This last month has taught me that translating my designs into written patterns is hard work.
Fortunately, I have friends who are or will be acting as beta testers. One of them has gotten a good start on the whole thing, and has been doing a good job of knitting what I wrote, not what I meant to write. She’s also told me when my instructions are flat-out confusing. Very helpful!
I’m also glad that I will be taking a class on designing and writing sock patterns at Sock Summit–I hope it will help me learn the language.
Part of my problem is that I learned sock basics eight years ago, and haven’t used written patterns since. Furthermore, this particular sock has a very unusual construction, and so converting the abbreviated summary in my head (which partly uses a three-dimensional understanding of the structure, only not a visualization*, instead of verbal description) into something that someone else can follow is extra tricky.
I think I have a decent draft of the trickiest bit, but we’ll see what she makes of it!
*This is very hard to describe. When I “visualize” things, I often don’t “see” them in my mind. I have a kind of kinetic feel for spatial relationships instead.
Well, I finished one sock of this pair, and will be working on writing up the pattern in segments as I knit the second. I’m finding that the bottleneck with patterns is the actual writing. I’ve found some test knitters, and will be giving them instructions as each part is written; I hope this will make a difference in my actually finishing writing the pattern.
I also need to do the same with the Winter Solstice socks I posted about before.
I was just about to post that I was making really good progress on one of my sock designs and that I’d finished half a sock, when I realized that I had half again more stitches than I should on the instep. Then I realized why, sighed, and ripped back most of the way. Fortunately, I had used a lifeline right before the critical row, and so it wasn’t hard to pick up the stitches again.
I’m now working on four different pairs of socks, which might be a mistake, or might not. We shall see. I’m also spinning up some lovely, dark brown Romney locks. I’m planning on making four-strand, cabled sock yarn.
All of a sudden I found myself doubting how this sock that I’m knitting will come out. I stopped and thought about the oddities involved, did some math, and still felt dubious.
Then I thought, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” and decided to forge ahead with my original plans. If I have to frog some knitting and start over a bit, well, that’s part of designing!
Each new design I knit seems to spark at least one new idea. I suppose this is a good sign, but it’s hard to keep up! (I’m making sketches so I don’t lose track of the brainstorms.)
I’m pleased to say that my designing enthusiasm is continuing – now if only I can actually get myself to write things up!
I’m about a third of the way through one full-size sock from one design and have knitted up most of a prototype of the second. (The prototype involves just knitting a small version of the portion of the sock that has the unusual construction.)
A while ago I also started to write up the pattern for some other finished socks, and I need to sit down and finish them. It’s very easy to see what the bottleneck is!
These are the socks that I’ve started writing up; it’s a more conventional pattern, which I call Winter Solstice:
There’s two things I’ve been meaning to do:
- Get started on using this blog.
- Actually try knitting and writing up the patterns for some sock designs I have in my head.
With Sock Summit coming up, I’m feeling more inspired. I don’t yet know if I will be able to afford to go; however, there’s no reason not to work on the socks in any case.
I call myself a string geek because I like doing a whole range of hand crafts, most of which involve string or yarn: knitting, spinning, sewing, nalbinding, crochet, embroidery, tatting, dyeing, and probably some I’m not even thinking of.