Thursday, July 16, 2009

Journey to a New Design

I am excited to announce a new pattern.
On July 2nd, exactly two weeks ago I set myself a challenge, to complete a pattern and have it ready for submission by July 16th to Patternfish.
This would allow them plenty of time to put the pattern up on their site, which needed to happen before I could list it for sale on Ravelry. I have an ad spot I bought and I need to have all that in place before I can submit my ad copy by July 22nd.
EDITED TO ADD: Today I discovered how to link my patterns in Ravelry to 'myself' , so I did that with this pattern.
Here it is, all ready for sale KIVA LINK ON RAVELRY
I am very proud of meeting that challenge. These days health stuff gets in the way all too often.
When I first nabbed the ad, I decided to use it for this year's charity pattern.
I chose Kiva as my pattern charity for 2009. $1.oo from each pattern sold will go toward a Kiva loan. The more I sell, the more loans I can initiate there.
Because the pattern will be advertised in summer, I decided a felted purse would make a good all-season project. I have a hunch big bulky sweaters are not a popular summer knitting choice.
I started with a Google image search on the word 'kiva' and collected any image that seemed to spark/speak to me.
I spent a few days playing around with colored pencils, notebook and knitters graph paper. There were several design ideas that just didn't seem happy about being graphed, and more that were too intricate to make a good felted design.
I let the images 'cook' while I went yarn shopping on line. This was one of the biggest challenges. It is difficult to truly know what color a yarn is from a computer image, but by sticking to a popular yarn (Cascade 220) I was able to do another Google image search and get a pretty good idea before placing my order.
In the meantime, I graphed out a design I thought mght work and used some similar yarn I had on hand to cast on for a trial bag, estimating number of stitches and rounds, and deciding width of strap and length of flap as I went. When it came out of the washer, I made notes on what I wanted to keep, and what I wanted to change.
A big thing to change was the graph for the central design. Despite 'going large' the details were still lost in a fuzz after felting.
I got out a new sheet of graph paper, and using the finalized stitch and row counts, drew my own design and charted it out using an excel-type spreadsheet.
Then I made trial bag number 2, using some Cascade 220 I had on hand. That ended up becoming the 'moonlight' colorway (bottom photo, below)
As I knit, I refined and polished the instructions for the pattern, looking up standard purse strap lengths, listing the skills needed and abbreviations I would use, etc.
By this time, my new yarn had come. One of the colors was not exactly as I would have wished, but hey, it was here, and there was no time to order more.
After it was felted, I decided I liked it after all. , and got out the camera. That was yesterday.
Because I took notes as I worked, my pattern was pretty close to written. All I needed to do yesterday and today was tighten up my verbage, make the photos look pretty, and write out the charted instructions for those who prefer not to use charts. And double check my math after I had a cup of coffee.
Now that it is finished, I can step back and appreciate how it all came together.
My favorite part is that the design I drew and charted out of my own head has so many commonalities with images from many cultures, which to me makes it a perfect design for raising money for Kiva, when someone from one place is reaching out to help someone very far away, from a very different background.
Take a look below.
From top to bottom: A Native American woven rug, a pillow made from African Kuba cloth, a traditional Faire Isle knitting design, an ancient Anasazi pottery mug and my moonlight Kiva bag.


AlisonH said...

Wow. That is SO. COOL. Well done!!!

Leslie said...

That is totally awesome. Congratulations on a wonderful design!

Kathy said...

The bag is so lovely. I especially love the button chose. It fits it perfectly. I love blues and I liked your blue black combination. Great job