Friday, June 17, 2011

Evolution of a Design (part 6): Converting Colorwork to Texture

After my yarn arrived (so pretty, so soft, so all-around lovely), I started thinking about my decision to only offer this pattern in one version. I wavered. I hemmed. I hawed. I just wasn't sure it was the right choice. After all,
  1. 61% of the Ravelry project pages attached to Among the Bamboo are not the intarsia version;
  2. when I sought out testers for the soon-to-be-released monkey blanket pattern, I received more interest from knitters wanting to knit the solid color option; and 
  3. I really do like the idea of providing an option that is suitable for a beginning knitter.
You see where I'm going with this, right?

I'm not generally one whose mind is easily changed, but I am pretty good at convincing myself of things. This was one of those times - of course I could make this a two-for-one pattern. There's no question that takes more work (essentially writing out/editing two patterns, knitting up two samples, etc.). But the charting's not so different.

Or so I thought...

It turns out that going from the solid-color version to colorwork is actually easier than going the other way. Well, maybe "easier" isn't the word for it, but this reverse (for lack of a better word) process did require my brain to work in a different way.

For each of my two previous patterns, I started with a chart I'd created for a textured blanket and colored it. Because the design had started out as a series of knits and purls, it was a simple matter of adding some color -- mostly with the theme of "make sure all the knits that touch each other are the same color and all the the purls that touch each other are the same color."

The main motifs in my textured patterns are created using stockinette and reverse stockinette stitches, so designing the image is akin to drawing in black and white. (Or in any two colors.) There's no shading and no outlining. If the design can't be clearly defined in two colors, then it doesn't work. It's easy enough to add colors in, but I discovered that I needed to retrain my brain to go from several colors down to just two. As I write this, it doesn't seem so difficult, but while I was in the midst of it all, it really did take careful thought to consider which pieces of the puzzle would be which "color."
It's a matter of going from this
to this.
These two baby snails are exactly the same size and shape. Nothing has changed, save the coloring. Maybe it's different for you, but to me? These two snails look totally different. And yet, they are exactly the same, save the coloring. I suspect that if I had started with the solid-color version in mind, I might have made different choices.

On a different note, this was the exercise that convinced me the swirl on the color version shouldn't be knit using intarsia but should, instead, be part of the finishing. Duplicate stitching will help set off that swirl pretty well, I think.

Up next? Considering gauge and weight of the fabric...

No comments:

Post a Comment