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Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Great Design Project, part 6

I'm excited to be able to post on this topic again!  My last attempt at grading the pattern into multiple sizes was successful (thank goodness!).  And I've finished knitting the cardigan sample as well.  It's blocking right now and I'm waiting for it to dry.  I finished knitting at 11:30pm yesterday and decided to toss it into the sink to soak right then and there, so I could block it into shape and it would have all night to dry.  I'm extremely impatient and I have a hard time waiting for a sweater to be fully dry before I take it off the wires.

Now, you may notice that it doesn't look any different at this point from the pullover version.  That is because I decided to try something different.  Ruth Garcia-Alcantud of Rock + Purl, (an absolutely amazing designer), wrote a post a few weeks ago about blocking her pieces before adding button bands, because it helps preserve the structural integrity of the band.  The idea is that the finished piece will be tugged and pulled into the proper shape, and the band will be stretched out as well.  If you stretch the fronts first, then attach the band, they keep their shape better.  As I've experienced the former a few times, I thought I'd try this out and see how I like it.

I've had several ideas for the collar and the bands, and I've really struggled to figure out what I want to do with this cardigan.  I thought about buttons all the way down the front, one button at the bust, two buttons just below the bust, or closing with a shawl pin.  I've thought about bands of all different widths.  I've thought about shawl collars and regular collars.  Actually I'm still thinking about that shawl collar...  But last night as I tried on the sweater, I harassed my husband for his opinion and he came up with a real gem...toggles!  I love the idea.  Toggle placement is easily customizable according to the knitter's preference, and does not require future planning like button holes do.  That means that if I think I want two toggles, but I decide later that I really want three, I can do that without ripping one of the bands off.  Of course, that means that I will need to include instructions on how to create an icord for the toggle loops, but it also means that I get to use my icord maker again :) 

I need to go back and do some considerable revisions to the pattern, but I feel very good about it now that I've knit through it twice.  I'm going to split the pattern into two different versions: pullover and cardigan.  The logic is that most knitters either love pullovers OR cardigans, but not always both.  It doesn't make sense to put this much work into a pattern that offers both versions and charge extra for it when the knitter will most likely only be interested in one or the other.  It would be like penalizing them for all of my extra work.  Splitting the two will allow me to keep the cost down, and allow the knitter to choose what they are interested in.  And for those who may actually want both, I'll create a mini-ebook with a price break.  So the next steps in this project include pattern revision, knitting bands and adding toggles to this sample, sending the revised pattern back to the editor, and getting together with my photographer (when she comes back to town) to get proper photos of both versions.  Lots to do.

(would I be nuts if I rip out my pullover and reknit it according to the new pattern numbers?)

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