5.17.2010

My Own Personal Math Camp

My computer is still in for service but my brilliant Darling Daughter took the above photo from my camera memory card straight to a memory stick and from there to a laptop so I could post. To be honest I can't really see the detail of the pic on this tiny laptop screen I'm on today but I'm using it nonetheless in hopes its okay and because I'm just so impressed we could do this! (DD insists there is nothing at all impressive about this, that everyone knows how to do this stuff. Its new to me me though so I'm impressed anyway.)

The picture shows the little calculation campsite I set up over the weekend to apply the learning from my class with Veronique Avery on customizing patterns to my next knitwear project the Lace Saddle Tee by Lisa Rowe from the 2010 Summer IK. I want to put the methodology into practice while its still fresh in my mind.

The gist of what we learned with Veronique was that the chest measurement (and related questions re: waist shaping/length are relatively simple areas to customize in a pattern.  Much more difficult to alter are the various elements related to setting sleeves, shoulder fit, neckline etc.  Hence her suggestion is to select the size for each element based on what best fits each part in that topmost region of the sweater and then alter the rest.

This process starts by identifying which size measurements of the pattern most closely match the measurements of the person who will be wearing the garment. Simple! 

Here's the inventory of my difficulties with this simple premise...
  • My chosen pattern features a saddle shoulder so I'm having trouble identifying when exactly the shoulder ends and the sleeves start and so just which sizes I should select for these areas.
  • The overall length of the body of the pattern features measurements that get progressively shorter as the sizes get bigger.  This is consistent between  the numbers on the schematic and the written instructions in the pattern. Does that seem right to you? (Yes,I checked on line for errata - there are none identified for this fairly new pattern as of yet). 
  • On this short sleeved "tee" I measure for the next to smallest size at the "cuff"  but three inches higher my "top of arm" measurement is in the range of "extra large". (Who knew I had such relatively massive armpits! How am I going to get these two disparate sizes to meet in the middle over the span of an inch and a half or so without a mass of bunched up fabric under the arms?
  • Finally, we all know how hard it is to kill old habits - I did all the calculations the first time and then selected the bust size that most closely suited my measurements. Yes, just the opposite of the point of the exercise - I must be just "south" of "dim" on the knitting IQ scale.
I'm not discouraged though, and I won't get that way if I just work at the problem in my math campsite over the course of several days, keeping myself sane with my other knitting projects when the math becomes frustrating. At least that's my plan!

I'll let you know how that goes - hopefully tomorrow from my fresh newly updated Desktop!  

Thanks for dropping by!

4 comments:

Rue said...

Good luck! I often find that I'll take a pattern and use it as "design inspiration." In other words, I'll take the design elements that I like and then just work out the numbers from scratch to fit my shape. It usually ends up being easier and faster than trying to stick too closely to the pattern. Then again, I'm the kind of person who sees recipes as more guidelines than step-by-step directions.

elizabeth said...

You're definitely not dim; math makes my head swim! I don't see how the measurements could get shorter as the sizes get larger. That makes absolutely no sense to me - maybe you should email the designer?

Brenda said...

This might fall into the category of 'over thinking a problem'.

Lorraine said...

Math was never my strong point, but I can understand it in terms of gauge and body measurements.

It proves that we are always learning, if we are open to the experience.