Friday, September 18, 2009

The Thing About Work

It keeps you in yarn.

And if you are lucky you learn stuff.

Anyway, I was thinking that I don't think I have mentioned anything about where I work, who I work with and what I do. I won't tell you everything (it will probably bore you) and I don't want to give too much away. I am a woman of mystery after all.

For the last four months I have worked in the media & publishing sector. Don't get too excited we are primarily involved in business to business publishing. Although you will know at least one of our titles, even my peeps in Australia would recognise it.

Enough about that.

I work for an online HR publication. And it happened to be a tool I used over here in the UK before I got the job. It is fantastic tool, and again I won't bore you with detail, but just think model policies on EVERYTHING. Advice on EVERYTHING HR. It is brilliant. The thing about working on this online publication is the absolute fear I have had in presenting any written work to my boss.

He is an editor. With nearly 30 years experience in journalism. He is a very nice man.

But he writes for a living.

And clearly I don't.


But the funny thing is that he is a very generous editor. I have had very little of my work corrected mainly the odd grammatical error or use of commas (I really love commas, have you noticed?).

So I guess I am not as bad a writer as I may have thought.

But clearly not ready to write for a living.

Although the thought has crossed my mind.

Once or twice.

On a knitting related note;
I need some help with grafting lace. Can anyone point me towards some clear and detailed instructions? I have found clear but not detailed. Help!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

An Opinionated Woman

Opinionated: Believing very strongly and conveying it.

Why is it when a woman is called opinionated it used to describe a negative aspect of her personality?

Opinionated has been used twice in recent weeks to describe me, and while I have no problems being known as being opinionated (if Elizabeth Zimmerman can be opinionated, hell so can I!) I was disturbed that it was used in the negative. Like it was wrong for me to be so.

I mean what is wrong with being opinionated? When you think about it everyone has an opinion, but why is it when this word is used to describe a woman it is used like a dirty word.

I have always believed, since I can remember, that if you believe in something or have an opinion about something, you should stand up for what you believe in. If someone says something you don't agree with, then tell them. Too often in this world people say something, state an opinion, and people who may disagree do not raise their voices to be heard.

I don't want to be one of those people. I want to challenge what I don't believe in, especially those things that going against my personal beliefs. And I want, no I expect people to challenge my opinions as well!

So if that means I am an opinionated woman, so be it!

And on a knitting note, I have finished knitting D2 just need to graft the pieces together. Does anyone have any thoughts as to whether I should graft the pieces together before or after I block?

And I have decided to merge the idea for D1 and D3 into one D1.3. I will get the hang of this design thing eventually!!!

ps It was my two South African flatmates who have called me opinionated, on two separate occasions, independently of each other. I guess coming from them I should take it as a compliment!

Sunday, September 06, 2009


Thanks ladies for your thoughts on designing and publishing patterns. I especially loved 2 paw's reference to Babylon 5 vs Deep Space Nine and Armageddon vs Deep Impact. It seems shared ideas happen in all creative pursuits!

So here is just a sneak peak of what I am up to. I just love this yarn I am using and the colour is one of my favourites at the moment. It feels like this scarf will be a warm hug wrapped around my neck, I am getting really excited to see it finished.

There is still some work to go, most importantly blocking. I just don't have the space to do it & the heating has not been turned on in the building yet so drying will take ages. What a palava!

This is actually design two that is floating around my head, and it has been great to get it out. It has started me thing about design one some more and design 3 is now taking form as well. I think D3 will make it out before D1 though, still trying to find the perfect lace pattern & yarn for D1. So much to think about.

I need more coffee!!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Shared Creativity, Design and Viral Knits

My dear friend Bells has just written a post about viral knits, check it out. She talks about shared creativity and happiness in our crafty community, and it reminded me of some similar thoughts I have been having about designing and shared creative ideas.

It is a funny thing this design business. Relatively (?) simple one would think especially when you are designing a scarf. They way I see it there are 3 steps to designing a lace scarf
  • pick the lace design
  • Decide how wide you want the scarf to be
  • Knit it.
Now having (over)simplified designing a scarf, I should mention that I found there are other things to think about. How should I start my scarf? Does the yarn I am using suit this lace stitch pattern? Does my scarf need edging on the side? Which direction does the lace stitch need to face? Should I knit my scarf in two pieces? What method should I use to graft it together?

So then you start knitting. And you are feeling rather pleased with yourself. The lace stitch looks good. It suits the yarn you are using. It is going to look down right fabulous when you are finished. And then you hit a snag. There is an abbreviation in the stitch pattern you are using that you are unfamiliar with. So you Google the stitch pattern to see if any one on the internets has a better description of the lace pattern.

And then you find it. A scarf pattern using the same lace stitch.

So here is what I have learnt, my thoughts on designing knitted garments and some questions for you.

My thoughts.
  • I have read many posts on copyright and plagiarism in knitting and while I agree that this does unfortunately happen, I also believe that two (or more) people can have the same idea independently of each other.
  • Designing anything requires an idea.
  • Ideas are like a force in the universe.
  • You can bet if someone has an idea in Sydney, that someone else has the same idea in Tokyo. Or Mumbai. Or London.
  • I believe that no one person owns an idea.
  • They can be tapped into by anyone, anywhere.
  • So it makes sense that two (or more) people, on different sides of this small planet, can have the same idea and decide to design the same item using the same lace stitch.
  • Without having seen the others design.
  • Without having communicated the idea to the other person.
  • Even if one of the designs was made months or years before the other person had the same idea.
  • And while the idea is the same, the application of the idea is, I think, different.
  • BUT there are only so many ways a lace stitch pattern can be made into a scarf.
My question for you.
Should you publish the design if a design, using the same lace pattern on the same garment type, if it has been published before?

ps Bells, if this design becomes a viral knit I would be stoked!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Bank Holidays. Perfect for knitting

So over here we have Bank Holidays. By we I mean the people that live in the UK, not me as in I am now English. I need to make myself clear n that point as I have started to use very English phrases and I am afraid I am losing my Australian-ness. More on that in another blog post.

I find Bank Holidays weird. Not that I don't like having a day off, there is just no reason for them. There are 8 Bank Holidays in the UK this year. And they are all called Bank Holidays. No 'Queens favorite Corgi's birthday' holiday. No 'Unite Kingdom' day. And definitely no Queens Birthday holiday (I like to tell my English friends that Australia loves the Queen more than they do as we celebrate her birthday. Not that I am a monarchist, I just like annoying my English friends!).

But when it is all said and done, whatever the reason they have them, Bank Holidays are good for knitting.

ps thanks to Rose Red for alerting me to this great pattern.
You are a Rock Star!

pps Still working on the design. More on that in another post.