Beer-mediated design

I was feeling so good about my grandmother’s Best Foot Forward Socks, that I decided it was perhaps time to work on the Fibo. I medicated myself with 1.5 bottles of Stella Artois (I’m SO not kidding), and in my half-jittery, half-delusional state once again took out the measurements and the charts.

You thought the protractor was bad? Mwahahahaha!!!!

THAT, folks, is called a COMPASS! When was the last time you used one of those? Me? Ooooh, circa 1994.

Shit.

However, there is mental progress on this little design:

  • If I get rid of the puffy sleeves and keep the neck opening the same size, it becomes too wide, like a boatneck.
  • If I get rid of the puffy sleeves and make the neck opening smaller, it involves a lot of math and I haven’t fully explored this option yet.
  • If I get rid of the puffy sleeves by, simply, making them a little smaller and keeping the overall raglan shaping and neckline the same, it’s a bitch to figure out where the beads go. (That’s what I’m trying to figure out in the graph above).

Is there a point where one says, this design is written the way it is for a reason, and because of the puffy sleeves is not easily given to customization? Or even, if the knitter’s alternations involve moving the raglan seam, then it is impossible to keep the same neckline? How do I know when this point is reached? What if I think I’ve reached it (yes, that’s what I think), but continuously doubt my math re-design skills? – maybe I’m just missing something, maybe I’m not thinking hard enough? And then there’s the blog pressure… I feel like you guys (based on your comments) really expect me to figure this out. And when will I have done enough math and used enough obscure math instruments to say, it can’t be done? Sigh.

Edited to add: This entry is most fitting for today, because it is filled with Maths and rulers and compasses and other engineer-like stuffs, all of which I learned from my engineer dad, whose birthday it is today! Happy birthday! (No, he didn’t teach me to knit) (Yes, he gave me that particular compass)

22 thoughts on “Beer-mediated design

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  1. Stephanie

    I don’t think you should look at it as though it you can’t do it, but rather that it simply cannot be done. I think we should assume that the pattern writer was medicated with more than beer when that particular pattern was written and chaulk it up to bad design, rather than any indication of your math skills. Because, I gotta tell ya, your math skills kick ass! Compass, please, put the instruments of torture away! That thing brings back bad memories (and even kind of like math).

  2. Colleen

    I don’t know what the heck you’re doing, but it sure looks like it’s going to work.

    Hmmm. Bloglines isn’t updating you, either.

  3. paula

    Ah. The compass.

    I took a class on preparing mechanicals for print at RISD te last sememster I was there, and I have to say, I LOVED all those little tools! The compass, the T-Square, the French Curve…hhhhyeah!

    I also used those AND a plexiglass scored grid for my scientific illustration stuff.

    Of course, this was back in ’94 before the major advent of the computer. ;-0

    What you’re doing REALLY scares the crap outta me though!

  4. paula

    Ah. The compass.

    I took a class on preparing mechanicals for print at RISD te last sememster I was there, and I have to say, I LOVED all those little tools! The compass, the T-Square, the French Curve…hhhhyeah!

    I also used those AND a plexiglass scored grid for my scientific illustration stuff.

    Of course, this was back in ’94 before the major advent of the computer. ;-0

    What you’re doing REALLY scares the crap outta me though!

  5. Roberta

    What really impresses me, is not that you used the tools, but that you used them after drinking beer. (Belgian beer, good beer) My decision is always to fudge everything, beer or no beer.

    I look forward to reading about your solution for the Fibo. (no pressure, just throw in a few numbers, more pics of math instruments maybe an equation or so. I am and will continue to be impressed.)

  6. LisaB

    You have already gone past the point in maths than I would have gone. I say the pattern doesn’t want to be redesigned. And it is worth not having your head to explode to leave it be!

  7. Mary Tess

    I just scrolled back to April 11, 2005 to take another look at the Fibo. (My, you have been busy over the last two months.) The sleeves don’t look all that puffy to me, especially since they are being worn by the standard underweight model. Are you sure you even need to revise them? Could you swatch the top 25% of the sweater, just the sleeves and neckline to see how the sleeves actually fit on you? It might be faster that all that math; but the math is fun, isn’t it?

  8. Purly Whites

    I love the compass! Such neat circles.

    Of course if the whole thing doesn’t work out, we totally understand. I, for one, would rather have you not go crazy trying to figure this out just to please your readers. Some things just can’t be solved.

  9. Jenifer

    (alternate title):

    … In which Grumperina goes to the local yarn shops and Home Depot and teaches us all to use maths (spelled *her* way!).

  10. Diana

    Do you have a bag for scientific notions that is separate from your knitting notions bag? “Hey, where’s my abacus? Damn, it’s in my knitting notions bag that I left back at the lab.”

  11. Lisa

    Yikes! I never imagined I’d see a compass and a knitting pattern in the same picture. This is much too much for my non-math, non-engineering brain to process. My solution? Make more socks.

  12. freecia

    I’ll offer my engineering prowress if you like. This may be the only time I’ll need all that math. Two years of engineering math and college level engineering physics should be good for something.

  13. CatBookMom

    We have a triangular ruler and a slide rule if you decide you need those, too! LOL!

  14. CatBookMom

    As MaryTess did, I just looked at your design sketch for the Fibo – I don’t see any puffy sleeves on either the photo or your sketch. You were going to do 3/4 length sleeves. Has that changed?

    Give the brain a rest and go work on socks or baby hats, or something easier.

  15. Michelle

    friends do not let friends knit drunk!

    I am coming over to perform an intervention and relieve you of your malt! We can get through this together!

  16. Jenn

    Oops! I hit enter too soon. I wanted to continue saying that it doesn’t matter if you get it figured out. Just the fact that you’ve done this much thinking and engineering is quite impressive enough, thank you!

  17. Danielle

    This might be a suggestion you already considered and rejected, but I will throw it out anyways … rather than redoing the maths for this pattern, can you start from scratch? You know the design elements you like for sweaters in general, plus the beading scheme you like for this sweater. Can you design a simple raglan sweater (or use a pattern that already has a shape you like) and then add the beading and details that you like from this pattern? I’ve been looking at a lot of patterns recently that make me think I am better off just designing my own and adding the elements I like, rather than “fixing” someone else’s designs. Not that I don’t admire a well-written pattern, but I also know clearly what I like and want, and what I dislike …

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