This is a first, people. I am making an FO post for an item of my own design, and I already have the pattern written up. This is me, using my whole ass. I’ve become everything I hate!
Pattern: Bamboozled (look at that! that’s a pattern link that I did NOT have to edit in later!)
Yarn: Plymouth Royal Bamboo in Coral, 1 skein
Needles: US size 6
So I’ve already mentioned that making the chart ate my soul, which is what tends to happen when you try to do something that you don’t actually know how to do. I’m still not completely sure it’s a proper chart, but if it’s clear enough for my dumb ass to follow, I’m sure it’ll be adequate.
Yep, I’m learning not to stress over patterns. I do want to keep designing, and if I pull a Maddy on every pattern, freaking out about every detail and possible error, I will go mad, and start talking to trees and feeding vodka to kittens. We don’t want that. A friend of mine had this adorable little kitten, and one time when I was visiting and slept on her couch, the kitten kept JUMPING ON MY FACE. Now imagine what evil that kitten would plot if it had access to vodka.
(If you had a creepy-ass striped cat thing from IKEA just lying around, trying to eat your knitting books, you’d blindfold it with knitted headbands too. Admit it.)
Anyway, once the chart was finished thoroughly devouring my soul, this may have been the quickest, most trouble-free knit ever. I printed out the chart, grabbed a pencil, and just ticked off each row as I knit it. In fact, the only real trouble I had was trying to figure out how the hell I got the chart to print on two pages instead of three, without shrinking the font size to nothing, and I still have no idea how I did it. I had to find another way to do it for the chart pdf in the pattern.
The yarn held up much better than I thought it would. Great sheen and stitch definition, although it’s a bit splitty. I’d use it again. I’d be hesitant to use it for garments, though, because I can practically hear it cackling at me. “You thought silk stretched out of shape? Silk is an amateur, just wait and see how badly I can stretch! Muhahahahahahaha!”
I am quite suspicious at how trouble-free this knit was. Maybe my knitting is trying to lure me into complacency. I’m on to you, knitting.
Maddy is about 95% written up, and you’d think that now I could relax, right? Check for errors, fix the schematic, maybe set up a pdf version for easy printing, piece of cake. I’m sure you already know that if things were going that smoothly, I wouldn’t be writing about this at all…
Here’s the thing. The pattern is written for my size. 34-36″ bust, 28-30″ waist. It’s not an uncommon size, plenty of people can knit it as-is, but a whoooole lot of people will need a different size. I know about YarnStandards.com’s sizing chart, I know about other sizing charts on people’s blogs, I have no fear of knitting-math, but I don’t quite trust myself to write up other sizes. I just don’t have that knack of knowing where I’ll need to tweak the sizing chart numbers, except for my own size.
So I’ve written up instructions on how to resize it for your measurements. Extensive instructions. Instructions full of math and examples. The standard yoke/waist/bust stuff, plus how to change the neckline size, how to calculate the size of the lace panels at the bottom, how to know if you need bust darts. A whole freaking lesson on how to alter patterns, basically. I’ve been knitting for a year and a half; I’m not even qualified to give that sort of lesson.
(I don’t think I will ever get tired of turning my knits into monsters.)
Part of me is saying “you know, you could follow your own instructions, plug some numbers in, and come up with a bunch of sizes to add to the pattern”. But what if I get them wrong? As soon as there are absolute numbers in a pattern, people tend to follow them without thinking about what they’re doing, you know? Well, I don’t, but I’m a freak and a masochist and just have to know how every pattern works before I make it.
Another part of me is saying “hey, why don’t you code up a little calculator, have people enter their measurements, and it’ll automatically change the numbers in the pattern”. This appeals to my nerdy side, but it’s a lot of work for a pattern that maybe nobody will ever knit.
(I’m a pessimist. Several people have told me that they want to knit Maddy. It’s already in 7 queues on Ravelry and the pattern isn’t even available yet. But I’ve got stuff in my Ravelry queue that I’ll probably never knit, and just because I see a pattern I like doesn’t mean I ever get around to knitting it. So… yeah.)
It’s just that people are going to look at that mess of sizing info and go “meh, too much work, I’ll knit something easier instead”. It really isn’t that much work – and it’s also a useful lesson on how to dissect a pattern. And I like the idea of being able to make it fit your exact measurements, instead of choosing the closest size and hoping it’ll work out.
AAAAAAH! I don’t know what to do. And I want to get this pattern up soon; I promised I would.
It sure will be nice to write up the pattern for Bamboozled after this.
One size fits all, and I even have the chart done already!
… and a second post, because I don’t like cluttering up FO posts with unrelated stuff. Three things…
One: Webs charged me $17 for shipping! I knew I was right to be all paranoid about it. I did the math and because the yarn was so cheap, it still comes out as cheaper than I could get it anywhere else, but still, WAH. Apparently there is a cheaper shipping option, but they refuse to use it because they hate me. (I assume that’s the reason; it’s perfectly logical, right?)
Plus, I still haven’t gotten a shipping notice from Fuzzy Mabel for the order I placed over a week ago; I wonder if something’s wrong, I’d better email them and ask. Perhaps this is the universe telling me to STOP BUYING SO MUCH DAMN YARN. The universe is so cruel.
Two: There will soon be a pattern (and a FO post) for the bamboo headband I’ve been yakking about, because it is already finished and blocking. Fastest FO evah; I think it took me two days, maybe three.
I have named it Bamboozled, because I am a massive dork.
Three: I need to stop with the incessant blog posts, for real.
Just testing out my WordPress Flickr plugin… heh heh.
My completely unnecessary yarn order arrived yesterday. I guess I’m officially a stasher now. Is there an initiation rite to the Order of the Stash? Does it hurt? Does it involve The Paddling of the Swollen Ass… With Paddles?
The Euroflax is definitely brown, not red. But it’s a really pretty shade of brown, so I’m not too disappointed. I’d say that it seems to have a rosy glow from within, except that I’d clearly be insane. It’s yarn. It doesn’t glow. I’m just trying to convince myself that I don’t mind that it isn’t red, because it’s MAGIC GLOWING YARN. Which it isn’t. Shut up, brain. But it sure is purty.
And then there’s the Plymouth Royal Bamboo, which is a strange little yarn. It’s very soft and quite nice to look at, but it has sort of a flimsy, cheap feel to it. I’m not sure how well it’s going to hold up to the mess of cables and lace I plan to put it through.
What mess, you ask? Well, this mess:
Guess what: I know nothing about charts. I have used one chart, ever, in my knitting life – a cable chart for Rusted Root. I certainly don’t know how to chart things myself. So of course it seemed like a brilliant idea to chart an improvised headband design full of cables and lace and weird slip stitch edgings as my very first chart attempt. What could possibly go wrong?
Ha. I thought, oh, this will be a piece of cake. I just download a knitting symbols font, find a site with knitting symbol standards, and I’m set. Except, there are no knitting symbol standards. Apparently I could use a Hamburglar for knits, and a stack of blueberry pancakes for purls, and as long as I include a legend identifying those symbols, I’m good.
And then there’s the less-silly-making-but-equally-irritating problem of charting permanent increases/decreases (ie. not the lace-kind that are eventually evened out with decreases/increases) that aren’t on the edges of the chart. Do I use blank squares, or do I just allow rows not to line up right once in a while? I went for the latter, as you can probably tell, because it seemed ridiculous to have a chart that looked like a rectangle when the actual knitted object would be squished skinny at both ends. But isn’t the whole point of charts that stitches should line up? Aaarrrrrgh. No, the whole point of charts is to make me very angry. Now I know.
I do want to write up this pattern, assuming that the FO doesn’t look like ass – sorry, bamboo-based ass substitute – so I will have to get the chart sorted out somehow. I’ll write up line-by-line instructions but honestly visual instructions are going to be much easier to follow. Or they would, if they were charted by somebody who knows what they’re doing.