Monday, January 10, 2011

Speaking of that of which I cannot speak

Back in September, I mentioned that I had set aside all my current deadline-driven projects to work on a new pattern idea that I'd had. I wasn't saying too much about it at the time because I wasn't sure whether I was going to submit it anywhere. And...I still can't say too much about it, because I have decided to submit it somewhere, so I have to be quite vague. (And not provide pictures either, sorry about that.) However, since working on it was one of the major things I did during my two-month blog silence, I did want to talk about it a wee bit now as part of catching up on the project progress around here.

Also, I thought it would be neat to talk about the process of how I came up with the idea, for anyone who's curious. This was actually a weird one for me. I had been wakened one night around 4am by my younger daughter (probably a nightmare or a need to pee). And I couldn't get back to sleep, so I started to think about knitting - y'know, to calm me down. (This was not really a smart move. I don't know why I keep trying to turn to knitting as a way to get me sleepy - knitting is interesting and exciting, and jolts my brain into high gear; it's exactly the opposite of what I need to get back to sleep!)

At any rate, I started thinking about how I really wanted to design something that was original and fun, but which was also something that anybody could make. (I often design using techniques which scare people off - for example, my Merry-Go-Round pattern met with a fair bit of "Oh, that's gorgeous but I could never do it myself".) So I started mulling over how to design something that used really "simple" knitting, but in a different kind of way, to make it original, and also to make it scream "knit me". :) My brain went down a few pathways, and suddenly, I had something.

I literally sat bolt upright in bed! My husband was a tad bemused. :) I really wanted to get going on it right then and there, but I think I managed to exercise tremendous personal control and finally get back to sleep. :) The next day, I started swatching with some yarn that I thought would work super-well, and it did, and the whole thing worked more or less the way I wanted, so I started working out how to put it all together. I realised pretty quickly that the original construction I'd envisioned wasn't going to work terribly well, so I came up with another construction that seemed like it would work much better, and did some research to figure out how to put it all together.

There was still a bit of work left to do in the trial-and-error stage, but after a fair few goes at it to nail down the best way to do things, I whipped up three prototypes - one was a baby gift for one of my three co-workers who was expecting around Christmas, one was for my younger daughter, and one was for my older daughter. I found them so fun to knit, adore the look of each one of them, and am really excited to share the pattern.

So today I finished up a proposal and sent it off! I'm nervous (meep!), and have my fingers crossed hard, but if it doesn't work out, I'll be happy to self-publish it. Either way, pictures of the prototypes will eventually show up around here.

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