I love designing.
Sometimes (rarely) it goes spookily well from the start (like here), but more often, a succession of try-outs staggers back-and-forth like a drunk person with only the haziest sense of direction, heading ever-so slowly in the direction of a decent outcome, but occasionally just belching loudly before falling off a cliff. I love the combination of creativity and problem-solving and maths that’s involved in making some new knitted or crocheted item. I love the transition from yarn to three-dimensional object, a process limited only by my imagination
and dislike of doing intarsia.
So one of the
many ideas I’m playing with at the moment involves butterflies.
The butterfly idea belongs to the twinnage. Y’see, before Christmas I was tinkering with a basic design for some stars, but they were a bit ‘meh’. Look:-
But then one of the twins looked at the star on the left and said, ‘You’ve made a butterfly!’ and an idea was born. Thank you, twinnage. That’s another thing I like about designing – the unexpected directions that your work can end up taking, especially when you and someone else spark ideas off each other. As an example, my friend and I were texting back and forth about designs for entrelac last night (she’s knitting entrelac at the moment, the crazy lass), and she came up with the completely genius idea of a subtle entrelac patio for the big crochet house project. See? Genius. Thank you, A.
I’ve got a warts-and-all policy here on the blog, so I’m very happy to show you a few dreadful(ish) out-takes of the butterfly idea in progress. When I say ‘very happy’, I mean ‘not remotely happy, but going to do it anyway’. Here goes.
So whilst my home and family descended into woeful neglect around me, I tinkered and I doodled and I muttered and I knitted. Muttering always helps. And I pondered the shape of butterflies: ooh look, there’s one under my wine glass:-
Early prototypes were none too promising, but I carried on experimenting.
I was enjoying the freedom, and was reasonably disciplined about writing up my notes as I worked…
But there were so many things wrong with that first attempt. So very many.
Oh well, back to the drawing board. The next attempt was bigger, better-shaped, had its decreases stitches worked in a far better way, lost that stupid horizontal stripe, and had a different pattern.
…But it was still not right.
Take three. Sorted out the width of the butterfly’s body, changed the pattern on the wings, neatened the black border around each wing, and made the lower parts of the wings rounder. Family neglect getting really serious now, but knitting going OK…
Yup, definitely going OK. Finished knitting each side and crocheted the two pieces together using some of that sparkly yarn I showed you earlier.
And you know what, I think we might be beginning to get somewhere, no?
It’s a wee bit chunky, not it’s stuffed. The stoic spouse said it was more of a lard-fly than a butterfly. Thanks, spouse.
So now I need to make a few more, in that lovely zingy party of colours:-
And then, I get to play with some beads for the finished design. Look at these beauties! They’re actually tiny – the largest is only 1cm wide:-
And now, if you’ll be so kind as to excuse me, I need to go and re-introduce myself to my family, just in case they’ve forgotten my name.