the percentage theory out there is that when you change 10% of a pattern, it’s a new pattern. so what is 10% of a pattern? and, frankly, what i’m more interested in is what makes a particular pattern successful? let us talk scarves. a shorter or longer scarf? narrower or wider width? different yarn? how many ways can you really change it?
consider the my so called scarf pattern. the ingenuity in that pattern is that someone discovered that that particular stitch pattern (it’s been around for quite a while because it’s in one of the barbara walker treasuries) looks great with the manos variegated yarn. brilliant, really.
so what makes a pattern? there’s color. yarn choice. shape. design. combinations of stitches. then there’s the less measurable – ingenuity. creativity. skill at execution. what is a pattern made of? or rather, what am i, or any designer, made of?
the thing that i love about some of my favorite designers is that they take traditional knitting and add a flare without losing the traditional. desingers like eunny jang and veronik avery come to mind. although i have a serious lean towards these designers, i am not them. my so called scarf, my favorite designers and me? all very very different.
so. my theory is that different designers join all of the things list above (can you think of any more?) in different ways, which makes their designs ‘them’ and unique and interesting. so what equation am i? what equation is your favorite designer?
i think i might rely heavily upon my color choice/yarn combinations. not that that is bad, but it’s funny to me that i’m so far from my favorite designers. maybe it has something to do with the way i started designing – getting approached by my editor. and mix in a whole lot of the craft fair part of my business – viable designs that people can wear, not too much time so it will be worth selling, yet interesting enough to keep my interest etc. it’s interesting what shapes us – that must be a part of designing too. for me, my mother is an artist also – and i have a good deal of natural ability from her. nature? nurture? who knows, but it has been there as long as i can remember. pretty sure my natural artistic ability plays a humongous role, maybe a little bit is influenced by the art degree and a big dose of the color combinations of me as a painter.
those are my thoughts. more thoughts on pattern writing to come… and maybe even (gasp) my first independently published pattern available in the shop (both etsy and the yarn store). i’m not promising anything – just saying.
p.s. ben traded in some classical cds for the wizard of oz yesterday and we watched it last night. the first person dorothy sees when she wakes up in the twister? a nice old woman sitting in a rocking chair knitting :)