Anatomy of the Flag
Vexilogical note: The Maryland flag is the (heraldrically correct) fusion of two English family banners. The banners themselves date to pre-colonial times, and Maryland’s original Governor (George Calvert, 1st Baron of Baltimore) had the rights to use both. The Calvert was used by Maryland since it became a state, and confederate sympathizers adopted the Crossland banner during the civil war.
The current flag, which includes both, was first adopted by Maryland veterans from both side, as a gesture of reconciliation.
Well, I think the charting is done now. As you can see, I ended up going with gray grid lines (because otherwise the black was lost), and both thicker and darker indices every five stitches.
Since the chart is
37 38 stitches across, and the socks are 84 stitches around, there is a border between the front and back repeat of the chart. At first I thought I’d just stripe the two colors, which was way too busy. The next thought was to use just one color for the field. This would be doable for the Calvert, but Crossland would be totally lost. So now I’m going to play with one color, textured background.
Only had to frog back four and a half rounds this time… For those who are keeping count, the frogging part was done with much less sighing and invection than the graphic design part.
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Well, the tomato hat seems to be a success (hopefully I’ll get a picture of the child wearing it), and the tomato heels turned beautifully. Back to sock design.
I’d forgotten what my graphics arts ‘process’ is. Apparently it involves a lot of sighing and gibbering, and telling the computer to do what I want it to do. No, seriously, I have to send my family out of the room so they don’t keep asking if I’m all right, and suggesting that I have a nice cup of tea and a sit down.
I ended up downloading a macro for GIMP which let me put a grid over an image. I layered it upon each of the banners, then copied grid sized squares from the underlying image, and pasting them to make a more pixilated image. Exported the whole thing to .png file, imported it into a spreadsheet to add numbering… and it just occurs to me that I need to add heavier lines to mark off every fifth space (for ease of use). Yeah, it’s enough trouble to fiddle with that I should really consider making it available for purchase when done. Fortunately, Open Office exports to .pdf, so I could do the whole thing as a Ravelry download (fiddly charts and all).
Unfortunately, I miscalculated the number of stitches in the flag chart. I had noted it as 37, but it works out to 38, so there should be 84 stitches in a round rather than 82 (given decisions I’d made earlier). This is actually a *much* better number to design with, especially when it comes to the Sweet Tomato heel, but it left my actual socks a couple of stitches off. Easy enough to fix, and the final pattern will be much friendlier.
No pictures this time, but I think I’m more or less on track.
In other news, I’m thinking of entering the Carina shawl in the Howard County fair. Need to decide pretty soon, since the deadline is the end of July!
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Projects Old and New
I’m coming along nicely with the Carina Begonia shawl. I’ve even got a spreadsheet set up which tracks how many stitches per segment, stitches per row, cumulative stitches knit and percent of shawl completed. Since I didn’t bother including border stitches (6.5/row) it’s a close approximation.
So, even though I’ve finished row 75 out of 91, which is 82% of the row count, I’ve knit about 25,000 stitches out of 39,000, which is only 64%. I expect my speed to slow down a bit, both because of the ‘boy this row is getting long’ effect, and because I’ll be starting a second WIP soon.
It’s about time to start my gauge swatch for my Nerd Wars dissertation. I will be making a pair of socks based on the Maryland State Flag for my husband, the amateur vexillologist, in other words, he’s a flag geek. The Maryland flag is absolutely beautiful, but it fails the ‘can your average fourth grader draw this flag’ test in a big way, and I’m pretty sure I’m never going to get these charted, not to mention knit, if I don’t have some kind of time constraint on them, which the dissertation format automatically gives me.
It also requires me to swatch, which I’m lazy and almost never do, but I know it’s a good habit to get into, especially for a project which is likely to be challenging.
Blog contests and yarn giveaways
I didn’t win the Expression Fiber Arts Luxury Yarn Giveaway or the Happy Hoppers Angora Giveaway. No news on the Sweaterbabe Giveaway or the Tails and Snouts Giveaway. Newly entered to win a Knitters Pride Symphonie Cubics Deluxe interchangeable needle set (30 June), the Diamond Yarn Jazzy June giveaway (6 June) and the Inner Child Crochet 9th Anniversary pattern giveaway (11 June).
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