woensdag 27 juni 2012

Designing crochet

As you know my first real (I do not count my skinny scarf as a design per se) design was my Setting Sun shawl. When I started it I just though: "I want it to be triangular, so I only have to increase in three places to get it that way. It does not matter how I increase". Right. That was an utter fail the first time I started it. My shawl got more and more diamond shaped..... I ripped it out and I started Googling.

To my surprise I found out that designing with knitting compared to designing with crochet is two worlds very very much apart from eachother.

I know I cannot call it that way (please don't flame me), but for knitters it is easy to design a certain shape. Look:

















5 basic shawl shapes

You can download this cheater sheet over here. This sheet shows that if you follow certain places for your increases you can make all these shapes.
This blog also shows a nice overview of the basic shawl shapes and how to create them.
But you cannot apply the same rules with crochet. Why not?


Picture comes from this blog

Well all the rules with knitting become unusable because of above picture... In knitting you have the same stitch height and width. So if you increase at a certain point it will always grow at the same rate in width or diameter and in length. In crochet if you use certain stitches your project will grow at a faster or a slower rate in diameter/width/wingspan as you add rows. Add also certain stitch patterns or groups that are used frequently such as shells or V stitches and you have given yourself a math problem.

How do you solve this problem? Well, there aren't any rules. Only one: try. If you want a certain shape you just have to swatch swatch swatch. If it doesn't work just frog and try again. I was lucky that I had already used a basic triangular shawl pattern for a gift, so I used this pattern as the base for my Setting Sun. For the border I just had to try what I had in mind.

I also learned that if you want to make a certain crocheted item there are three things important:

- It needs to lie flat. Ruffles indicate that you increased too much, but if you increased on purpose, skip this note.
-  Sides need to be straight. For example, if you are making a semicircular shawl or a traingular shawl, the part that lies on your shoulders needs to be straight. If it becomes diamond shape, you probably have increased too little on the sides, if it becomes V shaped (can be done on purpose!) you are increasing too much.
- Try to avoid "the hump". This is a thing that is only seen in crochet. If it occurs, it can be blocked away so it doesn't have to be a problem. The hump mostly occurs if the designer (or you) started out with too much stitches, and started increasing right at the beginning. You will have lots of stitches in the beginning which will cause the shape of the shawl to decrease in height towards the points. I hope you can imagine what I mean.



 

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