaining interspecies harmony in my household—a real challenge these days—and fighting the meager beginnings of a flea infestation. Giving up seemed like the best way to keep myself sane.

Then I got it together and put on my big girl panties. The lure of that grand prize was strong. And the idea in my brain was festering. So, I finished my yarn…

“Pomegranate,” 510 yards of heavy fingering weight 2-ply Shetland wool, spun from 4 ounces of Spunky Eclectic handpainted top

…and, throwing caution to the wind, cast on a prototype design without even swatching.

Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta

Cuz that’s how I roll.,,,mad deep, yo…

 The biggest problem here is that I’m not a designer. I work with words for a living…the numbers are not my friends…so wrapping my head around increases and patterning has been pretty challenging for me. My pattern numbers don’t completely work out evenly, so I might end up charting the whole damn thing out. Which isn’t horrible. I kind of like charting.

The scene from the couch…eh, I mean, workspace…yeah, workspace…

I spent most of the day yesterday working on the prototype.

At first, I was trying to knit the stitches, then write the pattern based on what I knit. (That really wasn’t working.)

Then I tried to hand-write the pattern out while I was knitting it. (No dice.)

Then I tried hand charting. (That was the most futile effort of them all.)

Then I tried using a nifty little online knitting chart generator. (Failure. First-class failure.)

Then, finally, I dusted off my Excel skills and built a spreadsheet and started charting one row at a time. (Success!)

Needless to say, this will be a charted pattern. Written directions will remain at a minimum. Really, it’s for the best.

I had a dedicated little helper in this process, too.

Madori concurred that abandoning the paper was the way to go…made more room for her on the couch…er, I mean, in the workspace…

Her contributions to the effort were truly invaluable.

I still have some concerns about actually publishing this in time. While I made some progress, I still have a lot left to knit on the prototype—which I’m knitting with that Woolen Rabbit Kashmir I got at fiber revival…it’s dreamy—then I have to knit the handspun one, plus there’s test knitting and tech editing and actual publishing. And it all has to be done by September 30.

But I figure it can go out for testing once the prototype is done, while I’m knitting the handspun version. So that might ease the crunch a little bit. If I can get the prototype finished by the end of the week, that is.

I’m itchy to get the handspun version going.

Lovely rustic wooly yarn

The yarn came out really nice.

Ruby and amythyst splattered all over

Can’t you just see it all knit up in stripey, lacy cables?

Itchy fingers want the wool…

 Gotta finish that prototype first… 

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3 thoughts on “Birth of a Knitting Pattern

  1. kazkitty says:

    You’re making such good progress!

    I really need to get going on thinking up a pattern…

    The pomegranate looks fabulous. 😀

  2. tgulling says:

    First, gorgeous picture of Madori! She look so pretty. Second, how clever use the computer. I would have never thought to use excel for something like that. Awesome!

  3. Emilee says:

    That yarn is gorgeous! I can’t wait to see what you do with it!

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