WIPs 'N Chains

Kim Guzman, Crochet and Knit Design


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Garments: Designing vs. Pattern Writing

So, you’ve decided to stitch up your own garment. That’s terrific! I know you will do well!

As you’re stitching up that garment from a pattern, you may discover little things along the way that may make you scratch your head. Things like “Now, why did the designer do that when *this* is so much easier?” may crop up in your mind.

The first thing you need to remember is that a pattern isn’t a bible. It’s really just a guide. You can tweak it along the way to suit your own needs and desires.

The next thing you need to realize is that there is a big difference between a designer and a pattern writer.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I feel like most crocheters are indeed designers, even if it’s just a tweak of a pattern and even if you have no intention of writing the pattern.

It’s not the same as coming up with a design for publication, of course. Those need to be original designs, not altered designs. But, you *are* altering patterns to suit your needs. Even changing a bow to a flower is a design element that you make on your own.

How many times do you start off making something and then change it along the way to suit your needs?

Even a simple hat. It doesn’t meet gauge so you don’t take it out, you continue increasing until you get what you want. Yes, I see you, my crocheting friends. I know what you’re doing. :-)

It’s really no different with a garment. You may decide you want a few more rows. You may decide you would like to do increases in a different way. You may discover that you need a lot more width really fast because you thought you were on gauge, but you’re not. These are all things you can do to tweak a garment while stitching.

But, let’s get to the title of this post:

“Designing vs. Pattern Writing”

So, let’s just say that you get to a point in the pattern and you can’t for the life of you figure out why the designer did something a certain way. And, I’ll tell you. I’ll bet the “designer” part of the project thought the very same thing. But, once the “pattern writer” got finished talking, it had to be done a different way.

You see, designers and pattern writers live in the same brain. Designing comes so easy to me. I would love to design all the time without a care in the world about a pattern. I would love to have the uplifting freedom it would give to me if I didn’t have to write a pattern. I know it’s only in my dreams, but a book of one-of-a-kind crochet garments from the designers of the crochet world would be a truly extraordinary thing to behold if they could just design and stitch away, without worry about the pattern writing later down the road.

But, alas, I have to keep my feet on the ground. No freedom of design for me. While designing, I can’t do the stuff of dreams. I have to do the stuff that will actually work in writing and will actually make a pretty, concise pattern that will accommodate six sizes.

I can’t have a pattern that requires a separate written pattern for each size bodice. I’ve done it before and I can tell you that publishers would certainly frown upon me. I had to self-publish that one.

So, you see, you may indeed find a different way of doing things from the pattern. And, the designer may have seen that as well, but couldn’t implement it. But, that certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t implement it! Don’t hesitate to use that freedom and make your garment the best it can be!


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Online Class Schedule at Crochetville

Online Class: Design Your Own Tank Top

For years, I’ve been asked to teach online how to use Excel to design patterns. And, that time has come. I am introducing two new classes at Crochetville in an online format so that people can learn to use Excel in the same manner I do when designing. The first will be a design-your-own class and will start February 1.

I have developed a class on a do-it-yourself tank top. This will be a design class. And, you’ll be designing your own with yarn and hook of your choice.  As with any class, there *are* parameters so we can’t have you going willy-nilly, designing anything or everything. But, once you’ve designed your own top, it should give you a jumping off point to begin designing other garments.  Read more…

Online Class: Graph Class

One of the techniques for which I get the most requests for information is about crocheting from graphs. In this class, you will learn several different techniques which can be applied to graph work and you get to decide which you like best. Read more…

Online Class: Beginner Knitting

I’ve not yet had a single instance where someone didn’t learn to knit from my class. Even people who have taken live knitting classes and were unable to grasp it. Although unable to learn in a live class, people have been able to learn from my knitting class. I’m not sure exactly what it is. But, apparently teaching knitting from a crocheter’s perspective works much better than a standard knitting class for many people. Read more…


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Spreadsheet Chaos

Oh, my goodness! Last week, I was grading (sizing) a pattern and I had the biggest mess of Excel spreadsheets on my computer screen. If only you could have seen that mess! Oh, but wait! You *can* see the mess. Here’s a screen shot.

And, if you want to see the mess bigger, here you go: embiggen.

So, what in the world caused the need for three separate spreadsheets? Well, I’ll tell ya. I’m crazy, that’s what. I am forever coming up with oddly-constructed designs. They are cute! They are clever! But, they may be the death of me in sizing for 6 different sizes. ha!

Through a lot of research and hands-on experience, I can size a garment without much of an issue. That part is easy. The hard part is making it work in a pattern. Patterns need to be concise. They need to be step-by-step for all the sizes. You can’t write a separate pattern for each size for a publisher. I could do it, if necessary, when writing for my own line of patterns, of course. And, I have done that, when necessary. But, the restriction of having to say something like this makes it tough:

“Repeat previous 2 rows 5 (6, 6, 7, 8) times more.”

… when you really need to write:

“For sizes small, medium and large, repeat previous 2 rows 5 (6, 7) times more, but for size 1X, do this instead, but for sizes 2X and 3X, do this instead.”

So, why do these problems arise? It comes into play because, as the body grows, height and shoulders do not change much, if at all. So, while it’s a breeze to write the size small with the shoulders and chest fitting into a nice, cute little box, it’s crazy difficult to get from the shoulders to the bust on the larger sizes without making some radical changes. The diagonal line drawn from the top of the garment to the bottom of the armhole for a size small is pretty slight. But, you have to make a much greater diagonal line to get from the top of the garment to the bottom of the armhole in the larger sizes. Crazy quick increasing in about the same amount of space. That’s tough!

Then, let us talk of necklines. With a size small, the neckline usually starts above the armhole decreasing. While the armhole increases as the size increases, the height of the human being doesn’t. There is very little fluctuation in the neckline. The neckline starts to overlap with the armhole decreasing as you go up in sizes. But, that’s not a good thing for a pattern because once again, you would have to have two separate instructions for the variations. It’s crazy talk!

So, as a pattern writer, you can’t always get perfection. It’s not like we’re cutting out fabric where you can be precise. It takes some clever number crunching to get the pattern. Sizing is easy. It’s the pattern that’s crazy.

For all the new designers, I feel you! I know it’s difficult. It takes lots and lots of practice. Don’t dispair. It *does* get easier with time and practice. But, even with my 10+ years of experience, I still have patterns that make me want to throw in the towel. But, don’t give up! With each new pattern, you will get better and better. I promise. :-)


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New Design: Rosaline Tunic

Introducing the Rosaline Tunic from Kimane Designs. Please click here for further information.

Rosaline is made in a gorgeous all-over drop stitch ripple with so little shaping that you’ll be surprised that you’re finished! Rosaline is designed to be worn over a camisole, bathing suit or tank in warmer months. Or, it can be worn over a warmer long-sleeve top in the colder months.

The drop stitch is made in a special broomstick lace alternation developed by Kim Guzman and special accommodations have been made to the technique in order to get the best effect with such a silky yarn to ensure that the drops stay in place.

Although 100% silk has been used for the model project, it would look equally lovely in DK weight rayon or bamboo. For best results, natural fibers should be used to get the full benefit of blocking out the drop stitches.


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Join Me in New Braunfels!

Since I’ve signed up for the Lucky Ewe newsletter, I received the announcement in an email tonight that I’ll be there on November 3. :-)

Check out the Lucky Ewe website here for address, phone number and email. Be sure to reserve your spot by calling or emailing. More details to come, but for now, let’s just say book signings, Tunisian crochet demonstrations, trunk shows! Oh, my!


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New Crochet Magazine Available Today

I am heartsick and sad about the recent events and I feel like I’ve wasted three weeks of my life, trying to do damage control. So, it will lighten the mood to let you know that we will all be the happy recipients of a new crochet magazine to discover. And, if all goes well, some of you may actually go to Walmart today and find it since the release date is today, September 18.

This is Crochet 1-2-3 magazine. It is available only on newsstands at Walmart and by subscription. Hard copy only. No downloads. You can find out more information at the website here.

My part in this issue is a technique article on working in a spiral. I take you through everything you need to know in order to work in a spiral and I’ve designed three hats to give you a chance to practice the technique.

The release date is today and I may have to run into town just to see if it’s there. :-)

 


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Cape Sleeved Cardi: Linked Double Treble

This will be my final post of the day regarding the Cape Sleeved Cardi. This is a free pattern, available from Caron yarns here. It has sparked a lot of interest and we are currently doing a crochet-along in my crochet-along group because it’s been so popular.

Unfortunately, in the past three weeks, there has been a YouTube video (which is now a series of 3 videos) and I was unaware of it (them). Yolanda has gone to a lot of work to make the entire garment on video. I respect that level of dedication and appreciate that she likes my design well enough to do something that labor intensive. However, without my knowledge of the videos, I was bombarded by emails for the last three weeks which made absolutely no sense to me. Communications were necessary, back and forth, between people who were experiencing trouble with the pattern and I couldn’t figure out why.

If I had known about these videos, I could have handled this from the very beginning. I would have known what these people were talking about and I would have been able to answer their questions much more quickly. But, instead, I have been receiving huge numbers of emails which have required enormous amounts of time. It’s kept me from my work, from my sleep and from my life.

What Yolanda has done is actually one of the beautiful things about the internet. Imagine someone doing an entire garment right before your very eyes. No more questions! But, alas, parts of her video are completely incorrect and therein lies the problems I’ve been facing.

Now that I’ve discovered what has been going on, I’ve decided to make a video about linked stitches. This video starts off with an explanation about linked stitches. Then it moves on to a demonstration of the linked double treble which is used in the Cape Sleeved Cardi. I intend to make videos of all the linked stitches in my swatch in the video, but I wanted to get this one up for you immediately.

I have also included a presentation of linked stitches at the beginning. If you prefer to jump directly to the linked double treble instruction, it is approximately at mile marker 7. Note that the actual video is in HD. If it’s too far over to the left because I couldn’t find the center this first time of using this camera, please click the YouTube link to view it there. And, the video is currently jumping all over the place. I think it’s because something has been “fixed” by YouTube. I will try to get the original back and, if I’m unsuccessful, I will upload it again. It’s all a learning experience as I try to use a different camera.

Please feel free to use Yolanda’s videos (except that it seems that the videos are not currently available as of the time of this posting which is going to make the rest of my blog post moot, but I’ll post it anyway just in case the videos come back up). Perhaps she will post them again at some point. Click here for her YouTube channel. There is a lot of useful information in the videos. But, realize that the yarn used is not the recommended yarn and is in an entirely different weight category. Without changing the hook size and adjusting the pattern, you will end with a very bulky, stiff garment.

Also, the stitch she is demonstrating is a linked treble, not a linked double treble. You may think there isn’t that much of a difference. But, it’s the difference between a pattern saying to use a double crochet and you use a single crochet instead. That is a lot of height difference once you’ve repeated it 10 times.

And, on a more cosmetic level, the insertion points Yolanda has used for her linked treble are not the same I used for the pattern. Again, this is purely cosmetic and only affects the actual look of the linked stitch.

All of these items are in the pattern itself. Please read through your pattern. You should be able to discover the inaccuracies and fix them. The instructions in the pattern were not followed for these videos. Some things were simply made up without trying to figure it out first. Other things are spot on.

I apologize that some of you may have been working on this cardigan pattern and have suddenly run into problems which require ripping out. But, this is what happens on the internet. You should not always trust every resource available. And, YouTube is a perfect example of inaccuracies. It would be impossible for me to somehow monitor the internet so that I can find instances where people are giving bad advice on my designs and patterns. Thankfully, I have now discovered it and can respond to questions easier and quicker now.

I really think this is such a cute design. And, it’s really easy and quick once you get the hang of working in linked stitches. I encourage you to give it a try. Be sure to review and practice the stitch, using my video. Use Yolanda’s videos for other elements. And, feel free to join my crochet-along. There is also a wee bit of errata which you should review as well.

Please be aware that it’s possible that Caron yarns may request that the inaccurate videos be removed. There is a slight issue of a copyright violation, although it’s kind of a gray area whether or not someone can demo a free pattern without permission. But, more significantly, Caron paid for the pattern, yarn, completed garment, photography, modeling, makeup, styling, tech editor, layout and web design. All that to give you a free pattern for your use. Demo-ing an entire garment pattern owned by Caron with a competitor’s yarn would be, at minimum, a faux pas.

All in all, I feel like a mountain has been created out of a mole hill. But, hopefully this blog post will resolve all issues. This cute little design shouldn’t have ever caused these kinds of problems. But, I can only hope that now that you’ve found me, the designer and pattern writer, you can go forth and conquer this design without further issues.


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I’ve Got Chills!

I’ve got chills. They’re multiplyin’. And, I’m losin’ control…..

As I sit here, thinking about John Travolta in Grease, I encourage you to sing along with me. And, I make no apologies for that wee little earwig. It’s a good one, after all.

I was told earlier this morning that the PDF download of my new book became available today. And, I have also been told that many people received their hard copies of this book today in the mail.

With this book, Tunisian Cables to Crochet, I’ve had some exciting moments. Acceptance of the book proposal by the publisher. Creating the projects. Turning in my manuscript. Seeing the book draft for the first time.

It all pales in comparison to the amazing emails and posts I’ve received today from people all over the world once they’ve had their first look at the book. I’m writing to you with tears in my eyes. This is that day. The day that makes everything worthwhile. I thank you from the very bottom of my heart. I thank each and every one of you!


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Valencia Wrap

The Valencia Wrap, from Tunisian Cables to Crochet, is an unusually-shaped wrap. And, by now, I’m sure you know how much I like the unusual shapes. It’s not really a crescent. Hmmmm…. maybe a long almond? A trapezoid? Let’s just call it “Wow! Look at that awesome wrap!”

In a wonderful thinking-outside-the-box design spurt, I’ve placed the cables at the edges for trim. A cabled trim, instead of something in the body of the wrap. It gives it an almost ruffly look.

I’ve made this wrap with just a touch over 1000 yards of Universal Yarns Classic Chunky. And, like all the designs in this book, you get to finish a knit look project in far less time it would take to hand knit it.

This was actually the first design I planned out for this book. It was in January or February of this year. At the same time I was planning the book, I was also planning my garden and getting tomato varieties ready to sow. It was very funny to me that the color of Classic Chunky I chose was called cherry tomato. No, I wouldn’t kid about something like that. It’s an orangey-red color and is called cherry tomato. One of the tomatoes I wanted to try this year was a Valencia tomato. You see where this is going, right?

At that point, I jokingly decided (and announced on my Facebook wall) that I planned on naming all of the designs in my new book after tomato varieties. ha! Drew Emborsky (you know him, right?) offered to model the beefsteak design. So funny. He’s so cute. Alas, as hard as I tried, with a list of 400+ tomato varieties, I couldn’t get much further than Valencia as a cute name for a design. I found a few others, but it just wasn’t the same. I, unfortunately, had to go in a different direction.

In the end, I decided to go with city names for all the designs in the book. And, how fun! The publisher kept the names. I kept Valencia for this design because it will always be a reminder of planning my garden and my book at the same time.

I did indeed grow the Valencia tomatoes. Unfortunately, it turns out that the orange-y tomatoes are a bit too acidic for my taste buds. But, my mother enjoyed them. :-)


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Just Call Me Crazy

I remember many, many years’ ago, before I was a professional designer, I looked for ways to avoid weaving in cut ends on finished projects. Anything I could do to change a design so that I would have fewer ends to weave in later was the goal. And, it still is. I will go out of my way to find clever things like working the yarn up the side edges of an afghan or do clever designs that include elements that look like individual motifs when they’re not.

The projects made in my reversible ripples technique show this quite well. Little bits of color here and there to form shapes that fool the eye into thinking that there are individual motifs instead of working all in a row.

But, there are times when I start working on something and, although I know the yarn ends are going to be a crazy jumble of time-consuming mess, I love the way it looks and I just have to continue. This is what happened with my Vanilla Latte Afghan in Afghans for All Reasons and Seasons.

Super easy triangle motifs. Such clever construction. And, those motifs go really quickly. Four rounds and boom! You’re finished. Since I always wait until after a project is finished in order to weave in the ends, I realized this one was going to be crazy. But, I persevered. Which perhaps wasn’t the smartest thing to do. To date, this project has the highest number of ends to weave in. Not including the ends used for any seaming, there are 276 motifs with 4 ends a piece. That’s 1104 minimum. It took me three days to seam the motifs and weave in all the ends. THREE. DAYS.

So, when I start a new project like I did this weekend and I discover that it will require a lot of cut ends, I first toy with ideas of whether it will look better without the color changes. ha! Then, when I decide that it *must* be done this way, I toy with the idea of whether to weave in the cut ends as I go. ha! Since neither of these options appear to be allowed by my personality, I can only console myself that there are only 400 cut ends on this one. And, I’ve already done 1104! So, I can do this. ;-)


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In Which We Speak of Kristin Omdahl

When I was planning this post, I first talked to Kristin to get permission to post a photo. Then I headed over to Amazon to grab a cover of her book. While there, I noticed the message at the top of the page that said “You purchased this item on July 29, 2010.” Seriously! This day, two years’ ago, I purchased the book. It seems only fitting that I should be posting about Kristin on our anniversary. :-)

This book. This book right here. That’s the one.

This book literally brought tears to my eyes. Yes, I’m a big blubbering baby. But, still! The projects are amazing and the book is gorgeous.

Kristin appears to like the social media as much as I do. I love her Twitter posts. So many encouraging quotes she shares with us. I love her work. Positively amazing. And, I love hearing about her life and all that she shares with us, including the mouth-watering things she makes for dinner and the wonderful stories about her son, “shark hunter”.

While I was stalking … visiting my Facebook friends, I just happened to be clicking through Facebook when I spied this photo.

Wait. What??!!

That is the amazing Kristin Omdahl…. WEARING my design! Oh, my goodness. I just about fell off the couch. Lucky for me, my couch isn’t very high off the floor.

Isn’t that just the coolest thing ever? A designer whom I admire like all get out and there she is, wearing one of my designs. So positively wonderful. It was a very good day. :-)

If you’d like to get the pattern for the design Kristin is wearing, it’s free! Jump on over to the Red Heart yarns website. And, as always, Kristin’s website is available in the links to the right. Jump over there and see what she’s up to. Inquiring minds may want to know just exactly what she’s doing in that photo. Enjoy!


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Designing Shawls

I’m not huge on wearing shawls. But, having a shawl can come in handy during the winter, when it’s just a tad cool in the house, propane bills being what they are. I’ve found that I prefer some shawl shapes over others.

For instance, one of the most popular shawl shapes is the plain rectangle. I’m not too keen on designing the plain rectangle shawl. Seems almost like cheating. So, I’ve been considering different embellishments for them to make them more interesting. Perhaps beads. Or, oh! Beaded tassels! Yummy!

But, I have discovered that I prefer to design and wear shawls made of different, more unusual shapes. I love this shape. It starts off like a triangle shawl, but ends before you get to the point.

I used this shape in the Rolled Collar Wrap from Learn to Do Tunisian Lace Stitches. When I wear it, I wear it more around my neck, more like a scarf. The long edge closest to my neck. And, just let it hang down in the front. I love the look of how it has points at the bottom when worn that way. More visual interest.

And, by the way, if you’ve been holding out on getting this book, you better not wait much longer. Although it’s still available at some vendors, it’s been discontinued. Hurry! (Link’s on the right.)

The next shawl shape I’ve enjoyed is more of an “L” shape. I first discovered this shape when ponchos were so popular, about a decade ago. You would actually seam another of the sides in order to have a poncho. But, I discovered that I rather liked the shape for a shawl and I especially love how it hangs in the front and how it stays on the shoulders! Staying power is most desirable for me.

I used this shawl shape when designing the Christmas Country Wrap for Caron International Yarns.

It’s got a really unique stitch pattern that I just love. And, even though it seems really detailed, I found it to be very easy and quick-to-stitch.

Another really nice design that I love to wear is the ruana. This ruana, especially, has wonderful shoulder staying power. I used a slightly different approach than I’ve done with other ruanas and I really love the shape of it. The design is made from Plymouth Alpaca Grande. Really gorgeous yarn. So soft. So amazing. You almost don’t want to put it down.

This design will soon be available in Tunisian Cables to Crochet, a new book from Annie’s. You can sign up to be notified of its availability. I expect it to be in the warehouse in August.

This one, which I did last year, has a really unique edging. Not really handkerchief edging. But something similar.

Mariposa, a Tunisian lace design, is available at Kimane Designs.

I will continue to explore and experiment with different shawl shapes. I find it fascinating to come up with new and unique shapes. It’s in my nature to be adventuresome in my designing. :-)


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Playing with Swatches

Once every few months, I find it necessary to play with swatches. It’s something that has to be done in my design process for planning out new designs. I pool together lots of different yarns. Different colors. Different textures. Different hooks. And, I just play. No agenda. Just let go and create.

I had a bit of time in between deadlines so I planned a bit of swatching. I have a deadline for some writing, but I have some personal family worries right now that aren’t allowing my mind to settle enough in order to get it finished. So, I’ve been spending some time simply crocheting.

I have some gorgeous yarn I bought at Yarntopia in Katy, Texas when I was there for Drew’s book signing. The yarn is JoJoLand Melody. So beautiful. So soft. Blocks out beautifully. Alas, it turned out to be very difficult to use when making Tunisian cables. Maybe too soft? While I love the way it looks, I’ve decided to use this yarn later for something else equally scrumptious. And, I’ll try this swatch with a different yarn.

You may recognize this stitch pattern as the well-loved hugs and kisses cable from hand-knitting. This is the Tunisian crochet version of it.

Next up is this swatch made of Louisa Harding Mulbery. Talk about luxury! 100% silk. Blocks out like an absolute dream. I bought 10 balls of this yarn and quickly turned it into a project. Because when you’ve got a swatch like this, you simply *must* make something immediately. The project is finished and blocking now. I hope to get some photos of it in a few days, if it works out. I’m trying out an entirely new construction technique. (New to me, that is.) And, I’m not yet 100% certain that it’s going to work. I should know in a couple of days. But, according to my in-house design-barometer, my daughter Brianna, the design is going to be a big hit.

And, although this swatch looks like the typical drop stitch in hand-knit, it’s actually regular crochet. Simple stitches, with a regular crochet hook. More to follow as soon as I get all the technical details ready.


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Bigger Swatches

I hear so often from people that they’re afraid to make garments. I think a lot of the fear comes from the gauge swatch. Repeatedly trying to meet the gauge of the stated swatch is disheartening. Trying to get a proper gauge swatch is very difficult in crochet. It’s a breeze for knitting or even Tunisian crochet. But, regular crochet? If it wasn’t so difficult, you wouldn’t see the hashtag of #swatchfire created on Twitter by crochet pattern designers. Crochet simply doesn’t behave in a way that makes accurate swatches.

The biggest problem I see is that swatches are made too small. If the stated gauge is on a 4-inch measurement, then the swatch is usually mistakenly made to four inches. But, you’re never going to get accuracy like that. You have to make a BIG swatch. Then, you have to measure in the center. But, even then, it’s difficult. If your stated gauge should be 4 stitches to an inch, you don’t know whether it’s really 3.6 stitches to an inch or 4.4 stitches to an inch. That’s a .8 stitch range, which doesn’t mean a whole lot until you apply to a 36″ circumference of a garment.

Many people have a problem with not meeting the row gauge when the stitch gauge is met. Try going up again in hook size to see if this meets the criteria. But, do remember that most stated gauge swatches are the total project gauge and not the literal swatch gauge. Try to imagine the difference in row gauge between a little swatch and a big sweater. The sweater, even while stitching it, is going to stretch out. Your gauge swatch is going to grow in row gauge the moment you start putting weight on it. It could be that your row gauge is accurate, but you can’t tell because it’s too small.

I don’t want to diminish the importance of a gauge swatch. You still want to know whether that swatch is going to grow from 8″ to 12″ in washing. Truly, you don’t want your sweater to grow to your knees by days’ end. But, I think people may be getting too wound up in the swatch and getting too frustrated with the project.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you have a baby sweater. You spend hours trying to get a gauge swatch. But, wait a minute. Those sleeves on the baby sweater aren’t much bigger than a swatch should be. Why not use the sleeve as your gauge swatch? Stitch it up according to the instructions and see if it meets the schematic. It’s the schematic that you’re trying to reach, not the gauge swatch. Don’t put so much effort into the gauge swatch that you give up. What’s the worst that can happen? You have to take out the sleeve and start again. That’s it.

And, are you one of those people who think that a garment pattern is way too difficult? You’ll just stick to afghans or shawls? I’ve seen some afghan squares that were 10 times more difficult than stitching up a sweater. Seriously, what is a sweater other than a mostly straight piece (like an afghan) and then a bit of decreasing at the armholes and then straight up again. That is not difficult. And, my goodness, if you’ve done a doily, you can certainly do the decreasing of a sweater.

The last thing that I see that may hinder people from making a garment is the seaming. I’ve heard people say “But, my seaming always shows.” Well, take a look in your closet. Look at just about every piece of clothing you own. The seams show. Really. Go look. I’ll wait. You see that? Your seams are supposed to show. If they don’t, fabulous. But, if they do? Well, so does everything else you own.

I encourage you to try out one of those garment patterns you’ve been admiring to see just how easy it can be. I find that baby clothing is a great way to start. They’re so small and quick-to-stitch that you can learn a lot from making them. Adult tank tops or shell patterns are also good places to start. Not a lot of shaping going on for a tank top. And, some of them don’t have a lot of seaming either.

Don’t be shy about trying a garment. It’s really a lot easier than it sounds. And, it could be an entirely new and wonderful way to add to your wardrobe.


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Free Pattern: Grey Splendor Vest

A free pattern! Woo hoo! This is the Grey Splendor Vest which I designed for Red Heart yarns. The pattern can be found here. This vest is made with a subtly sparkly yarn called Red Heart Shimmer and is available in three sizes to fit a full range of sizes. The vest is made in one piece, with seaming only at the shoulders and can be made with or without the cap sleeves.

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