Thursday, January 20, 2011

Let the madness begin...

Welcome to my blog! My name is Sarah and I am currently a senior in high school. I have created this blog to help me keep track of my senior project. My project is a bit different than your typical senior project. I'm not writing a book or cleaning up a park. I am creating 3 knitting patterns, a hat, a scarf and a pair of gloves. Not only am I creating the patterns but I am knitting the products as well.

Creating 3 different knitting patterns may not sound like that large of an undertaking to some people, but for me it's proved to be pretty challenging so far. When I created the project in October, I thought that this would be the perfect project for me. I get to do something I love and do it for school. I thought it would be simple to sit down, design an item and then make it. As I got to work though I realized that I might be in over my head. All of these ideas were rushing into my head and I had no clue where to start. Thankfully my local yarn shop, The Yarn Stash in Burien, WA came to the rescue. They not only helped me get a game plan together but provided me with my wonderful mentor Beth.

After talking to Beth and my mom I had my ideas organized and under control and a place to start. I decided that a scarf would be the focal point of my project. The scarf I am creating will be your average run of the mill long rectangular scarf except for a few special touches. At both ends of the scarf will be a phoenix and in the center of the scarf, about where it rests on the back of the neck will be the year 2011. My project need's to be original so I’m designing the phoenix and then creating a knitting chart from the image. There is also a special touch to the scarf that I will reveal when I complete the scarf.

For those of you who may not know a knitting chart is another form of knitting pattern. It is a more visual version. Instead of the words and terms used in a normal pattern that leaves a knitter guessing as to what their product is supposed to look like, a chart allows a knitter to know exactly what their making before they create it. Here is an example of a simple chart:

The way this chart works is each white square represents one stitch in the background color and every grey square represents a stitch in the 2nd color. Also the chart is read from right to left not the usual left to right. 

So far I have designed one phoenix but when I started to try and recreate in chart form I realized that the phoenix I created was too complex for a knitting chart. It had too many swirls, curves and other things that made it almost impossible to turn into a chart.

As for the other two parts of my project, the hat and the glove's, I have a plan for both but they are still in the very beginning stages. I have had a definite idea for the hat for a few weeks’ now but I need to talk with my mentor to figure out how to get my design from a sketch to a tangible item. The gloves on the other hand have been quite challenging.

Originally I had planned to design a pair of pop top fingerless gloves. Pop top fingerless gloves are a type of glove where the main part doses not have anything covering the fingers and an attachment to cover the fingers. I've never made a pair before and had settled on designing a pair. But that was before I stumbled upon Latvian mittens. Latvian mittens have amazing designs and colors and I fell in love with the style. These mittens are the inspiration behind my current idea. But seeing as both items are still in the beginning stages I am not going to go more in depth at the moment.

Soon after this I will post my work log from the last few months.