Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Knitterly Advice

During those days, long ago, when I was new to knitting (or anything else for that matter), I found it incredibly easy to criticize designers.  Awful color choices, crappy shaping, messing finishing or mistake-ridden patterns.


With Age

My knitterly advice is this...until you've published a design, hold off on your criticism.

Ten things I've learned about designing and designers over the years:
  1. Designing is hard - You can put hours and hours of work into a garment and it just doesn't come out the way you want it.
  2. Designing is hard - Most garments are required to be sized into at least three different sizes and that is never enough for many knitters.
  3. Designing is hard - Writing up the pattern is a TON of work.  Needles size (in both US and millimeters), gauge, defining all abbreviations, including clear photos, writing out pattern stitches that are so simple to do, but never easy to write out, getting good chart graphics, deciding on charts vs. written instruction, etc., etc., etc.
  4. Designing is hard - When I write/type anything, I can be completely oblivious to my own typos and mistakes.  I defy anyone to write up a perfect pattern the first time.
  5. I don't know everything - Sometimes my ideas of bad design or color combinations can evolve.
  6. Designers are people - Criticizing someone's hard work is easy. Doing the hard work is, well, hard. Hearing hurtful things about that hard work can be devastating.
  7. Designers who put their work out there get communications from many people who shouldn't be making their designs..."Can you convert this fingering-weight garment to worsted?" "Can you explain what you mean by stockinette stitch?" "I have 82 sts after row 179 instead of 41, can you tell me what I did wrong?" "What 72 colorways of Koigu did you use, and in exactly what order?"
  8. Designers rarely make a living by designing...it's more of an avocation than a vocation.
  9. It's a lot better to encourage good designers, than criticize bad ones.
  10. If I don't have anything nice to say, I really should shut the fuck up.
 So, I apologize for my youthful arrogance and rude responses, and hope anyone I've offended by my ill-thought-out words about your design can forgive my immature ignorance.

Current Knitting

I'll say it again...it's quite amazing the progress I can make on one single project, when that's all I work on.

The body of the blanket is almost complete...another 3 or 4 inches.   And then I'll do some vertical stripes up each side to widen the blanket and make it more stable.  I'm still loving how these two colorways of yarn are blending.

Like I mentioned in #1 above, you never know how this stuff will turn out.

Readers' Comments/Questions

kayT writes, "What yarn did you use? The yarn specified doesn't seem to exist (Paton's Beehive Vest Wool)."

I'm not exactly sure...I think it might have been Rowan Botany yarn, but I'd suggest any soft, superwash, fingering-weight yarn for this project.

M-H writes, "Joe, I suspect there is a school for deaf children in that area. That would make more sense of the sign. And from your last post, I loathe Nutella too. Too sweet and sickly."

I would like to say there's a school for the deaf in that area, but alas, there definitely is not.  And I knew Mary-Helen had good taste.

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