Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Sweater Wizard

I was hoping to have a progress photo of OSW's matching tank top but it's not going to happen today. Because I've had such problems resizing commercial patterns, I decided to use the Sweater Wizard software for a more customized design. SW is quite handy but it's not perfect. My biggest beef is that there is no opportunity to enter your own measurements except bust size - the pattern directions are based almost solely on your gauge. On the other hand there's a lot of really good stuff about it: SW provides many options for the type of sweater, neck style and sleeve style. It also wants to know how much ease you prefer, if it's for a woman, child, man, baby, if you want to knit it top-down, bottom-up, circular, and the length (cropped, hip, tunic).

I've gotten around the lack of measurements by basically selecting the smallest everything in every category for a woman's sweater. For example, I always pick the tightest ease in the cropped length. I concluded this after taking the measurements of a favorite, similar sweater and comparing them to the measurements in the schematic that SW produces.

SW works very fast and in a few seconds you have your design complete with pattern directions and schematic. You can then export it to Microsoft Word. OK, here's the next big BUT. BUT, if you want any shaping you have to figure out the decreases and increased on your own. This is why it's taken me so long to cast on. I have had a devil of a time calculating the decreases and increases evenly. Why? Because I'm so short-waisted there's not much room to do the shaping in the first place. Plus I'm mathematically challenged.

So I lied because I did actually cast on and knit about 15 rows yesterday. However, my row gauge was off. Most of the time I don't worry about row gauge but in this case I felt it was very important. So I re-did the pattern and of course it meant re-calculating the shaping. I printed out what I hope is the final version this morning. Whew.

In other knitting news, Caitlyn and I are planning to knit Grumperina's Tivoli T-Shirt together starting mid-August. This is such a popular pattern! Does anyone want to join us in this knitalong?

Well, I'm in a penguin sort of mood today so I will end with these happy little guys.

Until the next day in the life....


Agnes said...

It seems to me I should observe a little bit more before getting the software ... since I'd like to utilize the Ann Budd book more. ;)
Cute penguins!

Stephanie said...

Good luck with the latest pattern and I hope the shaping works out perfectly! The penguins are super cute

Ruth said...

i've never heard of the sweater wizard... something interesting i'll have to look into. as for your penguins, they are adorable. they look like the dancing ones from Mary Poppins... =)

kittensmittens said...

oooh, i hate calculating those decreases and increases. good luck. it usually is just a matter of plugging through it and not giving up.
love the pinguins.

Birdsong said...

Thanks for the good review of Sweater Wizard... I don't like the math part much either, but I have done a lot of calculations over the years to make up for "getting gauge" and you have pointed out enough failings in SW for me to lose interest. I did like the cute tshirt, though I just wound the yarn for my August project. I'll have to follow your progress.