Mission Statement

It is the mission of the Bay Lakes Knitting Guild to give knitters of all skill levels the opportunity to get to know other knitters, to learn new techniques, and to share their ideas, resources, and talents with the community.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

BLKG 2nd Annual Design-A-Thon

It is time for us to get really, really, REALLY serious about the Design-A-Thon.  I don’t know about you, but I have a couple ideas bouncing around in my head.  By this point in time the ideas should be bouncing around on my needles, but…
First there are some dates that you need to make note of
March – deadline for submission and payment of $5 per item
April – the judging
May – the awards presentation

General Information about the Design-A-Thon
            Last year we “published” a booklet of patterns.  If you are sharing your pattern, the pattern MUST be turned along with your entry.
            Your entries will be held until the May meeting when the awards are presented.  This give us time to photograph and proof the patterns.  It also allows us to display our work once again for all to see.
            There are two categories.  Professional and Recreational.  You are a professional if you:
                        1) Sell your work 
                        2) Sell your patterns
                        3) Teach for money

            Judging will be done by all members present at the April meeting
What Design is
            There are many definitions of Design. 
                   To sketch or plan a product before it is constructed
                   To create, fashion, execute, or construct something according to plan
                   To devise or contrive
                   To plan and make something artistically or skillfully 
                   The arrangement or pattern of elements or features
                   The combination of details or features of something constructed
                   Plan, describe, draw, draft, trace, outline, invent, sketch, formulate,                                                 think out, delineate.
            There are three basic design elements.  Color, texture, and pattern.

Now for the fun part
            All of this is in the 2013 handout, so if you kept that, you can skip this part!
            Decisions and actions
                   1) What do you want to knit?  Sweater, baby blanket, or a scarf?  Maybe a shawl, cowl or hat?  Look for something you want to make.
                    2) Take measurements.  WRITE THEM DOWN.
                    3) Choose your yarn.  This will be the heart and soul of your project.  The yarn determines your color, texture, and stitch pattern.  If the yarn is bumpy or fluffy or multicolored, then you may want your stitches to be simple garter or stockinette.  Highly colored yarn may mask a fancy stitch pattern, so stick to simple stitches here too.  If you have found the coolest stitch pattern, then go for a yarn that is simple in color and texture.  If your stitches re going to be stockinette or garter then by all means feel free to choose yarn with bumps or lots of color changes.
                        4) Choose your stitch pattern. 
                        5) Swatch.  I know.  The evil swatch.  A waste of time?  I assure you, it is not.  Your yarn and needle choice will make or break your project.  It is recommended that your swatch be at LEAST 4 inches in width and 5 inches in length.  It needs to be large enough for two full repeats of the stitch pattern and two full repeats of the stitch rows.  You may have to adjust the size of your project or change your needle size in order to have your chosen stitch pattern fit the size of your chosen project.  Remember that some stitches (ribbing and cable, for example) draw your yarn in.  I know this all sounds quite vague, because it is vague.  There are countless resources if you need help with swatching.
                        6) Write your pattern as you work.  You may think you will remember what you did or any changes that you made, but you will not.  I speak from experience.  Experience echoed by a million other knitters.

Finishing thoughts
            When I change the sleeves of an existing pattern from short to full length am I designing?  No.  When I change the collar of a pattern am I designing?  No.  When I change the collar and sleeve length AND the stitch pattern am I designing?  Yes.  If I have changed the pattern enough that the original designer would have trouble recognizing it, I am designing.
            Personally, I doubt that anyone so going to knit something that someone has not knit before.  We are dealing with two stitches here.  Knit stitches and purl stitches, everything else is just a variation of those two stitches.  And when it comes right down to it, a purl stitch is just a backward knit stitch.  Now we are down to one stitch.
            Not until around the 1850’s did we begin to write patterns down.  Knitting without a pattern?!?!  What did they know that we don’t?  Have fun with this.  Challenge yourselves!

Andy Trotti, Program Chairperson


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