May 16, 2007

Create-Along: Back At It!

Cross-posted from MindofWinter

Mishka (named after Mames' beautiful GSD), lounging next to the meager notes I have taken.

I kicked off the Create-Along with a bang, swatching up a beautiful Barbara Walker lace pattern that I intended to use for a very simple shell. I was going to do a boatneck sheath style and run a single panel of lace down the left side. At the time I was very enthused about it, but the weeks wore on and it just never got knit.

I finally realized that the reason the shell wasn't happening, was that it wasn't happening in my head - I was truly bored with my own conception. I think the original idea was a good one, very classic, and something that I would get a lot of use from. But it just didn't grab me. I had been flipping through fashion magazines and pouring over runway knits, and I wanted something more current. Not trendy, necessarily, as I like clothing to stand the test of time, but more in the moment that what I had originally conceived. (I will probably design the sheath eventually, as well, when it is more what I am looking for.)

Marnie and I talked about my ideas pretty extensively one night, and discussed how we felt obligated to stick with the designs that we presented to the knitters in the CAL. She had been struggling with her design, Lily, as well, yet felt that for some reason she needed to stick with the conception she had started with. I realized about half-way through the conversation how silly we were. Why would we do this for the CALers, of all people? The whole point of the CAL was to show process, and almost nothing is more part of the process than scrapping design ideas, re-working and ripping! If you are afraid to do that, you are often left with a piece that you don't like, and which does not really represent your full creative process and personal perspective.

That is a long way of saying that I decided to scrap the original idea, and instead work out a new plan. Here it is: I am going to make a loosely-fitting hip-length top that will have hemmed casings at the top which I will run corded ties through to close. The motif will repeat with sections of large "rib" in between on both the front and the back. I would also like to do casings about three inches from the bottom edge with corded ties to create a blousing effect, but that is going to depend on whether I have enough yarn to manage it. I may have to re-work a bit to accommodate the minimal yardage I have going on here.

I was going to sketch it out for you, but I didn't do that yet in my *real* design process, so it's kind of silly to pretend that I did it for the CAL or the blog! I will probably sketch it soon, and I'll include the sketch here when I do. The thing that I have done already is a rough yardage estimation. I find that really useful, so I'll try to share a post on it soon. In the meantime, I will back at it and knitting away on Mishka - yay! It's about time.


Iris G said...

Thank you Julia for sharing the new plan ;-), the lace looks very elegant.
I was wondering, if you do casings 3" from the bottom, wouldn't it look slightly heavy in a DK yarn? I think one problem with hand knitting (and design) is that the drape is different from fine-gauge knits.

Angela said...

I agree that when a project isn't working, for one reason or another, sometimes the answer is to give it up, at least for awhile, and move on to something else. Good luck with the new plan!

Anonymous said...

This is looking so beautiful- your new plan sounds like it will be very pretty. I appreciate you posting about the process, because this is one of the most important lessons I'm learning from the CAL: That the design process is just that- a process. Being as this is my first go at designing a full fledged garment, it can get frustrating sometimes, when things don't execute as you thought they would. I know now to keep in mind that it's okay, I'll think of something else, and continue the process. :)

Julia (MindofWinter) said...

Iris - you are so on top of it! I actually have a very light-weight fine-gauged yarn in a coordinating color to do the reverse-sides of the casings with. I'm planning to knit the main pieces first and decide from there whether the lower casing is necessary or helpful. If so, the lighter fabric should alleviate any drag that might occur. Nice call, though, and without so much as a swatch or sketch!

Liz K. said...

As I said in my post, I loved doing the CAL because I needed some public commitment to keep myself motivated through the frustration, but boredom is the perfect reason to jettison any knitting project, especially when you do not crave the final object!

Monica Brown said...

I so glad someone else had similar feelings about a design. I am feeling the same way about my "Splendour" project! You have inspired me to put it aside, and move to something that really motivates!

Ruinwen said...

Kudos to you following your creative urges instead of forcing the muse. Your lace is stunning. I look forward to seeing your project shape up. :)