Friday, December 10, 2010

My Secrets Exposed! The Evelyn Howard Scarf

I meet monthly with a group of Knitting Professionals to socialize, network, support one another and discuss many of the topics that are important to us in the industry. It's been a great experience for me to hear multiple opinions and we get great ideas from each other. Obviously we are a group that feels there is value in promoting one another. We have shared contacts, made introductions, and given one another leads on available work.

I'm not sure why but somehow I developed the idea that I had to keep my projects secret until I published them. We were discussing this at the last meeting and it turns out that I'm not the only one who felt that way. I never analyzed why I felt the need to be so close mouthed about my patterns. I just did it!  I've been convinced by the discussion we had that day that sharing details of my work  is not only not a problem but something my readers would be very interested in. I know from talking with students that some think ideas spring fully realized in the special brains of designers but I can assure that it doesn't work that way. I spend a lot of time swatching, charting, writing and reworking technical details that I feel can be improved upon.

I'm working on a scarf pattern from van der rock yarn that I bought at the Kitchener Waterloo Knitters Fair in September. I chose the colour to go with a pair of purchased yellow leather gloves. The yarn is a sock weight and I wanted to use every little bit of it. Two gorgeous skeins. I decided to use a sideways triangle shape. That meant the design needed to be planned to knit until I almost ran out of the first skein before adding in the second. Yardages can vary slightly from one put up to the next so I planned to transition a little early,  just in case. I knit a sample in garter on a 4mm needle to test gauge and the drape of the fabric and was happy with the first one. One of my goals with my patterns is to try to make each one special in some way, just a little different from the usual version especially with classic type designs. I wanted to make a point to point sideways triangle of garter stitch edged in lace. Most patterns of this type of design have lace edgings only on the bottom edges like this lovely example.

You can get the free pattern for it  here.

I wanted lace on all three sides so that the triangle could be worn with the point at the back with the top straight edge folded over like a collar or with the point at the front and tied at the back so I could tuck it in the open neck of my winter coat and have the edging show at the top against my neck.

I chose a garter based lace edge stitch from one of my stitch dictionaries and cast on my first sample. The first thing I do is learn the stitch pattern well enough to understand it's rhythm so I can figure out how to alter it to suit my needs. Next I flipped the chart, redesigning the edge to be knit in the opposite direction (wrong side), and started that sample. It turned out that I had to create a new transition row to keep the sawtooth yarn overs in the correct alignment. Then I charted and knit at the same time a base triangle point to be the bottom corner of the mini shawl. Finally I was ready to cast on and start knitting. About 4 inches in I realized that I did not like the transition rows where I was working my increases in garter so I added an additional lace column of yarn overs and decreases with the increase on the inside edge and I began testing this on an new scrap yarn sample. On the next sample  I added the column to the opposite edge as well. 

I'm going to post more on this project in a few days once I get to the halfway point of the scarf and I'll include some photo's as well.

In the next exciting episode of Robin's latest design.....LOL!

1 comment:

  1. It's always interesting that what you have in your head almost works but there are those little niggling details, like your transition row, which don't surface until you actually get knitting. I find this the most interesting part of designing and get a very large kick out of making the corrections so that it all works. I know that you do to. I'm waiting for the next installment.