The Knitterly Hooker

Archive for July, 2014|Monthly archive page

Design: Hira, the process

In designing, finished projects, knitting, portfolio, stash busting on July 27, 2014 at 10:18 pm

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I started designing Hira on July 1, 2014. Inspiration for the stitch pattern came from blanket square I donated to La Casita Yarn Shop Cafe, for which the final product would be donated to Warm Up America. This stitch pattern is called diagonal grain stitch. There was something wonderful about doing this stitch pattern and I decided to take it to another level.

Many ideas flooded my mind, but I decided on a cowl. Once that was decided on, the construction quickly came to me. I knew I wanted a hem, because previous experience told me that this stitch pattern curls like the dickens! I would have preferred to make this in the round, but making the calculations to do so did not come to me (Perhaps when you do it, you can tell me how), so I decided on a flat construction and obviously that means seaming is involved. I was up for that.

A yarn shop went out of business and I thought what better time to buy “good” yarn for this design. So I bought 4 skeins of a Lang Viviene, but in hindsight, I realize I should have purchased 5 or 6.

I’m not sure how other designers go through their drafting or pattern development process, but as I knit, I wrote out the pattern….VERY carefully. I took really good notes. As I mentioned in earlier posts though, I was knitting late at night and I was tired, so I often woke up to several mistakes; ripping back a few rows.  My process was also slowed by the heat and work obligations, but I pushed through with the a/c and leaving work early (read: on time).

As the design progressed, I became concerned at how wide it was. When I “tried it on” on the needles, I kinda liked that gathered neck look so I shifted gears to do some decreasing.  I decided that the decreasing should go in the stockinette portion of the top hem.  Why? Mainly because I’m not good at “decreasing in pattern” and I hate math and wasn’t trying to figure it out. That’s the absolute truth!

When I began using the 3rd skein, I became fearful, that there was not enough. The 4 skeins were used up rather quickly, and when it came to binding off, I barely made it. I had 4″ to spare! Obviously, there was not enough to tack down the top hem or seam period, so I improvised and used embroidery thread.  I absolutely loved seaming with the embroidery thread as there was barely any bulk.  I’ll definitely be using this more often.

I don’t normally bathe and block my pieces, but I decided it was best practice.  I used a capful of wash and a bucket of lukewarm/cool water.  I let the piece sit in that for about 20 minutes.  Here is when my heart jumped out my throat….I picked it up and this had become so humongous! I panicked.  I decided that it was going to work out and roll dried and pinned it for the blocking process.

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While pinning it down, I discovered, what I then thought would be the back, had a nice heart shaped detail. With all this heat, it surprisingly took 3 days to dry! It was so large, and I thought it could be an oversize cowl.  It works as an oversized cowl, but I thought I could do better.  So I played with my design and soon discovered that my heart shaped back was better as a front and the body shimmied nicely down over my shoulders; so a capelet Hira became.

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I was just so thankful that this design became a reality. I took about 3 hours taking photos and another 2 editing them. Just a few hours to type up the design…and this was done on one of the days Hira was drying .

I am content with my pattern and I hope you all enjoy it when it arrives!

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Almost there

In designing, knitting, portfolio on July 15, 2014 at 7:19 pm

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Hira is my latest design; a cowl. There are only about 5″ left. There have been minor delays but more progression than not and I am pleased. I feel like a proud mama!

Proud mama will return to post upon successful completion of Hira.

Hurray!

I won and I lost

In events, knitting on July 7, 2014 at 7:38 pm

For my birthday I entered and won Handspunstagram’s contest on Instagram. It took a few weeks to get to me because she made orders to moo to make the cards. I got a lot of stuff: a bag, 3 wool balls for spinning, 3 handmade stitch markers from her shop Made by Melissa, 3 care labels/tags, and 3 note cards from photos on my Instagram page.

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Now, as for my loss. I got my yarn from Eat, Sleep, Knit and my 2 scratch off cards. The yarn is beautiful, I cannot tell a lie. But the scratch offs… Oh the scratch offs. I could tell those scratch off cards were off. They were bigger and harder to scratch off so I can only conclude that Eat, Sleep, Knit changed providers. Anyway, I scratched off and I got excited because usually when you get 2 matches it means the 3rd is under one of unscratched boxes. I prematurely did a happy dance only to find I hadn’t won not a thing…TWICE. Now I’m crying for my $5 store credit! Oh well.

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Pause. Start. Repeat

In designing, knitting on July 6, 2014 at 1:45 pm

If you recall, I was working on a design. I haven’t spoken much about it. I paused it early June to pursue the summer and absorb all the sun I possibly can. In short, it was taking a bit longer than anticipated and I wanted something that I could put out almost right away. I mean there’s photography, writing out the pattern; stylize the piece and the paper. This takes time.

After I completed a square for a blanket to be donated, I was inspired by the stitch pattern I used.

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My mind took this stitch pattern and the ideas came to me…this being the first. This I started on July 1, 2014. I’m just praying I have enough yarn right now.

The process has been brutal. Though this is a simple stitch pattern, I have pulled this back several times and several rows back due to mistakes… Mistakes caused by knitting when I’m sleepy, only to wake up to a mess.

What is it? Ahh, you still gotta wait! (not as long as the first one I have paused momentarily.) Guesses?

This is the introduction of Hira.