Saturday, January 07, 2006

Designing the Hat

Well, the Sample Hat is finished, or at least as finished as it is going to get. When I began it, I wasn't sure if it was going to be a sample or not. By the time three inches had past, it was officially declared a Sample, and that gave me all sorts of freedom to goof, experiment, make unorthodox fixes, etc. As you can see in the pictures, I ditched one of the motifs I was planning on using, and brought in another one halfway through the hat. Then came the experimenting with decreases, and experimental finish. The hat is going to get frogged completely once I get the Official Submittable Piece of Perfection knit. It's got some ugly spots.

This afternoon has been spent with InDesign's table function, drawing cables and the like in small boxes. I'd rather be knitting. I think now is the time to write the pattern, though, so that I can knit from the pattern (gasp) and make any corrections if I find something is wrong. Now that I've got the basic patterns down pat - an invented 7 stitch x 6 row twisted lattice pattern, and a 17 stitch x 30 row cable bobble moss stitch pattern, I think everything else should go smoothly. All I need to do is start writing, and redo the top of the cable graph to show decreases.

Sigh. The hat is snug on Abigail and myself, but I think that any normal human knitting it on size 4 and 6 needles will come up with something an inch or two larger around than I did, so that's okay. Plus, the hat can be for a child. And you know, I never really counted how many stitches I had to begin with anyways. I was supposed to have 120, but I'm not sure if I did. And since it was a sample, I decided not to stop and count. Must be my bad attitude towards processes showing.

Due to car troubles (not ours) my afternoon of delightfully designing a Norwegian sweater evaporated. But in about 30 minutes, we're going to head over to the troubled car's home complete with yarn bins and books, and I'll have an evening of delightful sweater planning.

Then comes writing the directions. I would much rather calculate and knit than write directions. While I was looking for a Dale of Norway leaflet (unsuccessfully, it must be at my mom's house ... I was there when I finished the project, and we hadn't closed on our house yet), I found an old piece of paper in a 1986 Threads magazine. It has a very rough drawing of a sweater, with jottings indicating that the sleeve length is 18", the cuff circumference 9 1/2, armhole opening 9" high, 12 1/2" from armhole to hem, 40" around, 6" wide neck opening, with a dip of 2 3/4" in the front. It says also that 7 st x 8 st = 1", 300 for body, 264 for ribbing - tan + b grn gry b grn gry) 30 st ptrn, 180 rows 12 repeats, 100 rows to armpits, 30- subtr. blank column divider. 32x15 wide, p. 103 #2 and p. 103 #5. And from that, the sweater was knit. If I am interpreting the colors correctly, it's one that I gave to Luke Gilbert when he was in 5th grade in Tbilisi, and I have no pictures of it. I still have some of the b, but the grn got all used up in a pair of mittens, along with the gry. And I could reknit it today from those directions. Why would anyone want more? Shouldn't it be obvious that the page references go to The Complete Book of Traditional Fair Isle Knitting? (and that the sweater was Fair Isle?) And that the colors are blue, green, gray, and tan, from Harrisville Design's Shetland yarns, colors available in 1992? Probably not. But that is the sort of jotting I will do before my Norwegian sweater, and then it will get turned into an official sounding pattern.

Back to writing an official hat pattern.

1 comment:

Denise said...

A beautiful speciman; not overly fancy but decidely charming. Complex, but in a contemporary and inviting way. Downright snuggable and definitely delightful.

And that hat is pretty nice, too.

; )