Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Fan's Approach to Design

I am so thrilled about designs of mine that have been accepted for publication (and I'm starting to get a critical mass of them accepted!). However, I hope that I can still keep crafting projects from some of my favorite designers. Let me explain.

I've spent some time around wine and winemakers. If you've ever spent any time with a winemaker, you'll know that he/she spends a lot of time tasting and testing the wine being made. It's an ongoing process, more an art really. If the winemaker didn't taste regularly, that magical moment when it's time to bottle the wine may elude him or her. Disaster.

However, any good winemaker worth his/her grapes will also tell you that to drink one's own wine exclusively is to stop exercising an important muscle. If all the winemaker drank were his/her own wine, the tastebuds would become dulled to the other exquisite range of flavors and complexities to be found in other wine bottles. He or she must taste other vintner's wares regularly. In essence, the good winemaker must become a wine fan.

So, too, with design. I'm certainly fond of my own designs (!), but I don't want to stop appreciating and, hopefully, making other of my favorite designers' patterns. What would the world be without a great Doris Chan top-down crocheted cardigan, or Norah Gaughan's wonderfully unique knit cable creations, or a Susanna IC crescent-shaped shawl? A far less fashionably tasteful place, let me tell you.

So who are your favorite designers? If you had one last project to make before meeting that great Dodger in the sky, what would it be?


  1. Such a tough questions, Denise! I would be so sad that I could only choose 1 :-(!

  2. I am actually just learning about designers. A year ago I couldn't tell you who Stephen West was because I just didn't know. I am finally learning who the designers are and techniques that come with them. That being said, my favorite designer is near and dear to me and that is KellyJ Knits at Your Local Yarn Shop. She has been writing patterns over the last couple of years under her name and Kalamazoo Knits. She has found a way to write sassy colorwork designs which look super complicated but only require slipped stitches. Pure genius. I can't wait to see what you are working on.

    As for the wine testing...the same goes for fiber. Although I'm the Alpaca Gal, I LOVE LOVE LOVE all fibers. I am learning about all types of wool and how their fiber works because they are beautiful plus I learn more about the fiber I raise as I educate myself.

  3. The only designer that I'm consistently a fan of is the Stitch Diva (I don't even remember her real name!). I find myself either making up something or going into Rav with a specific set of criteria and using their search function, instead of gravitating towards a specific designer. Is that weird?

  4. I don't have a favourite designer ... in fact, I rarely, if ever, buy patterns. The reason I like crochet so much is because it allows me to indulge in that "I could make that!" impulse. I've been doing it so long that I instinctively know if I can manipulate the fabric the way I want it to look... I'd love to be able to do that with knitted fabric as well, but my clumsy needling is a long way away from that kind of ability :-(

  5. I'm so happy for you getting your designs to publications. I hope you will let us know when to keep an eye out for them. Some of my favorite knitwear designs are from Carol Sunday, Veronik Avery, and Joanne McGowan Michael. For lace I like Romi, Miriam Felton, and lots of others. Many of these I haven't knit yet, but want to!