Monday, October 8, 2012

After the Sale is Made

I heard from a buyer last week who wanted to buy a project from a proposal I had submitted.

What's next?  What happens after the sale is made?

I received the yarn for the project on Friday, and this morning I started to work.  I pulled out my swatch and the notes I made.  First, I reviewed those notes for gauge, stitch pattern, hook size, etc, as it has been a while since I worked up the proposal. The buyer didn't ask for any changes to the basic design, just changes in colors.

Next, I began a draft of the pattern. I started at the "top" with the skill level, the Materials section, the Pattern Notes, Special Stitches and the Stitch Pattern. This gives me a head start on all those little details.

Then, I took out graph paper and created a symbol chart of the stitch pattern.  The buyer didn't ask for this, but it helps me visualize--as I mentioned, it's been a little while since I've worked on this--and makes sure I've got the pattern down before I begin calculations for actual stitch counts.

After the symbol chart, I wrote out the words for each row of the pattern.  I will go back and add the actual stitch counts, but for now, this gives me a good basis to test the technical part of the pattern while I'm stitching the model.

Next, I calculated the dimensions using the gauge, and came up with actual stitch and row counts. This is not a garment, so sizing will not be a factor.  I had certain dimensions in mind, but the stitch pattern and the number of colors involved dictates the number of rows.  I needed to think about whether the finished size would be appropriate for the project--little decisions here and there need to be made!

The next part is not as technical in nature.  I made the original swatch in 3 colors, but the buyer wants to add a 4th color. Now there are possibilites for color arrangement (oh what fun!).  Color changes are the norm; most of the time the buyer will give instructions for substituting colors for the original colors, or if not, I go by light/dark. In the case of the Red Twig Socks, I swatched in purple and black, so I followed the light/dark plan for the butter yellow and burgundy that the editor wanted.

In this case, I could arrange the colors in an ABC sequence, or ABC, then CBA, or maybe I could arrange them as ABCBABC, or even ABCCBAABC.

The choices I make will affect the pattern writing; the ABC sequence would make the easiest pattern to write (and to follow), but would that make the project POP? 

I'm swatching color sequences now . . .

Happy Stitching!

Friday, October 5, 2012

New Patterns @ Crochet Me!

Two patterns that were published in the Winter 2012 issue of Interweave Crochet are now available for sale in the Crochet Me shop--the Barn Jacket and the Red Twig Socks.

Both are quite special to me, but for different reasons. I designed the Barn Jacket as a birthday gift for my best friend, Randi. While we met in sunny Florida, she forsake our heat and humidity for a colder climate.  This gives me a chance to design things that I wouldn't get to wear "down" here.

The Barn Jacket . . .

And here is Randi in her jacket . . .

The Red Twig Socks were just downright fun! And quite a challenge. The calf shaping uses short rows and results in the interesting coming-together-of-the-pattern down the back (reminds me of a vintage stocking worn by a movie star with the seam down the back of the calf). 

The color combinations for this sock are exciting and endless.  In addition, the light and dark colors can be switched to create a different look (a great way to make use of the left over yarn from the first pair).

I'd love to hear your thoughts about each design.

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Circular Tunisian Socks

In an earlier post, I showed you the new design, Tunisian Tapestry Socks, I have that is included in the Fall 2012 issue of Interweave Crochet.  Those socks are stitched using Tunisian crochet in the round with a double-ended hook, and have great color play.

But . . . what if you don't want the color play? What if you have a varigated or self-striping sock yarn?

You can still use the double-ended hook to make a fabulous pair of socks.  I made a pair of socks for the oldest Lovely using a skein of Tofutsies yarn.  I wound the skein into 2 equal balls of yarn, and used 1 ball for the forward pass and 1 ball for the return pass.  I simply used the Tunisian Knit stitch throughout.

This is her favorite pair of socks, and it is hard to get them off her feet to wash them!

Happy Stitching!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tunisian Tapestry Socks!

My Tunisian Tapestry socks are included in the Fall 2012 issue of Interweave Crochet. This is a fun technique that allows you to place color changes where you want them with little to no fuss! The stitcher chooses which color a stitch will be by the type of stitch she chooses. In this pair of socks, the darker zig zag lines are created by making a Tunisian Reverse stitch, while the lighter colored stitches are created using a Tunisian Knit stitch.

The technique involves using a double-ended hook and 2 contrasting colors.  The work progresses in the round, with no joining. The forward pass is worked in one color (the lighter color for these socks) and the return pass is worked in the darker color.

The heel is worked back and forth in a traditional Tunisian stitch, decreasing 1 st on each side to create the slant.

The foot is worked in the round, but using the Tunisian Simple stitch, causing the neat look of the vertical bars in the lighter color and the body of the foot in the darker color.

These socks work up quickly. I love that!

I'd love to know how you like this fun technique.

Happy Stitching!