Monday, March 19, 2018

Is knitting design art?

I would be the first to say that I like to make useful things.  Things that become well-used, well loved, and worn until they wear out.  this has been true about many (but not all!) of the sweaters I make for my twins.  This year, for the first time, I wrote patterns for something I was doing anyway.  The patterns themselves were untidy and needed work before I published them (a lot of editing!), but the sweaters have been workhorses.  The sweater pictured here, Stripe Freestyle, has been worn perhaps every other day since I finished it.  The professor washed both Woolly and Stripe Freestyle the night before last, and I set them both out to dry (doing a little stretching and reblocking) on the basement playroom floor.  Then, last night, I used the Gleener on them --AGAIN--to get rid of as many pills as I could.

This AM, the sweaters were back in rotation and two little boys headed out the door to grade 1 in the same sweaters. It's hard to argue with that level of enthusiasm.

There are a lot of technical writing details to writing or knitting a pattern, and these were no different than any other.  However, I am terrible at doing sketches of my designs.  This deficit often keeps me from pitching to magazines or yarn companies' call for submissions--it just takes me forever to do the sketch, and since these pitches are all a gamble, I don't often do it.  I don't know if someone will choose my rudimentary sketches, and I'd rather just get to knitting the sweater and writing the pattern.  My architect father-in-law showed me an app long ago that turns a photo into a sketch, and C4LA sitting around on my iPad ever since.

I decided to play around with the photos of Stripe Freestyle to see what it looked like.  The funny thing is that Woolly sells more patterns (so far) than Stripe Freestyle...but Stripe Freestyle is more useful on a daily basis.  It is getting more wear.  So, what makes a sweater more usable, more beautiful, more serviceable than its sibling?  They both use the same yarns and were made at the same time, in roughly the same size...

I think that it has a lot to do with the personality of the person choosing the sweaters...Woolly's owner feels that many more of the handknit sweaters fit him and are acceptable to him.  Stripe Freestyle's owner, twin A, basically would live in his sweater, day and night, if he had the opportunity.  Nothing else compares.

I am enthralled by the ease of clicking a button, doing a little editing, and getting these sketches instead of the photos.  Does it make anything art?  I don't know--but as long as we end up warm in the winter time as a result of the sweaters?  I keep knitting and designing.

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