Monday, June 27, 2011

Pattern making is not for wimps!

In the last year or so I've designed some of my own knitting patterns, which I quite enjoy. Mostly they have been clothes for the stuffed animals that I knit and usually I make it up as I go. I have a small problem, however, with recording these patterns for future use or for sharing with others. I have found that writing the pattern down takes a great deal more time than just making the project would. I try to write instructions down as I go, but it's rather annoying to stop knitting every couple of rows. I usually quit jotting down instructions after a while. And it is nearly impossible to tell what I did once the items are finished.
My grandfather recently requested some slippers and I decided to make up my own pattern since I couldn't find any that I liked. I started out well. I made a gauge swatch and wrote down some instructions. I even made cable charts! I have finished one slipper and I feel pretty confident that I will be able to repeat the process for the other. As usually happens, however, I got so caught up in figuring out how to actually make the slipper, that I didn't write down much of how I finished it. Perhaps with the second slipper, since I now know what I am doing, I can write down what I'm doing as I go.

The one pattern that I feel like I have been able to successfully record is the knit baseball bat that I designed as a gift for my nephew's second birthday. I just need to polish the pattern up a bit and I think other people will be able to follow it quite easily. I recently used my pattern to make a second bat and ball which I have for sale on my etsy shop.

I love making things that I design myself. There's no better way to make exactly what you had in mind. It's much better than searching through pattern books and the internet for hours only to settle for something that resembles the dream you had. Now I just need to tackle that pesky pattern writing!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Hello Summer Projects!

Well, summer is officially here! School is out and now I no longer have the excuse of not having enough time to work on my projects. It’s been less than a week and I’m proud to say that I've already completed several projects that had been in the works before break.

I love these blocks that I adapted slightly from a Debbie Bliss pattern in her Booties, Blankets and Bears book. I can't wait to try different color combos and stripe patterns. The possibilities are endless... and at the moment so is my stash of foam blocks!

I've been trying my hand at sewing lately. In theory it should be less time consuming, but at my current skill level it's taking quite a bit of time. About one in every three projects is actually sale worthy at this point. I suppose the practice is good, but it's a bit frustrating. I was recently successful at completing this stuffed bear. The dress originally had sleeves. After a long battle with the tiny fabric tubes that would be sleeves, I surrendered and went with the simpler halter version. I have to say, I'm happy with how it turned out. It ended up being a little bit retro looking which was completely unintentional.

Both of these projects are currently for sale on my etsy. I added quite a few things yesterday. My shop is looking better and better. The more I put on, the more it looks like a real store! And so begins my summer job.