This year really flew by. Christmas didn’t just sneak up on me. It crouched in a dark alley, leaped out as I was walking by, and hit me over the head. It’s next week.
But the tree is up. I love having the tree up. Even though it’s not real, it’s nice and homey and pretty.
As I head into the new year, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to accomplish in 2011. I want 2011 to have tangible, positive results on my life. And that means I need to reach an entirely new level of pro-activity.
One of my goals is to really be designing my own knitwear by this time next year. I’ve started already. I bought myself a copy of Sweater Design in Plain English by Maggie Righetti.
The first half of the book really delves into knitting and designing knitted garments. I skimmed around and read portions that I was less familiar with. There’s an excellent chapter on the math required to really begin designing your own knits.
I think that was what was making me the most nervous about starting to design my own garments: I had this idea in my head that the math was going to horrendous and complicated and I would never get gauge and proportions right.
I took all the appropriate measurements. I recommend having someone else do your back length. I wish I had made this a little longer, but it still works.
Righetti had made a comment at the end of the pattern that if you had square shoulders (which I do), this pattern wouldn’t be that flattering. I knew that I would need a longer sleeve than the one she was describing so that it would fall correctly and not just hang out in space oddly. So I took an additional measurement from my shoulder bone (that knobby one that moves around when you rotate your arm) to where I wanted the sleeve to fall, about halfway down my bicep.
And it fits! It fits well.
A word of caution: This book is really about learning. If you’re looking for a book of straightforward patterns, you’re not going to find it here. This book is magnificent if you’re really interested in learning how to design your own sweaters for yourself or others. There is a lot of discussion about how to incorporate body type, style of yarns, colors, and textures into a design. The patterns are very detailed discussions of the measurement, conception, and construction of the garment. You will NOT find your typical pattern delineated in rows with definitions of abbreviations.
The patterns are also very basic sweaters. She is not getting into frills or “modern” knitwear. These are the classics.
The final few chapters discuss different kinds of sleeves, collars, and extra details that can be added. AND there are helpful tables in the back that contain conversion charts, size charts, and charts you can copy and fill in so you have all of your measurements in one handy place.
All in all, I love this book and am excited to make it part of my 2011 Year of Pro-activity!
What are you guys excited about accomplishing in 2011?