Saturday, 29 December 2012

Net yarn gain and why I'm not designing at the moment.

This has been a very busy year for me, in terms of the day job, which hasn't left much time for writing, knitting, weaving, crochet, piano playing, drumming and (not like I care) housework.

And so, with another year drawing to a close, I've only used a paltry 6,764 metres. As I was at the knit and stitch show in Harrogate last month, I think we can safely say that this year has been a net gain on the yarn front (my cupboards provide the necessary proof!).

It has also meant that I haven't been putting forward any design or submission ideas to magazines. I do have a design in Fashion Crochet (a book! An actual book!), I have been asked to do the odd thing or two and I'm still designing, but predominantly for myself.

And, in the laws of unintended consequences, this has had far more positives than I anticipated.

1) I can use the lovely yarn that I have. It's great doing commissions, as you get to play with yarn that you wouldn't otherwise buy, but while you're doing that your own stash sits there feeling lonesome. Not this year - some serious Noro has been used, as well as a selection of yarns that the long suffering one brought back from the States two years ago. That has felt very worthwhile.

2) I don't have to write everything down! Obviously, I have to make sure that sleeves match (if I want them to) etc, but I don't have to make a note of exactly how many rows I used in the neckband, as nobody's trying to replicate it.

3) No scaling of patterns. When I design, I try to make as large a size range as possible, which to me is often the hardest part of the pattern. Scaling it up and down so that it looks okay and fits properly on everything from a size 30" to a size 54" can be very difficult, particularly if there's a complex stitch involved. When it's just for me, it's just one size and if it wouldn't work for anything else, that's no biggie.

Don't get me wrong, I would like to submit more ideas in the future. The fantasy yarn shopping, the discipline of writing clear instructions and the rigour of the maths are all great and (I think) make me a better designer. But not right now. At least, not until the day job quietens down a bit.

Happy New Year!

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