Skilled knitters around the globe — like those in Shetland and Iceland — are able to create beautiful, intricate, colourful masterpieces of knitting without referring to patterns and plans.
I have no such skill, and periodically find myself in a place where I need to have some idea of what alternative approaches to colour and pattern might produce, without actually knitting an entire yoke or sweater or what have you.
Sometimes, I try sketching.
But that can get cumbersome for trying many different options — such as when you’re half way through sketching one idea and an entirely different thought comes to the fore.
I’ve been playing around with ArtRage on the iPad — it’s a fun art app, which lets you play with different types of tools. With pressure-sensitivity, you can get some interesting effects with water colours and pencils.
So, when I reached the limit of what paper sketching could do for me when designing a baby blanket, recently, I turned to the multi-layer tools of ArtRage to start considering options quickly. Here you can see it with the photo of a partially-completed project in the background, and tracer lines sketching out the web of segments. Each of the segments created a bounded area that I could “fill” with different colours to easily check out options.
The layering thing is actually important. The popop menu in the image below lets you select which layers are visible at any given time — turning on or off the tracer lines, for example, or different options for different parts of the colour patterning.
From there, I played with a bunch of different options for how much purple banding (asymmetric? Thick? Thin? On the outside? As an inner ring?)
It was easy, and it helped me visualize where I wanted to go. Which, in the end, was here:
That was the Dresden Plate Crochet Baby Blank project — click through to read more about the actual project on the gallery page!