Aran has been poorly this last week. What seemed to be a common cold turned from a running nose and a few restless nights into a fever and sickness yesterday. He's better today, still a little rundown, but his temperature is getting back to normal and he has a bit more spark. We're all still very tired - I'm sure this is absolutely normal with parenting, but living together in such a small space makes it more apparent.
There hasn't been much else happening to talk about, so thought I'd share some pretty pictures to cheer myself up. There aren't any new photos of Aran or new knitting, so I'm going to share some crown shapings.
Why crown shapings? Well, why not? To me they can make or break a design, and I have photos of pretty ones to share. There has been a new design on the needles this week that dragged itself out because I was too tired to think. Tom bet me that I couldn't continue the pattern deep into the crown, so I put my exhausted brain to work, and the wonderful pattern revealed itself:
Isn't it pretty? Here's another new and pretty crown, that also has to remain secret for the time being:
And while we're on the subject, some recently published ones that you may reognise:
Following a design through, seeing it flow through from brim to crown (or toe to cuff etc) can be a magical thing. Not all crown shapings need to be complex or challenging - if simple shaping and minimal detail work for the design, then so be it. But when a design fails it's more often than not because there isn't continuity between the different elements. With each of the samples above the pattern used throughout, from the brim through to the body, carries on into the crown.
I'm primarily a kinesthetic leaner, which means I achieve my best by being practical. So although I could plan all of the shapings on paper before I start, more often than not things get changed, because as the design grows on the needles in front of me it takes on a different meaning or form, and so the elements of the design often change with it. Which means for me, I'll often work these shapings several times before I'm happy with the results.
There's nothing wrong with working this way. It's a more organic process, and perhaps more time consuming for some, but I've learnt that there isn't much point in my executing the design fully on paper first - I'm better of getting in and getting mucky straight away. It saves me time in the long run - pointless planning it all only to redo it! On the occassion when I have seen a design through from paper to finished piece without much change, I've found them to be my driest pieces, the least interesting, in my eyes.
Having said this, I do plan the structure ahead - it rarely changes after I've cast-on, or rather if it does, it becomes a different Hat. I don't have it all mapped out, but I do know how it will fit together. Also, I plan the grading (sizing) before I get too carried away - if a pattern won't grade or offer a reasonable amount of sizes, it usually gets shelved. Offering Hat patterns with a reasonable range of sizes is important to me, so if it can't be done it won't be done. Maybe sometimes that means a great design doesn't see the light of day but it doesn't worry me.
Blimey, that's a lot of words for someone who came here with nothing much to say...