The sample for my latest lacy Lena design is now complete and work has commenced on pattern writing. That was my focus yesterday and will be for today as well. I should finish today. This phase has definite merit, and I'm grateful to say that I enjoy it as much as the knitting – well, almost as much. There's nothing I like to do more than knit.
Writing about the process has a welcomed way of shoring, while wrapping, things up. It's the point at which I smooth out the tangles of the trials encountered along the way. Despite best planning, it's just impossible to forecast all that will come up and often necessary to engage the needles, being prepared for some rips and retakes. This happened twice during Lena.
The first instance was about the direction of the shaping – the increases and decreases. My usual inclination is to face slants inward for decreases and outward for increases. I know there are no rules for this, it's just what I usually do. I had several inches underway when I realized how my usual conflicted with the nature of its double wing lace. The slants were fighting with each other – not pretty – so ripping and restarting ensued. In my remake I worked the shaping with the lace, echoing the slant direction at the point each occurs. Opting for consistency with the lace turned out much better.
The second instance I handled differently, pausing for a prototype. Worked in the round I decided to separate the front and back bodice with a 2 stitch border of reverse stockinette and apply shaping inside of these on each side. Again, consistent with the stitch pattern of the lace it provided a separation without calling undue attention to itself. Then once it split at the armhole and was worked flat, each side would have 1 of the reverse stockinette stitches along with an added selvage. As I got closer to the split point I found myself second guessing this solution. How would it look? I wanted invisible seams.. Not keen on more ripping, I put Lena aside and cast on a second piece as a prototype to test. About an hour later I proved its success and carried on. Removing my doubts, this time was well spent for sure.
So now back to pattern writing. Lena's launch is scheduled for next week, following Juliet's photo session. Can't wait!