Some Birds Get Dressed for a Party

In this post I was planning to show you what my own Permission Denied chart looks like as I work. To do that I had to make sure the marks I'm making on it actually reflect what I am knitting; a situation that is never guaranteed, as my Technical Editor will attest. In fact, one of the big challenges I face as a designer is the fact that my ideas sometimes happen so fast that they literally get knitted into my projects before I have time to properly document them. 

Fortunately for you, Gentle Readers, we are working concurrently on a design that is already mostly fleshed out. Which means that if I come up with any interesting twists on the pattern, you can make the same changes I do, right along with me. Those of you who cleverly arrived a little later at the party, and are still planning your own Permission Denied sweater will benefit even more. By the time you get to the point in the knitting where I changed things, I'll have shaken out any errors in the documentation. Hopefully. Below you'll see where my rounds start and finish: I've marked them with pink bars for each motif. By the way, thanks again, Martin Storey, for a pattern with six (6!) different motif stitch counts. Dude, can you even knit? Just wondering.

Notice anything different? I sat down to show you where my rounds are beginning and ending on the chart. But then I started to really study the chart from a purely color-centered point of view, and I decided there are a few more things I'd like to change about this design.

1.  In the original, there are no transitions between the bands of color. This is only true for those of us not using the original (unavailable) yarn. Rowan's Colorspun has/had the property of blending lots of colors together, so that the motif bands in the sweater are connected to one another in color by some overlap within the yarn. The original version depends on this quality in the yarn to lend cohesion between the differently-shaded bands.  My yarn, however, lacks any such subtle sophistication. In fact, the uncomplicated, single-hue skeins I'm using look positively primitive when I work the charts as they were originally planned. And that's fine, if the simple look makes me happy, which it mostly does, especially when the charts are really busy, like these are. Vines, and birds, and flowers and braids, O My. But on further reflection, I decided that I wanted to do something to change the abruptness of the color changes between motif bands in my sweater.

2.  I don't love the original, narrow geometric peerie bands between the rows of knots on the upper part of the sweater. Everything down in the lower borders is curvy and natural and soft, and everything in the upper part is straight and geometric. Another disconnect, to my eye. I realized that changing the separator bands on the upper body could solve more than one problem for my project: Repeating both the colors, and one of the motifs from my lower borders (red, blue, and the flower from the birds band) makes my version feel more cohesive to me.

3.  Once I had added the repeated elements to the upper body, I realized that I wanted to pull some of my taupe color down into the lower area. Which I have already knitted. Bother. Not to worry: I can increase the taupeyness down there with a few strategically-placed duplicate stitches. I changed those areas on my chart to show me where to embroider. Knitters following after me could choose weather to do the same, or if you'd rather just work a few rounds with three strands in them. And while I was at it, I added some pops of red in the taupe bands, and, um, I *may* have had a conversation with my birds.

4.  It seems that now I've created this sweater full of jewel tones, and knots that feel kind of Medieval and illuminated, and my birds wanted to get more dressed up. Who am I to argue with a bunch of birds that I haven't even finished knitting yet? I pulled out my imaginary bird jewelry box (like you don't have one, too), and gave them some pretty necklaces, as well as royal crowns. Bird crowns! What could be more obvious?

These really are the diversions that keep me up at all hours. If you'd like to dress up your birds, too, head on over to the Ravelry group, where you'll find a link to my personal chart in the charts thread. These birds are going to one very fancy party, and of course, your birds are invited too. Think they'll invite us?