Tuesday, June 21, 2011

On Design: Part I

First things first: A surprise was waiting for me when I got home yesterday. I took about 30 seconds to open the box before I had to run to pick Rainbow up at daycare, but later in the evening I was able to bury my hand in the fiber and enjoy.

In case you're wondering, yes, this is the fleece I bought at MDSW, a 5 lb. white Romney. I have yet to pull the fiber out of the box and weight it to see how much I lost in cleaning and carding, but the shipping label says that the whole box was 5 lbs. 9 oz., and I can't imagine that a cardboard box can be all that heavy. The fiber itself turned out beautifully -- creamy white, just a few traces of VM that will be easy to pick out, and fairly soft. I am looking forward to getting to know this fleece, but I think I am going to hold off on spinning anything more than a small sample until later in the summer. I'd like to spin for another sweater, and for that I need to focus just on that one spinning project. I'm reserving this summer for spinning all sorts of stuff in my stash.

I have not touched my Essential Cardigan in almost a week, and the knitting I've been doing has been for a service project or a design I'm working on. Because I lack any good projects to show you, I thought I'd start a series of posts on some of the designing I've been doing. I've been awaiting word on one design that I submitted for publication (and I may have a while yet to wait), but there's another pattern I've been working on that I'm planning to put up on Ravelry for download, so I can share it with you.

This particular pattern is for a pair of mittens. It all started with a motif that occurred to me as I was trying to fall asleep one night, which seems to be when design ideas come to me!. Partly because of this, I have a little pad of paper on my nightstand, so I was able to jot down a quick sketch of what I was thinking; it looked something like this:

From there, it was a matter of creating a chart to see how I could get this motif to fit into a mitten shape. I have a set template in Microsoft Excel I've been working with that gives me a mitten shape and size I like, so I plopped the motif into the chart and played with it to get it to fit to my satisfaction. I've already designed and knit some mittens from this chart template, so I know that the stitch counts work, but I had to make sure that this motif had a repeat that would fit well. Luckily, it did, so that was one obstacle down.


  1. Ooh, that fleece...it looks so squooshable! Are you coming to the shop on Friday? Will you bring some of it to show me?

  2. Finally I was able to download the second picture! I like the motif. I love repetitive, small geometric patterns.

  3. TheNeedleBeetle10:18 PM

    Oh, that fiber is gorgeous! I wish you could send a small sample through cyber-space. =)

    I like the pattern for the mittens! I can't wait to see the pattern fully knitted up. I can totally see this in several color combos . . . =)

  4. That fleece looks amazing. It's beautiful! The mittens are pretty great too.