I don’t know if my brain is like this because I am a knitter, or if I am a knitter because my brain is like this, but I have always been the sort of person who finds it easier to work things out when they are live and in person, right in my hands. This makes working on the computer my least favourite way to try and sort out something that needs to be seen holistically – as a whole thing. If I’m working on a fussy knitted thing that has multiple charts, the first thing I do is print them all out and put them down – taping them in the order they will appear as a knitted item. I might end up working from the charts in the book or the pattern, but I have the sort of mind that’s just going to make fewer mistakes if I can grasp the big picture before launching.
It might maybe speak to my love of spreadsheets and lists and schedules, and it certainly speaks to the way I edit. Behold. I give you the system for editing the new talk for Sunday night at Stephen Be. (And it’s pretty good, I must say. You should come.)
Scissors, tape, a black marker, a pen. I print what I’ve got, then start working through it, reading out loud, crossing things out.. adding things, making notes. When I find something that should be cut – I literally cut it out. When I find a bit that belongs somewhere else, I cut it out and put it where it should be. It lets me see the whole thing at once – and it lets me gauge the length, literally in metres. When I’m done, I make virtual changes in the document, then print it out and start again. (What you see here is a second pass. The third will be way less brutal.) When I think it’s done – I stand up, in my proper shoes and read it aloud, just as I’ll perform it for all of you. I time it too… to make sure it’s not so long people will run out of knitting or won’t need a second mortgage to pay the babysitter.
It works for me, though I wondered how unique this system was. Earlier today – thinking just that, I sent the picture to a some friends. I wondered if anyone else needed scissors and a fixative to get through editing? Our Lady Rams of the Comments (who is a real person, who exists outside of the comments as well) responded with the most clever answer ever.
"Sit down. Drink your coffee while I explain that "cut and paste" is a word processing metaphor."
I laughed for an hour. Yeah. I guess I’m not the only one using the system.
Speaking of a system, see the green yarn on the table?
It’s IndigoDragonfly Ultra MCN in regeneration – and knitting it into Afterlight is going to be my reward. You know. When I get this all taped together.