Tuesday, 18 May 2010

A Girl's Gotta Do

There are many so called quotes that were never, in fact, spoken by the person to whom they are attributed. Frank Spencer never said "Betty, I've got a problem", Humphrey Bogart didn't say "Play it again, Sam" and it is probable that John Wayne didn't say "A man's gotta do, what a man's gotta do" even though it is a phrase beloved of those trying to do a John Wayne impersonation.

However, this girl has decided that the thing that she has "gotta do" is try her hand at designing a knitting pattern. As an avid knitter it is perhaps surprising that I have never done this before. I have adapted patterns and I've knitted a cardigan without the aid of a pattern, but it was a very simple design and was meant for wearing around the house or in the garden and not for public exhibition. But having got the sock knitting bug, I thought that it was perhaps now time to give it a try.

I bought a book yesterday that has 300 stitch patterns in it. There are simple combinations of plain and purl stitches, twists, cables, bobbles and leaves, lace, and complex patterns involving the use of colours. Many of the patterns are only suitable for flat items, such as a cardigan or pullover, but some look as though they could be adapted for an item that is knitted in the round, as socks are.

To start with I am going to use a sock pattern that I know produces items to a given size as the basis for my design. I have nearly finished the rib of the cuff of the sock and now I have to make a decision as to which of the designs in the book that I am going to use for my first attempt at designing a pattern that others may also like to knit.

I am torn between a simple combination of plain and purl, a rather attractive and unusual design based on cable techniques, a simple lace design worked over a small number of stitches and rows, or a twisted stitch design. It is important to find a pattern that has the right number of stitches for the repeat that is possible for the base sock pattern that I am using. This means that the pattern has to be based on a 4-stitch, 8-stitch, or 16-stitch repeat. This reduces the number of designs that are available to me, but there are still sufficient variations to make the choice quite difficult. An additional difficulty is that not only is it important to take the stitch repetition into consideration, but it is the number of rows needed to complete a pattern repeat that needs to be entered into the equation.

I am going to knit the last couple of rows for the cuff and then I am going to have to make my decision. I know that it is likely that I will end up having to unravel the sock because the design just doesn't work in the yarn that I am using. But I might be lucky and the design that I choose may look really good. If things go well, it may be possible for me to post a photograph here of the first sock designed by Madsadgirl.

1 comment:

Wendy Love said...

Oh what fun - designing a pattern after all of this time knitting other people's patterns. I am a decorative painter and I started by painting other people's designs but when I started designing my own my pleasure and satisfaction doubled, not to mention my pride! Can't wait to hear how it goes. And what wonderful therapy to have a new purpose!