3.31.2010

Tools of the trade and a sneak peek!


Yesterday I sat down in the afternoon to work on some designing.  I have to sit somewhere that I can spread out, so I was at the table.  I got to work for an hour or so and then the baby woke up from her nap and started crying.  When I got up to go take care of her, I moved all of my stuff to the kitchen counter so that my other kiddos wouldn't get into anything.  When I set everything down I thought, "that's a very nice pictoral representation of the 'tools of the trade.'"  So, I grabbed the camera and snapped a picture.  When I work on something I always have a tape measure, pencil, eraser, notepad, graph paper, sketches and other notes, a calculator, my crochet hook case, and of course yarn and a hook.  I often have a stitch dictionary with me as well, which is what is under my yarn in this picture.  Under that is one of my project bags.  I'm sure that other designers use other or different tools, and I know that mine will be added to or changed over time.  For instance, I plan to purchase some software soon that I will use for generating the flat pattern pieces that I need to determine the shapes of the pieces that I need.  This will be a GREAT tool to have.  It is definitely true that you can't design crocheted garments without knowing what shape the pieces have to be.  Unless you are an educated pattern drafter, you have to get this information from somewhere.  You can use sewing patterns to get this information.  You can also use articles of clothing to copy from.  I don't want to have to buy and sort through lots of sewing patterns or clothing items though to get this information.  I've considered two other options.  There is a system and set of sewing patterns called The Lutterloh System that has tiny schematics of the needed pieces all on small pages in a binder that you can "explode" to the right size with the use of a special tape measure.  This would allow for easier access and sorting through, but still requires lots of tracing.  I'd be looking at spending about $150 to get that.  I've also read about a software program called "Garment Designer" from a company called Cochenille that can print off pattern pieces for you in the sizes you want.  You can select from many design options and even manipulate the shapes on the computer before printing.  This costs $199, but I think it will be easier to use and much more flexible.  So, I hope to buy that in a few more months, once I finish my next paying project, which is a set of cardigans for a friend's daughters.  I'll show a pic here when I'm done with those. 

Well, the sneak peek here is one I mentioned a few days ago.  This is not a magazine project; this one will go in my personal pattern line which is available on both etsy and ravelry.  So far I only have my "Sweet Little Mittens" pattern there, but this one will be next when I get it finished.

Well, until next time, have a cheery day everyone!

April

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