Thursday, February 16, 2012

Looking for a balanced center.

I’ve been making swatches*. A lot of them. I originally pulled nine different stitch patterns as options for the center of the baby blanket. I just finished my twelfth.
I got a picture of these on the one day it was sunny this week. Pretty, right?
I’m searching for a balance. Balance between how it feels to knit and how it looks, between interesting to knit and not too intricate, between cozy and cool enough for Texas. That's why I've done twelve swatches, but still haven't settled on the right one yet.
Interesting, but it might be a bit much.

Pretty, but the slip stitches would drive me up the wall.
While I was looking up stitch patterns, I came across the KBTH Online Symposium Lace Extravaganza** that suggested one could knit the edging first then decrease to the center. It blew my mind. I’ve been pondering the merits of doing the edging first, and then the center. But I haven’t dug any further since I've a slightly sneaky idea niggling at the back of my head. What if I combine all the swatches and make a lace sampler baby blanket?
I'd need more, but not much.
Since I've finished the first twelve swatches, I’m going to get back to my shawl and let the ideas percolate in my subconscious. By the time I finish another pattern repeat on the shawl, I should have a better idea of what I want to do with the baby blanket. I hope.

This will be huge.

*Knitting up a swatch is what the perfect knitter is supposed to do before a project (not counting scarves). The swatch is a little bit of fabric that tells the perfect knitter if their gauge is correct, if they are using the right needles for the yarn, and if the yarn works with the pattern. That way they don’t end up with a sweater in a yarn that pills and is three sizes too big.
I don't know any perfect knitters. In the real world no knitter I know, myself included, actually wants to do a swatch. Most would prefer to jump right into the pattern, and think of swatching as “that thing I really should have done before I started this #$@%$#@# thing” as they pull out half of a sweater that’s three sizes too big. There are those who do swatch, but most have picked up this habit after ripping out a few too many sweaters.
**It seems to be from 2005 or 2006. I love the internet.


Erin said...

Love it! I'm sure whatever you do, the blanket will be much loved, appreciated, and of course, gorgeous!

MaryAnne said...

I love the idea of a lace sampler baby blanket!

Intrigued to see what other designs you come up with!