Knit Meter

Friday, January 25, 2019

My Last Block Isn’t The Last Block

This week I sewed January’s block. As I started the blocks last February, this should have been the last one but I still have two more to make. December’s, because I just ran out of time and September’s because I couldn’t make a decision on the fabric.

The technique for this block is corner square triangles and I thought it would take a while to make as I had to cut nine white squares and 18 of each of the other two colours. But it did not take long at all and I made the square in between sewing squares for a baby blanket. All the fabric was in stash which made me happy. Now, to make the two missing blocks.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Social Media Influencers

I first heard this term when a friend doing a photo shoot, bumped into someone else also doing a photo shoot and she called the other person a Social Influencer. I thought that was strange and just for the young people because they wanted to have the latest and greatest. But in researching for this post, (ha, I Googled Social Media Influencer) I came across this definition –

A Social Media Influencer is a user on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry. A social media influencer has access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach.

The source is because that’s what came up in the side bar of Google; I know nothing about the company and did not open the website.

I like that it says established credibility in a specific industry because that is my subject for today, as I was set to think about a comment I saw this week (not aimed at me) which was “as an influencer in the knitting community, you should be careful what you write”. I did a double take; an influencer in knitting? I have written about fan girls and how certain designers can do no wrong but someone in the community who influences what knitters do?

But thinking more about this; I don’t buy or make something just because someone else has but I do buy/make/read/watch something because I have seen it on a podcast or Ravelry and I am interested by it. So is that social media influencing? I’m not doing something because someone else is but I am doing it because I saw it on their platform. And, although, I suspect that many do something because of the person, most will do it because they like what they saw. In this way we are all influenced by social media.

But the comment also got me to thinking about the responsibility people have when they write their blogs/Instagram/podcast. If yarn can be sold out within minutes of appearing on a podcast, what happens when something detrimental is said about a product? How adversely is the company affected, especially in the yarn world where there are so many sole traders? Can a single adverse review shut down a business? For some they will feel that the testing has been done for them so won’t bother with that product. For me, having seen a negative review of a swift that I have and like, I will carry out my own research.

When I write a bad review, I try not to name names and anything I write here is something I would say in public, I do not hide behind the anonymity of the internet.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

On The Twelfth Day of Christmas

Umm… I missed it.

I was going to write about my WIPs but as nothing has changed since my 1 January post there doesn’t seem any point in writing the same thing. But I have to write something, it’s the last day – OK that was Sunday – but I need to close with something – but what? On Monday I wrote some more about pattern designers but I didn’t like what I had written it so I didn’t publish it and I have since decided not to visit that subject at this time. But I really want a closing post.

So here is a collage photo of what I was doing on Sunday.

My shawls are on two shelves and as they needed to be tidied I took that as a good opportunity to go through them and decide if there were some I was never going to wear. The top left is Hitchhiker which I made way back in 2012. I like it and the yarn but it is a scarf that I am not going to wear so it will be frogged and become socks at some point. Interestingly looking at that blog post I said “I could always unravel it if I didn’t like the end result”. Also I commented on the crinkliness of the yarn and this will give me an opportunity to soak the yarn before it gets reknitted.

The top right shows two shawls that I am not fond of. The bottom one P gladly took off my hands; the other one I will keep until……

The bottom left photo shows all my shawls. Yes there are a lot but that shouldn’t be a surprise. I have been trying to wear them more often. There are some that are long but not very wide but I can wear as an accent and not as a cover up. The bag contains my Shipwreck which I am wearing in the last photo. It is quite a delicate shawl so I have kept it in a project bag but I really should wear it.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

On The Eleventh Day of Christmas

In which there was no Day Ten. And that was a conscious decision rather than not getting around to posting. When I looked at my list of things I was going to write about in this Christmastide, I changed my mind on one subject and as Friday is a busy day I decided to not post.

Today I want to write about designers, specifically pattern designers. I have written previously about not knowing what you will get when you purchase a pattern online. And as my last mystery pattern shows, you cannot always rely on the designer’s previous publications as a guide to the quality of their latest patterns.

I am going to ask a controversial question. Should pattern designers make a living from what they do? In other words if this was all they did, could they live off the income without having a second job or a supportive partner? I don’t think there is a correct answer to that. I appreciate all the designers and their work but it certainly isn’t necessary for life, and, although the piece of work derived from the pattern could be considered art, the pattern itself is not necessarily a piece of art.

The pattern design world is like sports and music a few top names and many wannabes. This does not mean the top designers are better than the others but that they have been successful in getting name recognition. In the fan world of the internet, these designers can do no wrong so they will continue to stay at the top making it harder for new designers to get noticed and, therefore, start receiving an income.

For some items the hardest part of the pattern design process is writing and formatting the pattern. So many people need their hand held when following a pattern that a lot more goes into the printed page than I deem necessary but there is the problem that once one designer has done it, now everyone has to. A good example is charts or words. It used to be that patterns would have one or the other. Now knitters are demanding both increasing the work of the designer. Have prices increased to reflect this? And I am having to pay for all these extra words and pages that I do not need. I’d rather pay more for a concise, well written pattern.

The internet has made it easier for independent designers to publish patterns but it has given all the knitters/crocheters the chance to become a designer. I really do not want to see another pattern for an asymmetrical, two-colour, garter stitch and lace shawl. A quick search on Ravelry for triangle shaped shawls using more than one colour and incorporating some lace came up with 1113 patterns. Over 100 of them are free. Is it any wonder that new designers cannot get recognition and established designers cannot make an income?

Thursday, January 3, 2019

On The Ninth Day of Christmas

You’ll see a dress.

Another project that you haven’t seen because better photos are needed. In the meantime there’s an OK photo and video.

I’d bought the unicorn fabric to make a different dress pattern but based on how particular she has been with some of the things I have made, I ended up making a pattern I knew she liked. But, of course, I did not have enough fabric. The pink is left over from a quilt I am making. She loves it and wears this one or the other one all the time.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

On The Eighth Day of Christmas

There’s some finished items.

I have photos of two shawls I finished last year but never had photos of them completed to show. I was hoping to get some nice outdoor shots but it was cold this weekend, so me up against the wall it is.

In April, I showed yarn I had purchased to knit a specific pattern. The Changes Shawl.

I love the yarn and pattern but it took longer to finish than it should have as I did not take it on vacation and then I had to get a new needle. I love the colours, the yarn, the pattern and wearing it.

The other project is also a shawl, but so different. Where Changes is warm and cuddly this one is so light it almost isn’t there. The yarn is a gradient I bought at the Vista Fiber Fiesta in 2017. Being a gradient I wanted a pattern where I could use every inch of the yarn. And I thought I had achieved that when I started the Begonia shawl. It said it was easily adaptable but when I got to the end of the pattern, you had to add complete pattern repeats and I did not have enough yarn for that. My options were to bind off, add a different pattern, frog. The first one would have missed the point of the yarn, the second would have spoiled the effect of the pattern. So leave it or frog it.

I went on an active search and came up with a pattern that was easy to change the size. In fact I was so effective at this, that this is all the yarn I have left, too small to even register on my scales.

The pattern is Fruit Cocktail and this is what it looked like pre-blocking.

I knew a good block would make all the difference and here it is.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

On The Seventh Day of Christmas

It’s a new year and a new plan.

Not a plan exactly but an idea of what I will do this year. I am starting the new year with a new cast on. I am not against frogging projects but I usually wait until I know what I am going to do with the yarn as I know if it goes back into stash then I am unlikely to pick it up again. In August of 2017 I started a shawl mystery knit along. It was a new to me designer but she had held many mysteries and I liked the designs that came from them. I had broken my foot so needed something to do and my friend took me shopping to specifically buy yarn.

The knit along was a disaster, the pattern was badly written with many mistakes and would have needed much more added to it for it to be any bigger than a handkerchief. The yarn and my time deserved better. So the project waited and I have decided to knit Viajante. This is going to be a big knit and will take a while but I think will be worthy of the yarn.

I am starting the year with four projects on the go. Two of these I am expecting to finish this month – two of the advent projects. The third project is also an Advent cast on that I mentioned that I hope I can work two rows each day. The fourth project is a cardigan that I started way back in March. I really started it to get some old yarn on the needles and I should pick it up again before it is a year old. I also want to make a concerted effort to use yarn that I have been given. But I do not want my WIPs to build up like they did last year.

I still have to make December’s block for my block a month and as I started in February the last block will be this month. (Except I didn’t make September’s as I couldn’t decide on fabric.) So to be up to date with this project, I should make three blocks this month. I’d like to get those done before I sew anything else.