Sunday, April 07, 2013

Going with the Flow

This week I've been swatching and madly designing for an upcoming lace class and I don't have much to show you.  I did finish my squishy brioche scarf and I think he loves it.  Everyone who saw it had to give it a squeeze or too to celebrate the softness.  :)

I've been working hard on making this shawl flow from one pattern to the next.  The idea is that a student would start with simple eyelet rows and then the design would progress and grow as the student does.  I'm actually pretty darn happy with the flow of the overall design.

Like most things in life there are rules to lace.  They are not steadfast and can be manipulated as one desires but it will change the shape of your garment and that needs to be taken into consideration.

YOs are the black holes of the knitting world.  If you make one and do not pair it with a decrease your garment will grow.  You have probably seen this with the most simple of blankets and shawls that increase a stitch on every row and slowly a triangle grows magically before your eyes.  These shaping increases are usually in the center and / or on the sides but they can be sprinkled about wherever you wish to achieve the shape you are looking for.

But back to black holes.  The YO creates a disturbance in the balance of the fabric and depending on where you put your paired decrease it can shape the fabric in ways that can't be seen on the chart.

Take for instance this simple pattern:
SK2P - slip 1 stitch purlwise, knit 2 stitches together, pass the slipped stitch over the knit stitch

Row 1:     (RS)   K1, YO, K3, SK2P, K3, YO, K1
Row 2:     (WS) On this and all WS odd rows purl all the way across
Row 3:     K2, YO, K2, SK2P, K2, YO, K2
Row 5:     K3, YO, K1, SK2P, K1, YO, K3
Row 7:     K4, YO, SK2P, YO, K4

Now look at a swatch of this pattern.  From the chart it looks like there should be nice little diagonal lines with YOs next to them; but this is not the case.  See how the fabric is pulled into a rounded shape around the YOs on the second repeat?   All the energy in this swatch is flowing towards the SK2Ps from both directions.  This is an awesome effect and depending on how you shape pattern it can look like leaves, feathers or scales.

As you can see I used the above pattern to springboard into another.  I've found by charting the YOs first I can get the basic shape of a piece.  After that I make sure all my non-shaping increases are paired with decreases; but it is in the swatch that everything truly becomes clear.  What I thought were lines become gentle curves or stacked decreases that pull the eye in such a way that they look like a stem of a leaf...the truth the swatch can show one is endless.  This is one of the reasons that I just love is always surprising me.  :)

May your crafting bring you joy,


mtpockets said...

This is really interesting. You put so much thought into your knitting obviously the mark of an accomplished designer.

I am grateful. I knit without a whole lot of brain input. I rely on folks like you. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I love lace too (simple patterns!) the magic of how it unfolds, with simple YO's and mom and I use to look at patterns like this and say: NO WAY but yes, there is a way.

And your comparison to lace and life is so true too.

Lovely work as usual. Beautiful shade of pink too. Love seeing your WIP.

Hope this comment shows up, I left two yesterday too. :<(

Happy Week, G

Geraldine said...

Hi again, I'm sending an email via Ravelry today. G