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One mile to go

Almost there.

Please ignore the ripply, bubbly, generally fugly look of the thing right now; I'm confident that the pattern will look more, well, coherent when it smooths out during blocking.

The Fair Isle decrease principles at work:

Hopefully, cutting comes tonight! Stay tuned.

Wonderful comments yesterday. I absolutely did not mean to offend anyone - if anything, I was kind of laughing at myself for splitting semantic hairs. It's certainly not for me to decide who falls in and out of my arbitrary designations...I was more using this space as a sounding board to organize some of my own thoughts. The word "designer", I think, is already a pretty arbitrary label (yuk yuk yuk), more and more a marketing buzzword than something with a concrete denotative meaning.

I love what Kelly said: "If anything, it makes me feel more a part of the tradition of knitting. I'm taking a basic shape, structure, etc, and adding the colors, details, or embellishments that I like. "

This is exactly what I meant about creating something within basic guidelines being a great thing, only expressed better. Standing on the shoulders of giants, and all that. It is peculiar and wonderful, the freeing nature of having so many of the pieces in place already.

The ability to conceptualize, brought up by a number of commenters, was something I hadn't considered. I still think that anyone (seriously, I mean ANYONE) could take a pattern for, say, a ribbed sweater with a large central cable motif, swap it out for a different motif, and call it an "original design". I still think that that's precisely what a lot of "original designs" are. My hard-line stance starts to get a bit fuzzy, though, when I think about what it takes to build a coherent, beautiful garment as a whole. From that angle, I suppose it does take considerable thought over the details, along with a defined idea of "look" or aesthetic. Some textured sweaters I see, and some Fair Isle sweaters, really do express a mood or evoke a season - I think that process takes imagination, beyond technical excellence, to go from idea to paper to fabric.

So, this is something I need to give some more thought to; I hadn't even begun to think about the world of fiber artists, or of the nature of craftsmanship versus that of artistry (Yael's beautifully written comment really made me think, though I don't necessarily feel exactly the same way). To be honest, all this was spurred by some idle musings on copyright law, which turned into a thought about originality and the ways we choose to market ourselves. Awesome food for thought - I love blogging.

Comments

Oh, that's hardly anything. It will totally block out, and look gorgeous. (Well, it already looks great, but it will look even better.) I've had much worse block out to be completely flat.

"one mile to go" - I have fun telling my boyfriend how much yarn is in a garment. Not that he needs football analogies to understand yarn (and not that he's a huge sports fan, anyway), but it's so easy to impress him by telling him how many football fields are in a little ball of yarn. :-)

I love blogging too. The best part is being able to put ideas out there, let people comment, and then consider those comments and whether they change your original thoughts or not. Thanks for making me think about all this heavy stuff. ;-) Lovely sweater - it sooo is not fugly - not even in its current state. Take that back right now. Really, it's going to be gorgeous.

looks great to me, no fug in sight. so close to being done!

It is peculiar and wonderful, the freeing nature of having so many of the pieces in place already.
Nicely put!
I was thinking further on this today, and for some reason I thought of "one hit wonders"--musicians who, for whatever reason, only have, well, one hit. It struck me that a truly outstanding knitwear design might occasionally be somewhat serendipitous--which is good news for all of us!--and that the multiple-platinum designers are those who make it (that combination of originality, function and sheer beauty) happen again & again. BTW, I do agree with Yael insofar as the line between art and craft is indistinct--but I put myself firmly on the craft side.

All of this design/pattern talk (along with the recent Sew Fast/Sew Easy vs. Stitch & Bitch business) makes me wonder...

Is it too late for me to copyright and legally enforce my pattern for a garter stitch Fun Fur scarf?

I COULD BE RICH!!! RICH I tell you!!!

But seriously, anyone ever see the documentary about the "Quilts of Gee's Bend" -- stitched by poor black women in Alabama. Ended up in the Milwaukee Art Museum. Craft? Or art? Design?

http://www.mam.org/exhibitions/exhibition_details.aspx?ID=25

Hello, Isaac Newton. Interesting post again.

As an aside, I saw that standing on the shoulders of giants quotation in the NY Times today in an article about Shanghai billionaries advertising for virgin brides. One of the prospective brides referred to her stance as "standing on the shoulders of giants." Was that her? The translator? I'm so perplexed as to how a famous quotation of Isaac Newton's ended up in this context.

*whimper*
please... not the cutting...
*sniffle*

Hi,
I am hosting a KAL for a vest that involves steeking...I was wondering if I could link to your steek articles as a reference on my blog.(excellent tutorial, btw!) The KAL is at http://snowflakevest.blogspot.com
Thanks
Kim

I looked for contact info in the sidebar, but didn't see any. I am on a dial up connection and I frequently give up waiting for the pictures to load on your blog. FYI. Great information on steeking and an enjoyable blog. Thanks.

Hi there - I found your blog from Stephanie's (Unwind). Your work is absolutely gorgeous! And your steeking tutorials are fabulous... I'm definitely going to be referring to those in the future, when I make my first attempt at fair isle!

I really admire your work and skill. Someday I hope to be like you.

I really admire your work and skill. Someday I hope to be like you.

I really admire your work and skill. Someday I hope to be like you.

I am really curious to see how the v-neck works with this. I hope today is finish-the-vest day!

Hi,
I have really enjoyed the steek series, and I hate to sound greedy, but...do you have any thoughts on the machine sewn steek? If you posted info, I apologize; I didn't see a discussion on it.

Thanks!
Alice

Thank you for your thoughts on what it is to design something - as opposed to arranging or constructing or patterning it. I often think about thiw question when I make up a new dish in the kitchen. For the most part, I'm assembling techniques - and ingredients - that bear the marks of other people's work. At what point, can I say that a recipe is my own invention?

You may perhaps already know that in the world of graphic design, everyone openly keeps what's called a "swipe book," a collection of techniques, motifs, arrangements, culled from the work of other designers.

I greatly enjoy your blog. Thanks for it all.

Just found your blog today, great job! Love the vest.

As for the design discussion, I think you're not giving yourself and other designers enough credit. Really, most people CAN'T replace one motif with another -- I've worked in 3 yarn shops and the vast majority of knitters knit patterns exactly as they are shown, and most often even in the same color that the sample was knit in. Even swapping one 10-stitch cable for another 10-stitch cable is rare, most people want to be told exactly what to do and how to do it without thinking at all.

Try to think of this another way: Instead of, "It's so easy for you to do this that you think most everyone must be able to." Think "The fact that it's so easy for you to do means you're unusually talented, not that you're just like everyone else"! =)

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