Share Share | Subscribe | RSS

SPOILER ALERT: Year ofLace September 2010

September 28th, 2010

Warning: if you’re part of the Year of Lace and you don’t want to see any spoliers before your kit arrives, turn back now!

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

I’m blogging here on request from the Ravelry group!

Seriously, there are spoilers ahead!

So, I’m designing the September 2010 Year of Lace kit. I had originally planned on doing December’s design, but our third guest designer did such a lovely and seasonally appropriate design that I switched around the schedule so hers could be shipped before the holidays.

This meant that, sometime in August, I was sourcing yarn and gathering ideas. A bit cramped for time. So, I’m running a bit behind. The travel to see my family took some knitting time away. I have the best of intentions, of course, but when you’re sitting around and catching up and eating and playing games and doing all those family-like things, it’s not a great idea to bring out the complex lace work.

The photo above is a bit misleading. It doesn’t exactly show the pattern, nor the perfect color. I took it on the train into Chicago on the last full day of my trip. It’s a triangle, so the rows I’m on now take quite some time. I was able to do about 8 rows in the hour journey. Now, since I’m nearing the cast off, each 2 rows takes almost 50 minutes.

When designing, there’s always a series of choices. Where to start. What to do. How to end.

In this case, I had one original idea for the edging. I charted it up in Excel, put in my lifeline, and began. At the end of the first half of that first row, I realized I’d made a crucial error. The main pattern is made up of 12 stitch repeats. The edge pattern repeat was 8 stitches. But I forgot that a multiple of 12 is often – but not always – a multiple of 8. The pattern was off centered. And worse, it didn’t line up consistently across the main pattern. In short, I hated it.

Thank goodness for that lifeline!

I ripped back and started from scratch.

For me, designing lace is a total departure from my usual process of knit then record the notes. With sweaters, I typically start with a teeny bit of math and an idea and cast on. As I knit, I keep notes for the instructions.

But with lace, that’s impossible for me. Charts are a pain to hand-draw. And it’s too easy to get off track without something visual to inspect.

I do all of my planning in excel. A few years ago, I created an excel file with the ‘right’ proportion of rows to stitches – I think based on a worsted gauge – and at an acceptable size for reading on screen and printing. So, last Saturday morning, I got up at 7 with the dogs and spent the next 3 hours charting out a new direction for the edge work.

Sandra had a bunch of work to do at home, so I turned over the computer to her and got to work.

Luckily, it looks like it’s going to work wonderfully. I’m now nearly done. I could cast off, but I have quite a bit of yarn left, and I think this edging is going to look best if it’s 10 or more inches deep after blocking. That means a little more work, and that the September shipments might be a bit late. I hate shipping late, but I want you to love this design. It’s my favorite lace I’ve ever designed by a long shot, and it’s been so fun and challenging to knit up.

The consolation is that the December kit is on track to be quite early, avoiding all holiday travel and shipping woes.

So. There’s a batch of little spoilers for you. Real photos coming as soon as I cast off!

Subscribe to my blog by email >

One Response to “SPOILER ALERT: Year of Lace September 2010”

  1. Julie Wright Says:

    Amy, would you care to share your excel template. I would love to have that for future designing. I love excel and have tried to use it for charts, but I can’t seem to get it quite right!! Thanks so much, Julie

Say Something...

Keep Reading...

« « Brunello – Working Those Tuck Stitches  |  Cloud Chaser Workshop: Knit a Mini Cloud Chaser » »