Monday, March 3, 2008

trial and error

So I have this idea for a ballet-wrap style cardigan in my head that I've been meaning to create for probably a year now. I even made a prototype long ago, but the measurements were wrong, the yarn was too thick, etc etc, all very fixable things so when I sat down with a better idea of the size and a better yarn, I thought, oh boy! This will be a snap. And I worked on it a lot, and this weekend finished the body of the piece, and spent a few hours meticulously diagramming and taking notes and doing math so that the pattern would be flawless. Then I sewed up the seams's awful. Maybe not awful, but compared to what I want, it's bad. I used an all-in-one-piece construction, up the back and over the shoulders, the arms worked at the same time. Which is a neat construction I picked up from the Knot-Ugly Shrug from the Happy Hooker, but there are several reasons that works for that pattern and does not for mine. Because I had a more solid fabric and a tighter gauge, the shoulders looked wrong, and armpits bunched weird, and the sleeves weren't fitted at all although they were tight towards the top. Gah!
So I threw a little fit and wallowed in self-pity for a few minutes, my design dreams crushed, a colossal and eternal failure. I drowned my sorrows in some sharp cheddar and repeatedly threw my poor prototype sweater to the floor. Then I finally pulled myself together and thought about the fact that this is what is called "learning by doing". Of course I've never designed a sweater before. And I'm not too experienced in constructing sweaters designed by other people either. So perhaps I was doomed to failure, but I did learn a valuable lesson about the importance of choosing your sleeve construction. And of course the whole point of crocheting the darn thing yourself instead of just writing up a pattern and letting other people deal with it is to make sure your design makes sense, and like all new designers, I am bound to have designs that just don't. So I'm no longer wallowing, although I still wasn't prepared to face the frogging yet so I just hid both failed prototypes under the bed until I feel up to it :)

On the brighter side, I've gotten my first complete feedback on a pattern! The wrap I designed for Project Spectrum was finished by one of my testers this weekend (holy cow she was fast!) and I got some really nice comments! So apparently I'm okay at designing things that are flat and rectangular haha. Oh well, that's enough for right now. Pattern should be available soon! Yay!


Celeste said...

Doomed to failure? No! Sweaters are just TOUGH. So many measurements to consider! Plus, I know from experience that you're a talented designer :) So buck up!

There's a photo of your scarf, sans edging, on my blog. I forgot to message you last week when I posted it. I'm finally on spring break this week, and will wrap it up and send proper pics! It's GORGEOUS! Love the texture!

Melissa said...

Hello! I love to crochet too. (I'm assilem421 on Ravelry). And I like your blog. Happy stitching!