Saturday, 31 October 2015

Jane Austen Vest - Part 3: Spreadsheets

I am getting very excited about this project as tomorrow is the day that I cast on; I have decided that the vest will be my all wool Wovember project.  In the meantime, I have had much fun playing with spreadsheets.  I am aware that, strange as it may seem, there are people who don't like spreadsheets.  I, however, am my father's daughter and see them as the solution to all problems - and the more colourful they are the better.

I mentioned in the last post that I had used a spreadsheet to help chart the design and decide how it should look.

The left-hand of these two images is the original version with larger keys and too much cream.  The right-hand has the smaller keys, extra peerie patterns in pink on blue and gives me the colour balance that I prefer (there's also a change to how the graduation of the colours in the large flower patterns works).  Although the colours in the chart don't exactly match the yarn, they're close enough so that I could see the balance better.

Once I'd got to this point, I then needed to turn it into a pattern for an actual vest.  First, I found a pattern for a similar vest at a similar gauge - I chose the Ivy League Vest.  I used this pattern to chart out what the increases and decreases were on the size that was closest to the size of vest that I want to make.  I then turned those increases and decreases into measurements in inches based on the gauge given in the pattern.

I knew my gauge for the actual knitting (I had a swatch or two to measure from) and so I could then turn the sample increases and decreases into my actual increases and decreases using the different gauges and the adjustments I wanted to make to the size of the pattern (slightly longer, higher V, slightly bigger at the bust) - and then I had added two more sheets to my workbook.

The left-hand picture shows the sample pattern with all the "at the same time" changes marked - it did take me a little while to work this out.  The right-hand picture then shows the translation of that for my dimensions and gauge.  I have to say that if I were ever to knit the Ivy League vest, I would probably use this chart to keep track of the various increases and decreases.  I am a visual person and would struggle to keep track through the written version.  However, what I did for the actual vest pattern was to map the increases and decreases onto the design chart:

This picture shows most of the pattern and, close up, you can see the purled mock seam at the left of the char.  I have made sure that the large flowers in the blue and pink section are centred but not worried too much about either the keys (although they are all lined up with one another) of the diagonal stripes.

There was one more worksheet prepared this morning.  I checked out exactly how much of each yarn colour I have and in what dye lot.  I'm not going to worry too much about the dye lots, although I will only change at the end of a section of a particular colour, but I wanted to know how much yarn I have (way too much) so that I then know how much I use to knit the thing.  My suspicion is that I won't be far off having sufficient yarn to knit two entire vests but we shall see.

Now I'm off to make sure I have the right needles all ready to go so that I can cast on in the morning!

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