I swatched ages ago for this design. This turquoise coloured woolly square has been calling to me from the bookcase, next to my design books and stitch dictionaries, for weeks and weeks. Today I decided to take the plunge! I still can't work Excel (note to self, learn how to!) but I'm handy with a pencil and a calculator, so I printed out the course materials, sat down with the iPad and worked my way through the videos. Of course, not being one to make things easy for myself, I want to work this sweater in the round and the example in the course is for a cardigan knit flat and seamed, but I can get around that.
It has taken me a while, a lot of crossings out and sketches and notes and arrows and a tape measure (!), but I think I have a rough first draft of a pattern for my first women's sweater in different sizes.
I was surprised that, once I got into it, as long as I followed the suggested order in the course, this all makes a lot of sense. It's all just arithmetic and a bit of algebra, and a little bit of geometry. I'm taking building blocks (or stitches) of fixed horizontal distance and fixed vertical distance and using them to build objects of known size. With the right reference materials (standard size charts, and my own self for a real-life guide to where neck lines ought to be relative to armholes and so forth) it's just a case of deciding whether to work top-down or hem-up and then working out how many bricks I need to build the wall.
I had to remember to allow for ease. I'm designing a sweater, not a swimsuit, and while I'm after a relatively close-fitting garment, I still want to be able to breathe while I'm wearing it. Since the amount of ease is really a design decision, that part for me was quite tricky. I'm not used to numbers having that kind of flexibility. One reason why I like maths is that 2+2 is always 4. The notion that I can add 1 more and make it 5 if I want to is not usually how I work!
The proof of the pudding is in the eating, or in the knitting, in this case. So I have cast on! It's going great so far, but since I've only worked the first inch, it would be a sorry reflection on not only my knitting skills but also my A in Maths A-level if I'd already made a pig's ear of things.
Time will tell on this one!