Archive for July 7th, 2013

Where dost thou careless lie
Buried in ease and sloth?
Knowledge that sleeps doth die…

Ben Johnson
An Ode to Himself

How much information should a designer include in a pattern? Conversely, how much information should a knitter expect to receive when buying a pattern? I have always felt that knitting, unlike crochet, was a “closed circle” art. Those who knew how rarely shared with those who did not. Moreover, when they did share their knowledge with the unworthy they made sure I knew I was unworthy. Yet somebody taught them what they know. Whether their knowledge came through books and magazines or person to person, they went through a learning curve

This “closed circle” art attitude was especially potent in knitting stores. Thank the heavens for the internet or I don’t think I would ever have taken up knitting. When knitting stores were located nearby, pre- internet, I hated to go into them. Not because I didn’t love yarn, I did. I hated to go into them because of the attitudes of the women who staffed the stores. Welcoming they were not. Even when I purchased both pattern and yarn at their store, it was as if they were doing me a favor. Moreover, if I returned with any questions concerning the pattern, I was made to feel as if I was the stupidest young girl.

Years later, I now realize that I wasn’t stupid. Patterns and their designers did not spell many things out. They took for granted that the knitter would— like a baby bird innately knows how to fly— know what they were not telling her. (On the upside, I have become somewhat expert at figuring out vintage knitting and crochet patterns. I can plug in what they don’t tell me.) But some knitters just want to knit and they want to have an acceptable result to show for their time and effort. Admittedly, other knitters want minimal information from a pattern. I think, however, that if the “knowledge sleeps” the art form of knitting will die. It is important to get the knitting knowledge out there for the people who want it by including it in the pattern. A designer’s pattern is a chance to teach the art of knitting.

By the way, here is a photograph of the new baby fawn who we named Rambunctious. He was resting in the yard’s shade after running and playing most of the morning.


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