Some People are Born to Be Designers…

Posted: June 17, 2010 in Ramblings
…and I’m not one of them.  At least, not with the use of my own brain as the only creative tool.
For years I’ve been using Sweater Wizard to generate patterns customized to my size and shape.  This works out well for me, because I tend to prefer simple stitch patterns with interesting yarns, rather than cable work or lace type of things.  With my size being what it is, a lot of those more girly designs don’t look right anyway.  So I’ve made some of the classics (cough) you’ve seen on the blog over the years using Sweater Wizard as a base for the design.  Everything was great.
Recently I decided to use up some sock yarn knitting a shrug.  So, at this point, I’ve knit enough to have a feel for sleeve shaping, for example, and construction processes.  I designed this shrug without Sweater Wizard, knit it, and it turned out fine.  These are the yarns I polled many of you about, a few months ago.

OK!  So I was really excited about having done this one without Sweater Wizard.  I posted it on Ravelry for free and so far 20 people call it a "Favorite" and three people have queued it to knit someday.  That’s good enough for me.

Next I turned to my big stash of all those Shetland-style yarns from the blog posts a few weeks ago.  Clearly they had potential for interesting designs, but my mind had to swirl them around for a while to figure out what to do with them.  There’s only one skein of the rainbow color in my stash so I decided the first project would be something to use that up.

This project was going to be a wholly-self-designed thing.  No Sweater Wizard.  After a while my ideas coalesced into a cropped pullover that would begin across the bottom back, knit up and over the shoulders (adding sleeves at the time) and then going down the front.  This seemed like a good way to maintain the rainbow progression of the yarn without breaking it up adding sleeve seams or shoulder seams.  I did my gauge swatch, wrote down the numbers, measured myself, calculated the pattern and knit the sweater. 

Now, admittedly, this was supposed to be cropped.  My plan was to wear it while driving the Miata with the top down.  My shoulders and arms do get a little chilly, even on the warmest days.  The design was supposed to end up just under the bust.

Nice, huh?

The whole time I was working on it, the combo of the rainbow yarn and black was really making me very happy.

Unfortunately, which I didn’t figure out until the body was done – it’s much too short for me.  Much too cropped.  It comes down to about mid-bust!  There’s just no way to wear it.  Donna’s mental process:  OK, I’ll seam the sides, get rid of the black hem, and lengthen it by knitting more stripes in the round, then adding a new hem.  Sounds good, right?  Ha.

This morning I knit the sleeve cuffs and then seamed the sleeves and underarms in preparation to lengthen it.  Before ripping out the existing black hem, I tried it on again in order to figure out just how much further it had to be knit.  Imagine my complete dismay when the sleeves turned out to be too tight for my arms.  AUGH!

Of course, I am nothing if not adaptable, and within minutes dismay had turned to happiness.  Alex can always use a new sweater, and that means I won’t have to lengthen it! 

Yes, he’ll have to wear a t-shirt underneath (when he puts his arms down, it’s just about waist-length on him), but he’s happy to do so because the Kauni is a bit scratchy.  Whee!

So, my designing efforts are going on the back burner for a while, and I am turning my attention to completing a Hanne Falkenberg design.

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