Friday, April 9, 2010

Pink Kimono Re-Test Swatching and Virtual Knitting

After selecting the additional yarn for the pink kimono, I started trying to figure out how and where to put the color changes. I lost track very quickly, so I started scribbling again:

As you can see, I was quite undecided. Then it occurred to me that it didn't have to be simple straight-line color changes, and that it might look more interesting if I changed colors at the edges of the fan pattern, which resulted in the scribbles to the far right. My Hubby suggested it might be cool to put some green across the shoulders, which resulted in the scribbles on the bottom.

Then came the fun part: trying to figure out whether it would be feasible or even possible to change colors at the edges of the fan pattern. First, I had to figure out where the thing began and ended, since one 18-row by 10-stitch repeat on paper looks nothing like a fan. Maybe a box fan, but not the kind one would knit into a kimono. Honestly, even my color coded re-drawing of the repeat looks more like something from the Matrix than anything that would ever turn into a fan. Staring at the test swatch didn't seem to be helping, either.

I decided my only option was to break out the big RPG mapping graph paper (11"x17") and map out a Barbie-sized kimono, complete with symbols, etc. I quickly figured out that was a huge pain in the hiney and still wasn't helping me figure out where the fan shapes actually came from in the color-coded Matrix. Finally, after again studying the test swatches with the Matrix right next to it, I figured out where the points were, made a stair-stepped dividing line in the Matrix, transferred the starting points to the graph paper, approximated the curves and colored it in:

It's still hard to see the fans, and I still wasn't sure about the quantity and placement of the green, since obviously the pink is the main color. Even the prospect of knitting a Barbie-sized mockup seemed a bit daunting, so I did a 2-color test swatch, 1 repeat down by 2 across:

It came out pretty neat-looking, IMHO, but I still wasn't sure I wanted to go through with a Barbie-sized mockup. My darling Hubby then suggested I use the new Corel Paintshop Pro software we just got. Dude. Talk about virtual knitting:

All of that was done by scanning the 1x2 repeat swatch and copying, recoloring, etc. in Paintshop. Despite the fact that I've never used the software before, it was still way easier than a mini-mockup.

I think we've decided to go with the latter design, bearing in mind there will be a much larger amount of pink between the border at the bottom and the stripe across the shoulders. I wanted a better idea of how the green across the shoulders would actually look since it would be folded over, so my Hubby suggested I print it out and fold it. He's a genius:

In case you're wondering, the somewhat coordinating color of the magnetic board is entirely coincidental. I would have gone with a darker green if they'd had it.


  1. What a GREAT technique for deciding where you want to place the colors!!

  2. Thanks :-) I'm already wondering how I lived without the Paintshop software, heheh

  3. You know, it occurred to me today that one the reasons I make suggestions like this is because my wife lovingly makes me things, beautiful, sweet things and things at my request. The best I can manage to "make" is that buy her flowers occasionally and knit a good tale at the game table. So, making suggestions like this to save her labor is just one of the ways of repaying her gentle kindnesses, kindnesses I just wouldn't ever want to live without. :)

  4. That is genius! And really, the pink with that variegated green is brilliant.

  5. Thanks :-) It's actually got more brown it than I realized, but I still think it works.