Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Monongahela mini progression

Does this clarify anything ir cause mmore confusion?

Monongahela Progression

This shows the progression of the shawl.  It shows about how big each lace band is with 4 repeats.  It does not include the edge which throws in other progressions.  If you enlarge it you might be able to read the numbers.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Stacked Monongahela

I stacked the 3 monongahela shawls on top of each other to show their lace band and repeat variations.  The color is off as I did not change the camera settings from night to day but you may notice that the bottom 2 have the same number of repeats and yet the larger one is better to really wrap around.  The smallest has 3 times as many repeats as the others.

I also notice that my gauge for each is a bit different.  The medium shawl has a heavier weight of yarn yet has about the same gauge as the large one while it seems that I loosened up a bit with the small pink shawlette.

Friday, March 25, 2011

How do I do This?

Vain creature that I am, I post yet another photo of myself.  OK, it's me looking silly but anyway...

 I am thinking about how to vet my pattern.  My design has a lot of variation to be called a simple singular pattern and I'd like to vet various ways of doing it.    I started out with 2 variations and now I have 3 main variations.  I think that I should write out the 3 explicitly and let the others to require more thought.  I suppose that my model for this sort of thinking is Echo Flower Shawl KAL Group on Ravelry.  It was in that group that I saw how much variation there can be in one pattern and how incredibly helpful it is to have a group share their experiences with each other.  Plus I believe with a group like that I personally can better help anyone with issues with this pattern.

I think I have enough interest in what I am doing for this to be worth it.  Gentle reader, if you have a strong opinion about this do not hesitate to comment.
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Blocked Swatch

If you are reading this you probably know why making, washing and then blacking a swatch can save you a lot of disappointments.  I think that charting my swatch has helped me to more effectively chart the rest of my shawl, uh not that I'm done.  I'm not done yet, OK?
Anyway I can't say that this swatch makes a very good doll shawl but it does have style.

I almost like it better unblocked on the figure.
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Shawls, how do they work?

I feel like posting a lot.  This is my 3rd post today.  OK, so this is what I am thinking.  I am working on this pattern and I made it harder for myself than necessary.  I intend to have 3 main versions with 30 variations from that.  Uh... yeah.  I could finish it up partway and let people test knit the charted mini version before I finish the rest.

The pattern builds on each level.  It's just a bunch of triangles stacked on top of each other that get a little bit bigger and the little ones on the bottom have to be right.

I knitted up the mini version in the 1st place for instant gratification and that's a reason to let people knit it up.  Then again I will be waiting quite a while for the larger knits to get done not just because they would get access later but because they just take longer to make.  The largest version I did took more than 5 times the yarn that the mini did.

Yeah, I should probably hold off.

Well one thing I can say is that I'd like to see at least 2 versions of the mini.  First would be the same as what I knitted up, 12 repeats across and 3 lace bands.  I would love to see one with 4 lace bands and 10 or 11 repeats.  I also love the idea of it being made of homespun yarn.  I am happy to see some spinners interested in this because all of my version are of homespun.

Monongahela Swatch

I just finished up my swatch for Monongahela.  I always wanted a mannequin... well maybe not but I wouldn't pass on one.  Anyway, I think this little wooden figure is perfect for modeling my swatch.

There it is, right off the needles.
And now on the blocking board.  In my previous post I talked about how my pattern has 2 variables.  For this swatch the variables X and Y are both 2.  That is as low as you can go and still get the essence of this shawl.

There's the original swatch chart.  I found about a half dozen errors in it.  Imagine how many errors I have made in my main chart.
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I'm still not done writing up Monongahela but...

I do have some thoughts about the test knits.  In this pattern there are 2 main variables which I will call X and Y.  X represents the repeats within the bands while Y represents the lace bands.
In the shawl above X equals 4 while Y equals 9.  It might seem that X is greater but there is a regular expansion of the lace band not only from within but also from the edge.  I designed it to be greater than 180ยบ and it is.  It sits on my shoulders just fine.

In this 2nd case, X equals 12 while Y equals 3.  This shawlette has 14 main points because of edge expansion.  The shawl above has 10 main points.  I suppose that the triangles would be less obtuse if X were greater.

Anyway one question I will ask my test knitters is what their X and Y are.  I think I will want 3 standard sizes.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Monongahela Swatch Chart

Well I finished a 3rd variation of this pattern which was sort of a way for me to trouble shoot what I've written and in some ways this pattern is complicated.  So I made up this
That's my EXPLODED swatch chart.  It is the pattern in miniature.

If this makes sense to you, please comment.  If it makes sense to you then this is a snap!  I am going to a knitting circle tonight so I'll try springing it on some folks there.

PS:  In knitting this up tonight, er, half knitting this up I have found 2 errors so far.

Monongahela Mini-Shawlette

I decided to do this variation of my Monogahela pattern as a scarf but I think it wants to be a shawlette.  Anyway, here's some random photos that I did not post on ravelry.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

I Charted Up Monongahela up to 13 but I only knit it up to 9

Should I publish up to 13?  I think it would be cool if someone knit it up to 13 in a finer gauge.  The chart gets really big.  here's 12a.  It seems that I have yet to render 13a to an image.
That's funny.  I can't quite remember what the heck I was doing there.  But you can see that though it is based on a simple progression that it gets really big.  Maybe I'll stop at 12.

Ha ha ha, now that I look at the image it's really hard to read, even the full version on my computer so maybe I should stop at 11.  Why is that so big?  Well it's really a simple progression but it's graduated.  At that level there are 4 different sized triangles.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I think I probably have enough volunteers and I am working on finishing up writing up the pattern but I realize that I'm not sure how I want test knitting to go.

  1. am not sure how many knitters I need.  I intend to make this a free release so does it really matter?  I think a minimum of 2 per category is good but I also don't want to limit what people want.  It is sorta designed so you can finish it at whatever level you want with perhaps a minimum of 3.  I have another open option that I'd like to see get tested in the design as well.  I charted it out beyond the larger shawl I made and I'd love to see that come to life in a finer gauge than what I knit up.
  2. don't know how long it should take.  I sorta feel like that should be a decision made by the knitter's mood.  That is definitely too vague.
  3. I have no deadline, at least not now though I should make one because I know I will get impatient despite myself.
  4. I need to guess what size needle normal people need.  I used something much smaller than normal people do.
  5. I guess I have some idea of the yardage of what I made but again, I love the idea of people going with whatever,
  6. I think my pattern is simple but I threw in a few twists.  I figure it's intermediate lace.
  7. I think I want to do a PDF
  8. I am doing written with abbreviations and charted instructions
  9. I don't care if my pattern testers are inexperienced in part because I am an inexperienced designer
  10. I would like digital photos of FOs
  11. I'm not sure if I am best off going back to ravelry to an official test knitter group or if I can handle it all via this blog.
Anyway, my list is my answers to the pattern tester template on ravelry.  It did occur to me just now that it would be a good exercise for me to knit up a really cute scarf variation of my pattern.  I think I can include that as another option for my test knitters.  And I started a scarf a week or so ago that oughta be frogged.

And now, back to my glass of wine.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

It's a funny thing

So now I HAVE to finish writing up my pattern.  Because it is a logical progression I found that as I knit up my 2nd, well, actually 3rd version of my design that I didn't have to absolutely look at my instructions and it was only after reviewing it that I found mistakes, numerical in nature.

So OK, that shouldn't be too hard to fix.  But then there's the cast off.  I made up this thing and I do things that I do not know the name for.  I don't think it's that complicated but I will need an assist from someone who knows terminology.  This loop went through that loop... what the eF is that called?  Um, K loop one row below... yeah, that sounds right.

I think I should also write a a swatch to go with this.  It will help folks get gauge and I can also make it teach that one tricky thing I am calling " Um, K loop one row below."

By the way, one thing that has been incredibly helpful is the program Intwined.  It does lots of cool stuff.

Friday, March 18, 2011

I must finish writing up this pattern

I made a test knit group on ravelry, Monongahela Test Knits.  All interested may check in there

You know the one, Monongahela.  So here's the deal.  I will need some test knitters.  This is a first for me but I've decided a few things.  There will be 2(er... 3) main versions, one a shawlette, the other a full shawl(and a mini).  In the directions will be options to go in between those sizes.  I will want some test knitters that prefer written and some that prefer charted instructions.

So that's 4(er.. 6) groups of test knitters.
  1. Shawlette, written
  2. Shawlette, charted
  3. Shawl, written
  4. Shawl, charted
  5. (Mini, written)
  6. (Mini, charted)
Here's me concentrating.  The purple shawl is knit of light fingering.

I also think that this design looks different and quite nice in different weights of yarn.  In a heavier weight I think it is a very nice manshawl.   By the way, the shawl below is a proto-type that is slightly different than what I have written up.  The manly shawl is of sport weight.
I don't know whether of not I should have it test knit in multiple yarn weights but I'd like it to ultimately be knit up by the general public in whatever weight suits them.  I also have a problem with needle size because I knit very loosely.  I figure if I do a gauge then it should all make sense.  I think I might want to include a small gauge swatch pattern in there like I have seen in other patterns.

If you would like to participate in this test knit, please leave a comment below.  EDIT:  You may now go to Monongahela Shawl Testers.   I'll leave the comments of all who are still interested but it is no longer necessary to comment on this blog.  In addition to finishing up writing up this pattern I will work on banner and badge art.  I hope to get my group running within a day of this update(march 27).  I have had a healthy amount of interest but I think I can deal with more testers.  Perhaps I am naive but I think I'd be OK with a few more.
    ETA:  My latest variation, behold the Mini-Monongahela

    ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ 
    many thanks!

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    More Monongahela

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    Overdyed Two

    I love posting photos, far more than I should.  Well here it is the Monongahela, overdyed again.  The gradation is somewhat lost but I still like it better.

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    Drying Singles

    I figured out that drying singles this way, doubled, weights them more evenly than just weight one end.  For those non spinners that happen on this, singles tend to want to twist on themselves as they are not balanced like multi-plied yarns.
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    Monday, March 14, 2011

    Overdye, underdyed.

    I just finished this shawl and I wanted it to be darker so...
    I overdyed it in a purple dyebath.  But I got scared and took it out early.  The temperature was only 120℉ but looked dark.
    Clearly it wasn't that dark.  I do like the results better than the original.  I did save the dye, as it was not even close to being exhausted.  So today I am going to use it to overdye this shawl again.  I think I'll be brave and let it get 180℉ before I take it out.

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    my Freeform Sweater is done

    I finished it a few days ago but my photographer wasn't ready.  This is what I want to do videos to explain.  Yes, I'd rather do some videos than write up a pattern.

    My figure is getting matronly compared to what it used to be(at one point downright anorexic) but I still have curves and this sweater works them.  It's a good design for drapey fibers like alpaca.

    One thing I decided would work well with alpaca is a split welt hem, instead of ribbing.  I can tuck this into my waistline if I want to, though at this point I look better not doing that.  It is a seamless design.  The yarn is a blend of natural brown and purple dyed light fawn alpaca.

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    Monday, March 7, 2011

    I'm going to do some youtube videos.

    Why?  I dunno, I think people will watch them.  I made a sweater, and did some things that are hard to explain in words.  My basic design is good for alpaca because it does not depend on a highly crimped fiber.  It is perfectly fine just hanging and I can even tuck it into my pants if I want to.

    I don't have photos yet and it's not really fancy anyway but looks good on me.  I gave it a split welt hem that is rounded.  It was knit top down with a somewhat unique cast on.  It's also seamless.  In all it's good for meeting/TV knitting.

    The above is an attempt to explain the magic cast on that I posted last summer.

    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    Freeform Sweater

    The 1st 2 images are my hornshaw skeinwinder.  I put a peg outside because I always wind it pretty tight off the bobbin so I thought maybe think will give me more room.  I can never fit the skein back on after i wash it at the same circumference.

    Here's the armholes of my freeform sweater.  I think I want to make another one but do a quick video to explain my madness.  If you compare my 2 shoulders you may notice that the lower stitchmarker in the upper image sits lower than the 2nd image.  I will try to compensate for that.  I just cast on randomly.  I think I might make this only 3/4 sleeve length.  Perhaps i won't even worry about whether the sleeves match up.  I did a lace hem that I sorta wish I hadn't.  It gives it a formality that is kinda wrong for this sweater because it's all off kilter.  It might end up looking better when it's all done though.  I just want to make something that fits without a whole lot of thought.

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