Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's just a swatch.

(Which reminds me of the line from Triple X, "It was only a corvette!" in reference to a car driven off a bridge. Lots of good lines in that movie.)

I've dithered back and forth for twenty-four hours on this submission to Twist Collective, like it's the end of the world or an offer to compete in the Olympics. I think I have finally gotten my head straight and put things in perspective.

February 20 is the deadline for proposals. I can fool around all I like until then with no commitment whatsoever. So I'm going to work on things a bit, and see what I've got February 15 and make a decision then.

Yesterday, I had an idea for an autumn-themed pattern almost immediately. (With a clever name and everything.) First thing I did was cruise around Ravelry to see what was popular and what had already been done; don't know how designers functioned before Ravelry. Then I sort of picked a yarn and started sketching and charting. Next payday I'll get a skein of yarn and do some swatches. If it all hangs together decently, I'll probably send a proposal.

The fly in the ointment is my attitude toward sizing. See, any pattern I write, I want to either offer a wide range of sizes, or have it be like the Steeked Jacket where you customize it and, again, it will fit nearly anyone. For a women's sweater, I think most patterns should come with options for bust sizes in 34, 38, 42, 46, 50, 54, 58, and 62 inches (86 to 158 cm, in eight cm increments, ish). That's essentially eight different patterns to write, and then collate into one set of directions. My pattern writing skills? Well. For your entertainment, here's the pattern - if you want to call it that - for my father-in-law's sweater, that I just finished up.

I've got that, and two cable charts. That's it. If you look closely you can see I shift between metric and Imperial measurements at will. It's kind of spooky. Obviously that's not gonna fly for a commercial pattern. Heck, I think only I could decode this into another sweater resembling the one I've got.

So, knitters. Another question. I'm thinking of two sets of charts, one for the 34, 38, 42, and 46 sizes, and one set for the 50, 54, 58, and 62 sizes. And basically writing two patterns. Wouldn't that make more sense? I'd think they're easier to read that way. In .pdf form, printing cost is not an issue, so if you ask me, we should take advantage of the format and make patterns as easy to read as possible. Does this make sense to YOU guys? Or is it my snot-filled brain off on a tangent?

Oh well. That's the plan. Start working on this, and see what I've got on February 15. At that point I'll decide whether or not I can make the commitment. (That decision will hinge directly on how much charting I've gotten done.) Until then, I shall smack myself in the head if I find myself freaking out over it. I suspect I'll have time for that later.


In other news, well, we're still sick. And the Goob's hair? Uh. Well.

I've got the Wild Baby of Borneo. Growing up, I had the same hair, and I remember my mother combing it while I was sick and thinking mutinous thoughts. The husbeast had a go at her hair the other day and she started crying. So I think we'll just go with the Borneo Baby look until she feels better. All she needs is a bone in it.


Mandy said...

Poor Goob - she looks utterly miserable! I always find brushing or combing my hair to be soothing - especially if someone else is doing it and rubbing my head at the same time ;-).

As for the pattern submission, it sounds like you've got a workable plan, without too much dithering. I love the idea of easier to read patterns and charts. As a larger size woman, I find I invariably highlight at least one wrong number of repeats when I go through a pattern if there are too many choices. So the easier to read, the better for me. And BLESS YOU for wanting to do bigger sizes (I know that has been a frequent criticism of yours when you do the Vogue reviews, but I still appreciate it!)

Elly said...

I think two sets of instructions is definitely the way to go, particularly if you plan to jig the cable panels so they are more flattering to each version.
Larger sweaters shouldn't just be the smaller version 'blown up' - i.e. acres of seed stitch between two cable panels - why not make the cable panels wider, or have more repeats. I hope that makes sense, lol.

And the hair? Poor Goob. Like Mandy, I too love having my hair brushed or my head stroked. But then I have poker straight, fine hair. (When it's really short, it looks like a bog brush. Ahem, I mean, like a hedgehog!)

Caroline said...

For what it's worth, I tried to turn my hair into the Borneo Baby look for a costume party about a year back, and even with loads of hairspray the result was not nearly as good as the Goobs natural state of things. It's all good somehow. ;)

Allison said...

Besides, if you decide not to submit to Twist, you can always take more time getting the whole project done and then sell the patterns through Ravelry.

Large sizes! Hurray! Separate patterns? That's fine, too.

Poor Goober. I have never liked having someone mess with my hair even when I felt fine. Sick? Just leave me alone.

Shea said...

Poor baby. Hope she feels better soon. I like your ideas about the pattern sizing and charts.

I also agree with selling the patterns on Ravelry if you decide not to submit to Twist.

I would love to hear more - a tutorial? - on how you go about writing patterns in a multitude of sizes. I can make something for myself, but don't have a clue how to up/down size a pattern. I'd like a sneak peek at your process.

Sarah said...

I would go with the two pattern thing, I've bought one like that and really liked it.

Poor goob, i feel for her and i feel for you and the hair. Good Luck.

PS very funny my word is "outwool"

Mandy said...

Oooh - blogs on the pattern writing process! What a great idea! ('Cuz you won't have enough to do! But it would be fascinating.)

Anonymous said...

i think goob's hair looks cool!i always wanted curly hair - mine is really straight and long, and i cried just as much getting mine burshed.

and i have that same t-shirt as well, only in light blue!!

oh, and pattern writing, eek
maybe someone on ravelry can help you as a technical director?

Amy Lane said...

Poor baby... she's looking so sad! Ladybug does wild baby of Borneo too... not quite as curly, but flame red...

I like the idea of the two different pattern sizes... being in the top half of that pattern, I know that sorting through the different numbers can be very confusing...

Alwen said...

As a child, I had very fine, mostly-straight blonde hair. The older I got, the darker and curlier it got. It's thick. I have the front half cut short, and the back half is as thick as some people's whole head of hair.

I use either a slicker brush (buy one at the pet store and reserve it for humans) or a metal pin brush, also bought in the dog department and reserved for my head.

My hair will rip the bristles out of a plastic brush, and rips the plastic-dipped caps off pin brushes I buy in the human hair department, then the sharp pins scratch my scalp.

Dog brushes are cheaper and last longer.

[tongue in cheek] If it's really bad, you could try a mat rake . . .

Barb Outside Boston said...

The testing pool in Ravelry seems to have a lot of people interested in testing patterns--maybe there are pattern writers there too?

David said...