So many ideas and so little time to knit! This has been an ongoing problem for me, and I have a wide array of incomplete designs just waiting for sticks and string. The ideas come to me constantly and consistently. At times I even forget these little kernels before they make it over to Microsoft Excel. And that’s really where it all happens. Excel is where my ideas become notes, charts, pictures, and eventually, patterns.
Quite often, I wake up with thoughts about a pattern at 5:00 AM. As I make my way to the computer and coffee, the realization comes that there will be problems with this idea. Often, it’s in the transition between lace motifs or in the shaping. I type what has come to mind, and then I wait. This might be a few minutes, days, or maybe I will never make it back to that design. Something eventually clicks subconsciously and again I seem to wake up with the idea of how to solve the problems that first bothered me so much. And then I chart.
Probably it’s charting that I love most of all. I make hundreds of little squares in Excel all with nice black lines. The squares are transformed into knitting symbols. I stack them up neatly and move them all around the spreadsheet. I arrange, I count, I recount, over and over again, until all the increases and decreases match up mathematically and aesthetically. It’s a puzzle than can entertain me for untold hours. It might be a little embarrassing to find out how much time I spend stacking little boxes with knitting symbols! It’s also embarrassing to show my little squares to others and asking if they like my design. Blank looks…that’s what they give me while they sheepishly tell me that they can’t see how it will come out in the end. But I’d bet you could see those doilies and shawls if I showed you the charts!
After all that fun with boxes, there comes the work. The hunt for the right yarn is quick and easy, but after that, it’s all sitting and knitting. I love to knit, but it seems to take forever for that idea in my head to make its way through the work of my hands into a piece of lace. Some knitters (and you know who you are!) are whirlwinds of activity, knitting 400 yards of fingering yarn in a single day. For me, the going is slower, though I do eventually get there.
Here is a current project, which began as a little white swatch. After dyeing the yarn, I began knitting the full sized project. Photos show work through rounds 54, 74, and 100. Progress seems slow, but with each round, I am closer to where I want to be.
Conception becomes completion.