Sunday, July 31, 2011

I am changing the layout of this blog.

It is in transition.  Like most things my approach to this is the same as driving to the airport in a blizzard.  I'll scrunch down in my seat to see that one part of the road I can through the windshield.

I need to make a better background image.

ETA:  Slight improvement but maybe not the best thing.

so here it is

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Anatomy of Monongahela

Below is my latest diagram of the Monongahela Shawl.  If it is unclear you may click on the image to see it REALLY big.  This is taken from the latest shawl I knit up that I called the Red Monongahela even though it is now purple and this image is more blue.

The Cast on is the darker purple area between the two arrows.  It you view the large image you will see it consists of 10 small rectangles.  Each rectangle represents one repeat which emanates from the cast on like the rays of the sun.  I highly recommend using stitchmarkers at each repeat, especially at the beginning.

You begin the shawl with the cast on stitches.  At this point you may decide how many repeats you'd like for your shawl depending on what purpose you'd like it to serve and you may also tailor it to the shape of the person who will use it.  The cast on is really a knitted on edge which will continue as you knit the body in the middle as a 3 stitch selvage.

After cast on is Ground Zero, the 'set up' laceband, represented by the small orange band.  Next is Laceband One, which is yellowish, the Laceband Two, which is greenish yellow and so on.  Each laceband is an expansion of the one preceding and not a repeat.

Gradually more rays or repeats are added from the edge.  In this case 2 from each edge which increases the number of points from 10 to 14.  There are the beginnings of even 2 more points for shawls that end on Laceband Five.

Because each laceband is an expansion of the one previous to it I found it necessary to write up a separate chart(series of charts) for each border laceband.  This is one reason why the PDF is 46 pages.

You only need instructions, either written or charted for the body lacebands you want for your shawl plus one edge.  In this case Lacebands 0-4 and Edge Five.  All told that is 4 pages charted, 5 pages written.  I think a lot of people will also need some 'special instructions,' 2 pages but it is possible to just read them on your computer.
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Monongahela Poncho

This is me brainstorming.  Initially I thought 10 repeats joining at the 2nd or 3rd laceband would be ideal, but now I am thinking 8 repeats joining around the 5th laceband is a better fit for me.

I have to admit that for the shawl in general I sorta think it fits nicer with a few extra repeats.  So even the big shawls might be nicer with 5 repeats instead of just 4.

So how many mon shawls have I made?  I have made 5.  I did not document one.  I am a bad person for doing that.  I gave it away to someone who probably has no idea.

Formerly Red Monongahela

I overdyed my red monongahela and it ended up being darker than anticipated.  I like the results anyway but hope that Jenn is OK with this.  I do think it is a nice size.  Perfect for a cool night whether you are sitting at home watching TV or going out.  It's just enough to keep off a chill without overheating.
Seeing how it wraps around then overlaps just so makes me want to try a poncho version of this shawl.
I think the neckline will be worked flat and then somewhere between the top photo and the 2nd I will have a 'shawl collar' overlap.  Perhaps I have the perfect number of repeats, 10, for my small frame.
I'll have to work out a few other details but I have just the right homespun suri for this project.

Below is the shawl before I dyed it.  Though it is now not nearly as vibrant I think it has far less potential to clash with things.  Here's me crossing my fingers that Jenn likes it.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Monongahela Overview

So as of this moment the Mon has 256 hearts and is queued 104 times.  The pattern was released a week ago today, but nobody has actually started it.  I am afraid that knitters interested in this might be intimidated by the choices.

Below are the prototypes stacked on each other.  The violet is the shawl, brown is the shawlette and the pink is the mini.
Next we have the mini mon dissected.  I drew lines through the center of each repeat and at the boundary line of each 'laceband.'  Note that 1 repeat at each end is generated in laceband one.  In laceband two, a smaller 'repeat' or point, is generated.  The mini monongahela has 3 lacebands and 12 repeats (3/12).
 Next we have the shawl.  It has only 4 repeats and 9 lacebands (4/9).  By laceband 6, another smaller edge point is generated.  Now imagine the shawl below with one extra repeat added.  At that size it should add 20-30ยบ  to the shawl.  If you like big shawls that you can really wrap around you you may add as many repeats to it as you like.
 Below is a rough drawing I did to estimate what shape a 6/6 shawl would have.
 Below that is my pie chart to shows about how large each laceband is relative to each other.
I'm not sure if this will be a help or not but if you look at each prototype shawl and how it hangs on me and my husband and all the test knitters you might get an idea of how it might look on you and what might work better for you or whomever you intend your shawl.  I am about 5'7" and my husband is 6 foot even.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Waterfall Duster

That is something I'd like to see out there.  It just came to me what it should be called.  What is it?  I want it to be a lacy knock-off of a DKNY Cozy, like in this video....
Or the Lilla P: the  Origami

Since I have finished my big pattern and so far it seems popular enough.  From the fumes of my last design I ponder this and think.  Why hasn't anybody else done this yet?

PS:  I actually spun some yarn. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lurking on Ravelry

OK, I've been lurking there looking for discussion of this pattern I released yesterday.  I have no life, or should I say, that that shawl WAS my life for months.  But it ended up being FORTY SIX pages long!
I swear it could not be helped.  I made it as concise as possible.  OK, I repeat myself in the overview but that does not need to be printed.  The instructions are concise except a couple parts where I repeat myself but that's only because of feedback from my test knitters.  A few things needed to be repeated to make them clear. "Let X equal the number of repeats" was a big one.  It's really because the design is unorthodox.  I also tried to make it as easy as possible to figure out what you do need to print.

Gosh, isn't that funny?  I spent countless hours figuring out how to explain myself and now I am impatient to see how many make this and how confused they end up getting.  As of this posting it is in 55 queues and is a favorite of 151 people!  I released it just 25 hours ago.

Can you tell that I am obsessed?  I figure if 25% of the queue gets done that will be great.  Monongahela is honestly a rather strange pattern.  That said once you get it started, and I am not the only one to say this, it's kinda hard to put down.  I designed it to have a sort of rhythm.

I thought I'd also add that there are many different possible versions of this shawl from the PDF.  I'd say that there are more than FORTY SIX versions so maybe the page count is perfectly reasonable.

Finally released Monongahela

I hope it becomes popular.  It ended up being 46 pages.  I learned a lot in the process and wanted to kill my computer many times.  My test knitters were wonderful.  They were very patient with me and in turn taught me to be patient and to maybe better explain myself.

If I write 2 more patterns like this I may as well release them as a book!