Composing Knits

I’ve discovered something kind of interesting. To me, anyway. Fetching wristwarmersYou see, I’d decided I wanted a hat to go with my Fetching wristwarmers. This meant applying the stitch pattern and cables used on Fetching to a hat. Well, with a couple of small variations – aren’t there always? What I’ve discovered is, I approach knitting designing in the exact same two ways I have of approaching music composition.

Usually when I make a hat (or scarf or bag or whatever), I almost completely improvise. Often, I don’t even swatch, I just rely on the fact that I know that I’ll get this approximate gauge with those needles and that weight yarn, and base my number of cast on stitches on that. I’ll keep to approximate guidelines – just like staying within a key (or its relatives) – but otherwise I’ll wing it from there… sometimes even in terms of stitch pattern, although not always. If it works out well, I might go back and record what I’ve done on paper later on.

This time, I used what is actually my other method of writing music: I take a motif that I’ve worked out on an instrument beforehand, then decide on a key, key sig, and orchestration, and write everything else straight down onto paper out of my head. I’m pretty sure I know how it’s going to sound, but there’s sometimes the odd surprise *g*. Along very much the same lines, I started the design for my “Tête à Fetching” hat by taking the motif of the Fetching wristwarmers cables / ribbing which I have already knitted and therefore am familiar with the look of it. I swatched, I calculated, and I wrote out the provisional pattern on paper, including variations which didn’t occur in the original motif. Now, I’m knitting it:

The beginning of the Tête à Fetching

I’ll let you know how it goes, and with luck put the finished pattern up when I’m done!

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2 Responses to Composing Knits

  1. Katie J says:

    I need to knit Fetching and then I know I’ll want to make one of your hats. By the way, your Fetching gloves are well, fetching. *g*

  2. Lou says:

    Hee, thank you! *g*
    Fetching are a really lovely knit, and ever so fast once you get into the swing of the cables. The no-cable-needle technique works well for them, too.
    I’d love it if you made one of my hats! I’ve finished mine now, and I’m just in the process of putting the finishing touches to the written pattern. I should have it up later today. And after that, I have a matching scarf that I did to use up the remaining yarn!

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