June 09, 2005
Test knitters are goddesses
Well, it's clear enough I can't get my shit together when it comes to the Fibo (evidence here and here). I work too hard, I don't work hard enough, it comes out too big, it comes out too small, I rely too much on math, I don't use math enough, I should ditch the pattern, but I want it to look like the picture, I use too many obscure geometry tools, I haven't yet whipped out my abacus (is there any doubt I know how to use one?), I worry how it's going to fit once I change everything, I should just squint one eye and wing it, and so on. Maybe the beaded sweater was just meant to be knit the way it's written? Maybe this particular design is too rigid to allow alterations to de-poof the sleeves and make them longer and rearrange the beads following the Fibonacci sequence? Whatevs, dudes, I'm leaving it alone for now.
Some knitting things in my life are going quite well, though! I don't think I'm revealing a secret (because I've told this to so many of you in individual e-mails), but I've been working on patterns for the Tivoli t-shirt in extended sizes!
I often notice that knitwear patterns just proportionally increase or decrease various measurements for multiple sizes. It makes sense to make a bigger bust circumference for a bigger person, but does it also make sense to make bigger armholes or a bigger neck opening? Or make the garment longer? I am learning like the rest of us, so when thinking about making larger and smaller Tivolis, I recruited real people, with real shoulders and arms and bums. We made a deal: I would ask them for their measurements (and some were really out there), and I would create a Tivoli pattern to the best of my garment-construction knowledge. They would knit the pattern and give me feedback. Then, I would make the new size available to the public.
Because my test knitters are loyal blog readers and I like to think of them as my friends (awww!), I did not get all Grumperina on them, and let them use whatever yarn with whatever gauge they wanted :). I think that's only fair. Perhaps confusing in the long run (uhm, for this size the pattern is written in Yarn X, and for this size the pattern is written in Yarn Y), but observe as I don't care. Lalalamwahahalala!
After receiving the test knitters' measurements, I wrote the patterns, and that was really painless compared to freakin' de-poofing the Fibo sleeves. A little time went by, and I saw the pictures of the first completed Tivolis from Carolyn and Tara.
And then I got very emotional. There was a bit of calling the co-workers over to my computer and letting them marvel at the t-shirts (they couldn't understand how a well-fitting tee someone else was wearing made me so happy), and a lot of clasping of my hands in delight, and maybe even a shriek of glee :). Why?
When Joelene knit a beautiful iPod cozy, I was so happy! However, there was no surprise because I knew the cozy would fit. Unlike people, all iPods (of the same model) are all the same size! So, knitting an iPod cozy following the pattern is guaranteed success.
Not so for the Tivoli tee! How could I know that the numbers and directions I think would make Carolyn and Tara good-fitting shirts would actually work out? (And in the case of Carolyn's pattern, they didn't at first: what you see is the second version of Carolyn's Tivoli.) It's hard to describe, but writing a pattern that I will never knit, based on someone else's dimensions is a very distant, removed, uncertain process. I write, knit 36 stitches then SSK, but I'll never touch the yarn and the needles and actually do it. Weird.
But now they're done, and I took one look at them, and they were well-knit, good-fitting, and Carolyn and Tara are happy. Folks, how can I argue with that?!?
Why do I have to be such a sap? I guess a good-fitting pattern does that to a woman.
Bottom line: two more Tivoli sizes are available! Finished bust dimensions: 31" (knit from Debbie Bliss Cathay) and 37" (knit from KnitPicks Shine). Click on the sidebar icon to read all about it!