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Design: One Step Forward,Five Steps Back

August 15th, 2011

Liveblogging the design process

I swear I cast on about seventeen times for this ‘simple’ project. Remember yesterday, when I said that I only write down what I need to get started?

It’s true. However, the flip side of the coin is that the first few inches of knitting act like a swatch, and so, often get frogged.


What got me stuck yesterday was the ripple shape. My first pattern attempt would have made one peak and two valleys; not intense enough of a design. My second? The peaks and valleys were too far apart and the border band was too wide. I then somehow forgot how to count when adding up the stitches I’d need for the provisional cast on – twice. On the last attempt? I got it right.

(In the meantime, I tried three different needle sizes, ultimately ending up with a US 6 / 4.0mm. Slightly smaller than I’d predicted before beginning.)

I settled on a ripple pattern with 2 peaks and 3 valleys, and couldn’t be happier how it’s turning out.


As planned, I’m switching colours every RS row, alternating between the three colours of Koigu. The extra yardage I get to work with is worth the slight pain of untangling the balls as I knit. 525 yards will get me much further than 350!

Take a look at the sketch in the top photograph. That’s the shape I’m going for, more or less. The ripple band you see here is actually the bottom part of the wrap. The provisional cast on starts at the center of the bottom. It’s worked like a scarf even for a bit, but then needs some kind of shaping to help turn the corner of the crescent.

Short rows shape the border

Et voila!

No, that’s no optical illusion. The band is laid flat on my front deck to show how the short rows are turning the corner. I couldn’t be happier how this part has worked out. I was initially worried that, by working a single colour only for each short row section, it would disrupt the striping pattern.

As it turns out, I didn’t need to worry. It looks just fine.

From the looks of this picture, I need about 3 more short row segments so that the live sts will naturally sit at the proper angle for picking up along the edge of the band. The sts will then go on holders so I can work the other side.

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6 Responses to “Design: One Step Forward, Five Steps Back”

  1. anj Says:

    was trolling thru the stash last nite and found several balls of koigu & claudia handpaints that would go together for something like this. I sit waiting with anticipation!

  2. Meredith MC Says:

    Thanks for sharing your process. I have a similar way of approaching design- it makes it more fun, because you don’t really know what’s going to happen with your initial idea. The border is Gorgeous! I love the play of colors in the chevron pattern- and I can’t tell at all where the short row sections are. Perfect colors for fall- vibrant and dancing. I can’t wait to see how this comes together.

  3. Lesley Says:

    Looking forward to the end result – looks like a great stash buster!

  4. Bethany Says:

    I love hearing about your process and seeing your notes and drawings.

  5. Carrie Says:

    The colors work well together. Thanks for sharing the design process. I love that you have a little notebook to sketch in and annotate.

  6. duni Says:

    oooh- this is wonderful! i have so much koigu in the stash and i would love to knit this up. let me know if you need testers. 🙂
    and it’s great watching your design process evolve. i cna’t believe you have so much going on and can still find the time/ energy. keep it up!

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