Monday, June 18, 2012

I Got My Mojo Back

Honestly, do I have any business at all in designing???  I have no clue where I get this from either.  It wasn’t like my mother bought a dress pattern home and re-vamped the whole thing.  So no, I have no clue where this desire is to re-invent the wheel comes from!

Therefore I have to keep reminding myself I am not designer and I really don’t’ want this added pressure in my life!  It’s like a mantra that I need to repeat over and over again in my mind:  “Leave the designing to the designers; let them have the endless headaches and sleepless nights."

But there I am … plowing right down that path of “I know there has got be an easier way than all that seaming!”  And then for the added bonus of, I have no clue if this is even going to turn out right!  I might have to rip the whole darn thing out and start all over again.  I can hear my English friends saying to me, “You must be mad!” 

So … is this what real designers do???  Or do they draw those pretty little Vogue sketches and instantly know, “Yup, with that fabric it will turn out right.”

These are the burning situations that go through my mind and I yet again I have decided to take a pattern that is worked flat and re-work it so that it can be knitted in the round. 

This is the pattern, “05 Men’s Striped Polo Sweater” from Knit Simple Magazine Spring/Summer 2012 that I originally chose, minus the stripes, as The Shaker doesn’t like stripes.  I picked it because of the collar – The Shaker likes those flat, no sticking up kinds of collars.  So this is a good thing because I didn’t have to think about working 2 colors; I could just knit with a solid color and not worry about the placements of these stripes.  And I could dedicate all my concentration on the construction of the sweater - changing it from knitted flat to knitting it in the round. I just didn’t think that all that seaming was required for this type of sweater.

So here’s the method to my madness:  I just finished “Corduroy” by Lisa Lloyd.  She has you knit in the round to the armholes; then you separate the front from the back and you work these pieces separately back and forth.  Once these parts have been completed you join the front and back together again by doing a 3-needle bind off.  Then you pick up stitches around the armhole and start the sleeves.  But in the Knit Simple Magazine pattern, you start the sleeves at the cuff.  So I would need to figure out how many armhole stitches were at the armhole join.  In the pattern you cast on a small amount of stitches at the cuff and work your way up to the top of the sleeve placing increases stitches strategically along the way until you reach the top of the sleeve.  So I would need to work this in the opposite way, I would have to figure out the amount of picked up stitches at armhole join and place the decrease stitches all the way down to the cuff.  See where this is going??? It was just taking on a life of it’s own.

Then I had knitted another pattern, “All (North) American Hoodie” by Veronik Avery, where the placket on front was done very neatly and I thought that those instructions could be useful a guideline as well for this sweater.

But finally I gave up and bought the eBook, The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns by Ann Budd.  Why the eBook because I own the hard copy and but it’s in storage!  Hearing the frustration yet? But, I did get it on sale … so … that counts for something, right?

This is how far I got before I "frogged" it.
I put a life-line in at the armholes and started
on the back - working back and forth

I read what Ann Budd had written about dropped shoulder sweaters – they are worked flat for a reason - took that as Gospel and went back to Ravelry and did a search. Here’s where Olive comes in; when she was here, she kept telling me if I want a good basic pattern with no figuring out she said go and get Knitting Pure and Simple patterns.  So that’s what I did! I bought the "255 Henley" pattern and I casted on.  No thinking required; just follow the instructions and knit.  Olive said that she would send me her “mojo” for knitting so that is what I am calling this sweater:  “The Shaker’s Mojo Sweater.”

A fresh new start 
And why I am not worried about The Shaker finding out about his birthday present in this posting?  For this simple reason, he doesn’t read it.  Here’s the reason of why and I think Gin is the one who originally said this:  “Why do I need to read it, when I live it?” Fair enough.

Seriously, though wish me luck because I have about 2 weeks to get this done and I have 4 lessons of German this week!  Don’t even get me started on “das, die and der” along with “ein and eine!” Trust me, reconstructing a sweater is far easier than me understanding that aspect of the German language!

Cheers!
The Martini Knitter

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