Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pictures on My Paper

Hints of spring in the air. Only hints, mind you. At least there's a use for all the knitted stuff hanging around the house. Today I'm working on something for publication next fall and at this stage it involves charts--colourwork charts to be precise. I don't think it's giving away too much to show a mostly blank chart waiting to be filled in.

Yes, I know I could work this out at the computer, but the truth is that it's much more pleasant to lean back on the sofa with a(n oversized) sheet of paper in the warm sunshine. Unfortunately, it's only warm because it's coming through the window, but at least it's something.

While this is going on, I'm continuing to work on and off on my jacket with the double-knitted pockets. There's already one in existence, on Isabel's back out in Seattle, where she's spending a few days visiting a major tech company. I'm at the stage where I'm "grading" this design, i.e. working out the numbers for different sizes. This is not the fun part for me. I'm on the petite side, just like Isabel. So, I have difficulty coming to grips with anything much over a size 40" chest. Most publications these days want patterns written in a wide range of sizes. It makes me nervous when I work on really large sizes. I worry that the proportions won't translate easily. I try to design my patterns in such a way that they can be tried on and adjusted as the work progresses, and I hope that knitters are really doing that and not just charging full steam ahead.

Years ago, when the kids were little and before the internet, I learned a lot about knitting by watching Schoolhouse Press videos. Meg Swansen and her husband, "Camera Guy", were at the forefront of knitting video making back then, and even if you didn't want to make the featured designs, there was sooo much to learn, quite apart from the fact that the locations alone were enough to reduce your blood pressure (I once found Bill alone late at night watching Meg knitting on a beach "for relaxation"!) Meg would haul out a piece of paper and a marker and draw little schematics of her ideas. A lot of the fun was the spontaneity of the process--Meg would make decisions as she knitted, often right on camera.

I've adopted Meg's method of working out the numbers for seamless sweaters.

This fuzzy photo shows the CO numbers for a size 36 1/4" jacket. I do a separate page for each size, then staple them all together. Then I can make additional notes on each page as things progress. In addition, I make a chart/cover page summarizing vital statistics like back neck width, armhole depth, etc. Low tech, but it works for me.

Nothing remarkable to show in the way of knitting just now, so I'll show off the spring bulbs beginning to open up in my front garden,
and the Wolfe Island Ferry surging over the lake in front of the video rental store where I was returning "The Return of the King".

There's nothing like sunshine sparkling on open water for generating feelings of happiness.

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