Thursday, March 31st, 2011 by Rhonda Bell
I always have some knitting pattern design going in my head, on paper, on the needles, and near completion. However, in all these stages and more, my knitting pattern can fail and never actually make it to publication. Here are some of the ways it can fail:
- Sketched but not designed
- Designed but no yarn selected
- Yarn selected by no gauge swatch
- Gauge swatch but none I like
- Final gauge swatch but no stitch count
- Stitch counts but no cast on
- Cast on but not completed
- Completed but don’t like garment
- Like garment but no pattern
How do you keep your knitting pattern designs from failing?
Wednesday, March 30th, 2011 by Rhonda Bell
I’m the process of developing a tank top knitting pattern.
Here is how I’m keeping it organized:
- notebook for sketches and ideas
- zip lock bags for holding gauge swatches
- index cards with stitch counts and needles used for gauge swatches
- graph paper for drawing out dimensions
- tracing paper for copying drawing
- scanning tracing to computer
- filing scanned tracing in special pattern folder on my computer
What do you use to keep track of your knitting pattern designs?
Tuesday, March 29th, 2011 by Rhonda Bell
Using Graph Paper for Knitwear Design
Late last year I took a fashion design class at the University of Washington through their Professional Development department. In the class I learned about the fashion industry and designing clothes. My focus was on designing knitwear and developing a knitwear clothing line collection. I also wanted to get a better idea about clothing construction in general to help with designing my own knitting patterns.
The first step in developing a knitted garment is coming up with the dimensions. Using graph paper is a great way to do this. I like to use the 8 squares per inch because it makes it easy to draw out half and quarter inch lengths and widths.
In the image above (click image for a larger view) I have drawn out the dimensions for a tank top I’m writing a pattern for. On the right I have used the full 8 squares for each inch and on the left I have used 4 squares for inch. I write out the actual measurements in inches for the length and width of each section. This makes it easier when I’m looking at the diagram because I don’t have to count the squares. Also, by using 4 squares per inch instead of 8 squares per inch, I can put both the front and back of the tank top on one piece of paper.
I will use these diagrams for coming up with stitch counts once I make a yarn selection and do a gauge swatch. Also, I usually trace the diagram on tracing paper and scan it so that I can make changes on my computer. I will use it for my schematic when I write up the pattern.
What tools do you use when you are designing knitwear or knitting patterns?
Monday, March 28th, 2011 by Rhonda Bell
This week’s list of free knitting patterns.
New Knitting Patterns This Week
Colorful Dress - photo:Elli Aravis
Know of any new free knitting patterns? Leave them in the comments!
Monday, March 28th, 2011 by Rhonda Bell
Araucania Ruca Yarn Swatch
When designing a new knitting pattern, I like to get several different balls of yarn and knit swatches to see how they knit up, what kind of drape they have, and if they create the type of fabric I’m looking for. Recently, I went to the yarn store looking for yarn for a tank top that I’m designing. I wanted something that would knit up with a bit of drape but not be too slinky and yet not too crisp. I wanted it to be lightweight and breathable. I’m also toying with the idea of creating a matching shrug or cover up in the same yarn because here in Seattle tank top wearing season is limited to just a few months and I can get more use out of a tank top if I can layer it.
With the help from the saleswoman at the yarn store, I came home with four different balls of yarn:
- Louisa Harding Albero, 50% Cotton, 50% Lenpur (Viscose), 50 grams (1.76 ounces), 110 yards (100 meters), 20 stitches X 26 rows = 10 cm/4 inches, 4.5 mm/7 US, $8.00
- Araucania Ruca Yarn, 100% sugar cane, 100 grams (3.52 ounces), 263 yards (241 meters),22 stitches = 10 cm/4 inches, 3.75 mm/4-5 US, $14.00
- Berroco Pure Pima Yarn,100% Pima Cotton,50 grams (1.76 ounces), 115 yards (106 meters), 22 stitches X 26 rows = 10 cm/4 inches, 4 mm/6 US, $6.00
- Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy, 34% Hemp, 41% Cotton, 25% Modal, 50 grams (1.76 ounces), 153 yards (140meters), 22 stitches X 30 rows = 10 cm/4 inches, 3.5 mm/4 US, $7.00
Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy Yarn Swatch
I must be a loose knitter because I can never get the gauge on the ball band with the size knitting needle that is recommended. I first knit up the Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy with a size 2 needle but decided to go down to a size zero because I didn’t like the look of the fabric. However, that going down needle sizes did not help. The resulting fabric is too scratch and stiff. I will not be using this yarn for my tank top.
The yarn I liked best of the four yarns was the Araucania Ruca Yarn. It has a nice drape to it and feels soft. Because it is hand dyed it has slightly different shades throughout the skein, it has depth of color. I only bought one ball of this yarn so I will need to purchase more. The yarn does not have dye lots and they recommend alternating between balls to get a consistent color in the garment. That could be a problem, but I like this yarn enough that I may not mind so much the extra knitting effort.
You can read my full reviews of both these yarns at: Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy Yarn Review and Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy Yarn Review. I also reviewed the Louisa Harding Albero and Berroco Pure Pima Yarn yarns, neither of which I will be using for my tank top.