Sunday, November 06, 2011

Let's talk pattern writing, multiples and yarns substitiution/hook changes

This morning when I woke up and logged online, I was startled to see how many "hits" my site had already and tracked it back to Craftsy.com and my Bubbles Blanket. The person who posted it did link it to my site, but kinda (IMHO) made it seem like her design, but that's neither here nor there. The pattern is available for quick download right at the top bar of this post and it will open to a Docstoc document for easy printing, as well as available on Ravelry (member or not)where you can download the pattern, as well as see the 391 other blankets made from this pattern using different yarns, single strands, lots of edgings and other simple, yet unique touches people added to make it their own.

However, since writing this pattern in 2005, I have learned an awful lot about how to write patterns. I try my hardest to write all patterns out so that anyone can understand it, from beginner to advanced. The original pattern just listed the hook by the letter, me not realizing that Bates and Boye and others had different mm, as well as if you were in England or Australia, it could cause confusion. With this in mind, I rewrote the pattern listing the mm.

Many have made the pattern and then my inbox began to get questions asking about "multiples", "yarn substitution", "Hook sizes with yarn subbing" and even one person asked me to rewrite the entire pattern for her particular yarn and hook size she wanted to use (sorry, did not do this and she was awfully nasty about it) even though I full explained how she could do it.

I'll try and break it down here: Use any yarn you would like and if using a single strand, you will have to go down to a hook size that works best, but change the length of the starting chain. If using bulkier yarn, you may have to go up a hook size. If you are a tight crocheter, same thing. I did the original in Lion Brand "Pound of Love", two strands and later realized, although it's listed as worsted, it's more of an aran weight. I then turned to Caron Simply Soft, double stranded and was happy with the results and wonderful color choices and stayed with that.

Sizing: I made this so it would fit well in a stroller, as not to drag on the ground and get caught in the wheels and also for the baby car seat, so it didn't hit the floor. It's also thick enough to use as a changing pad when in a crunch. I then found others making it as lapghans for those in nursing homes for their wheelchairs or for people who wanted a ghan for their lap while in a chair without the bulk of a full sized afghan. I also made a full sized afghan using this pattern as a gift, using a single strand of yarn throughout. The sizing for this is STARTING CHAIN OF MULTIPLES OF 3 PLUS 2. This means the following-decide how wide or long you want your blanket/ghan and start making the chain and count as you go along. As long as the chain is divisible by 3 (chain of 93 would be 31 x 3, chain of 120 would be 40 x 3, etc) and add 2 more stitches for that FIRST row as the turning chain. In all actuality, you really would just need a chain 1, but I chose chain 2 because it gave it a more outlined edge. After the starting chain, you would work every row as it states and just chain 2 at the end until it's the size you want. This is what makes it so versatile, it can be any size you want.

I didn't think this up, many patterns, especially clothing with sizing, use multiples for different sizes.

In a nutshell, multiples of something is just making sure it's divisible by the number given and then you add the additional chains for the turning chain, depending on the stitch you are making.

I hope this answers any questions and clears up and helps those who are beginners. However, if you have any questions, I am always happy to help, but please just don't ask me to rewrite an entire pattern with a yarn I never heard of and for a size you specifically want :)

4 comments:

Crafty Andy said...

I have to say that your posting is very educational. As a designer I have learned that some people don't really want to do the work of yarn substitution. It is simple, make a swatch. A swatch will let you know if the yarn will work with the pattern. I make swatches to test yarn substitution and that's how I do it. You may have to adjust the hook or needle size as well.

Deneen said...

Thanks Andy, should have mentioned the swatch. The pattern I wrote this little post about is for one that really doesn't need a swatch, as gauge isn't imperative, but it's something that should be done when substituting any yarn where gauge is crucial. Again, thank you for reminding me :)

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this pattern & have made it many many times, in a variety of color combinations. It is beautiful, stands up well to washing & highly portable for me. With 11 babies arriving within 7 months, it has been my go-to pattern for gifts. The pattern is really versatile & easy for my overloaded brain to remember. Kudos to you & THANK YOU for sharing it with us!!

Vik said...

Hello Deneen, I can´t believe that woman asking you to rewrite the pattern for her particular yarn?! Gosh.

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