Thursday, 23 June 2016

tttkal 2016 recap

it's the end of this year's tops, tanks, & tees knit-along! i hope you enjoyed yourself as much as i did. i love this annual event that shannon hosts, because it's turned into just the best motivation for me to get a new design on and off my needles. in fact, thanks to this year's extensions, i got two designs on and off my needles, including one that had a false start and a week's worth of knitting that i frogged because i got a better idea halfway through!

this year, it's all about the boxy shapes for me. i don't know if all the shaping and math and yokes for flotsam & jetsam's garments have traumatized me slightly or what, but i was all about the squares and rectangles for both of my tttkal designs. first up, a crop top using shibui knits' cima.

i love this one so much! and i kept drooling over the colour while i knit it, because it is my perfect greyish-purple. i have never designed with laceweight before, because oh my god why would you want such thin yarn you'll never ever ever finish it. but i knew i wanted a particular floaty quality to the fabric, and that this yarn would accomplish that for me perfectly. it's so worth it. (incidentally, i have a three skein project using yoth's mother base that i'll have to deal with in the next year, so let's just think of this as preparation.)

next up, this super loose top that i designed using lichen & lace's 80/20 sock. i have had so many false starts on this design. for ages, i kept imagining it as a tank top of some sort, but i could never really settle on what kind of neck i wanted it to have. i also realized after working on it for about a week, that i rarely design tops that i personally would wear. i mean, i love my top designs, and i know they look great on a lot of people, but i never end up wearing the samples once they're done. especially if they're made from any sort of wool. i think because my body is so terrible at regulating heat, i end up thinking of my base layer as some sort of plant fibre, and then oodles of wool and silk get heaped on afterwards for my other layers. so i got stuck on this design once again, and shifted over to the crop top, and then i realized that wait, a boxy top with a super loose gauge would be the perfect way to have a lightweight, breezy, comfortable shirt layer for summer months. and so i finally got it done!

i'm in the process of getting both of these designs over to nicola for tech editing, and then they'll be ready for test knitting. each design fits a size 30-52" bust, so give me a shout if you'd like to test! i think i'd like to get them out mid-summer, so anticipate about a 4 week deadline once you get the pattern (although it's certainly not set in stone). 

shannon also does a sweater knit-along later in the summer, and although i've only participated once (that i can recall), i think it would be a really great excuse to get another design on and off my needles again. i  have a sweater's worth of yoth's father base (it's so magnificently squishy, i definitely shoved my face into it when it arrived), so maybe the kal will help me move along one of my larger designs for my collection with yoth, or at least get me going on it. the big pieces are always so intimidating, not necessarily even from a knitting perspective, but from the writing and math perspective. there's just so much paperwork and brain matter that goes into a sweater design. and financially, they sell for not much more than a shawl, which generally does not involve grading an additional ten or twelve sizes on top of the sample size. but they are incredibly satisfying, and a good sweater design is just so...well, perfect. so we'll see where i get to with both of those designs when the sweater kal comes along. 

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