July 14, 2004

I knit, therefore I am

Some designs happen because the creative spirit cannot be denied, because art must be released and the artist is driven to create. Or, somebody decides to invent a dumb little baby sweater because they have thrown hours of their life into an abyss searching for the perfect size 2, aran buttoned cardigan, with a small collar, 4 stitch rope cables, no seed stitch, no ribbing, interesting panels of moving stitches (that are not cables) down the front, and yet exudes only manliness and certainly doesn't have girly bobbles or cables that even vaguely make "heart shapes", all to discover that it doesn't exist.
I have finally decided that if I want this exact sweater that I'm going to have to accept that nobody has thought of this combination before, or if they did, they wimped out and didn't write the thing down. This is always the reason I design something. Frustration.

While I can understand that not everybody thinks they can design, and not everybody wants to, and that some people are never moved to drastic measures by the demented pursuit of the perfect sweater, or sleeves that are less "swooshy", what I can't understand is the hugely frustrated knitter who is afraid to try. The way I think about it, you have nothing to lose. The sweater I tried to knit is dumbass, that's it. I'm at rock bottom. I have no sweater, only a dumbass attempt. What's the worst thing that can happen? I'll have no sweater and a dumbass attempt? That's where I'm at now! Afraid? I'm never afraid to try something with my knitting. I'm afraid of skydiving, and downhill skiing gives me the willies and I'm deeply concerned about war and injustice, but yarn? What could happen? Worst case scenario is you learn a little something about dumbass sweaters. That' s helpful, that's one more mistake I can wipe off the list of stupid knitting mistakes I'm destined to make. (I wonder how long that list is...)


Since I know exactly what I want, the idea is finished, done and ready in my head, and the process of creating the pattern is just working out details like gauge, how many stitches to make the panel that I want, and how exactly to create a stitch that matches the one that I've imagined. That makes it sound easy, and I think that for the most part it is. The only part about doing design that bites hard is that the math is crazy making. (Joe would tell you that it's only simple math skills, but I've never felt there was anything that even remotely resembles "simple math".) My imaginary sweater has a size and a shape, and trying to make the numbers reflect that leaves me feeling like I'm mentally "a few elves short of an effective workshop", if ya catch my meaning.

So, do you design? Do you alter? Why or Why not? What's the reason you design or the reason that you would never?

Finally, Two questions.
1. Hypothetically speaking, if I had a sew up party in September for Ann and Kay's afghanalong would anybody come?
2. I heard from some of you that the referrer thingie was screwing up the site. I have moved said thingie to the bottom instead of the side. It looks fine on my screen (and always has, so I can't be trusted) so if the problem still exists after this feeble attempt to fix it, would you let me know?

Posted by Stephanie at July 14, 2004 12:09 PM