Remember a couple of weeks ago, when I had to hop back to the UK, and did me some design maths on the plane? Well, I designed a beret, based on ratios and concentric circles. The pattern, except the stitch pattern to be used, was written. Graded into 3 sizes even, which wasn't difficult given it's mathematical nature.

Since then I've been exploring different stitch patterns, trying to find the right one to emphasise the structure. It needs to work on an even number of stitches (i.e. multiples of 2) and be able to work on an odd number of rows (i.e a one row/round pattern).

This is a rough (and I mean rough!) sketch of what initially came to mind:-

From here you can see how the circles fit, and a stitch pattern might be used to emphasise the structure. A rib stitch was the obvious solution, but I'd seen a photo of a beret pattern on Ravelry that used a rib in a circular pattern, and I didn't want it to be too similar. The sketch above demonstrates what it could look like if a rib stitch was used.

Out of curiosity, I went and had a closer look at the other pattern I'd seen, to see if I could work out it's structure and see if there were anymore similarities. And dammit, there is. The other pattern? Norah Gaughan's 'Disc'

It is entirely possible that Norah's design had crept it's way into the back of my head and planted a few seeds of ideas. I was certainly aware of it, but hadn't looked that closely and had thought there was only one circle at the crown - I didn't notice before that it was concentric circles. And of course I don't have the pattern so don't know how it's shaped, whether it's top-down or bottom-up etc, but am pretty sure it's structured in the same way.

I'm not comfortable with the idea of producing a very similar looking design. Mine is designed from scratch and written in my own words, so it wouldn't be exactly the same. Similar designs crop up all the time - it happens to every designer at some point - but nonetheless if I know ahead of time that there's already something else out there, I wanna do mine differently. And I think it's best to avoid any similarities out of courtesy, y'know?

Something similar happened with Meret. After I started the Mystery KAL I discovered a couple of other beret's that use adaptations of the same stitch pattern. Actually, I found 2 free ones - both using different adaptations of the Shetland Horseshoe lace pattern, both working on different multiples and both with very different crown shapings - and with a pattern like Meret that makes all the difference to the finish. However, I wasn't aware of these before I started designing that pattern, and the differences are sufficient for my mind to rest easy. And the lace pattern used is pretty common, too.

The concentric circles design is different situation though, and I'd like it to be different design entirely from Gaughan's. So I'm now thinking of alternative ways (as well as stitch patterns) of using the construction method to achieve a different result. Better this way than either scrapping the whole design or producing something too similar, wouldn't you agree? Now that I've got the construction sussed there's a lot I can do with it, so it shouldn't be difficult to avoid any rib like structures.

So back to the square one, sort of. Funny how it goes sometimes though, eh?

BTW - daft me still hasn't learnt my new blogging platform properly so this post published itself before it was ready!

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AuthorWoolly Wormhead
CategoriesHats, Patterns