Down doo bee doo down down

I’m feeling glum. It’s an overcast day, and I have a head cold. The kids are home for the week, which would normally be good, but this week coincides with a huge amount of work Mr. Kninja is doing from home, and is, as a result, mostly a juggling act.

And I made the mistake of reading a particular Ravelry thread complaining about bloggers posting patterns that are not all the way spiffed up, error free, and sparkly.

Blah. I’m trying not to let it get to me, but it’s sort of taken a little of the shine off my my happy magic view of the online knitting community. I’ve always felt really welcome and connected with other knitters, and I like the way people take the time to share their ideas, even when those ideas are half formed.

I’m taking a lot of extra time on my Erin Shrug pattern because I’m trying to get it just right, Baby Bear style. And I mean to post it only when it is just right, no errors, no problems. However, I certainly can’t say that about patterns I’ve already posted…patterns that are more ideas than patterns, where my math may have failed me at times, and my invention may have given out. And I can’t promise that I won’t make more mistakes in future.

I’ve had thoughts of selling the Erin Shrug pattern, but I feel weird going right from half formed ideas to selling a pattern. I like the idea of establishing a trustworthy reputation first. Truth is, I never came into knitting expecting to design patterns for other people. The biggest ambition I had was to make something designed for me, which is what Maude Louise was.

I always intended, though, to do my best to write down what I’d done so that others could make it. And I did write it down, and I learned that I’m not really a quick study at this. That’s an understatement. I’m bloody slow, laborious, and tortuous at this.

You’re probably regretting dropping by for a pity party, so I’ll apologize now, offer tasty snacks, and pull myself together.


Perhaps you would like some milk and cheese?

There.  All pulled into place.  Pity party finit.

I don’t have knitting pictures this week, but I’ve got a few finished or almost finished projects that I’m eager to show you.  I’ve been trying to encourage the kids’ interest in the fiber arts by purchasing the occasional skein to make them a little something, and Eleanor has two new treats this week.  Firstly, I took up my crochet hook and learned to actually follow a pattern by making this adorable little goldfish from Beep Beep.  Ours is a lot more pastel-y and multicolored, thanks to Eleanor’s very strange taste in yarn.  She also picked out a skein of deep purple Cascade 220 recently, and I’ve been making her a little long sleeved shrug based on the One Skein Wonder.  She’s a fun person to knit for, and I’m wondering when she’ll be coordinated enough that I can start teaching her.  She’s already expressed an interest in learning, but every time I try to show her, she waits patiently, watches me, and then says, “OK, Mama.  Now I show YOU how to do it.”  Then she waves her needles around for a while and makes yarn spaghetti, and then she says, “Ooooh, darn!” in this adorable little voice.

She’ll be three in April.  I’m thinking three’s probably still too little.  She’s got the will, but the small muscles need to catch up.  Gabriel, on the other hand, can knit, but does so very rarely, and Liam has not shown any interest yet.  I admit, I want my boys to join me in my obsession perfectly healthy little hobby, become enthusiastic knitters, and defy gender stereotype, but so far, the little girl is showing a lot more interest and enthusiasm than her older male compatriots.  So perhaps I will not have the model family of enlightenment (TM), but at least it looks likely that I’ll have a companion in yarns soon enough.

I made a little headway on Sweetheart Sock number two, but truth be told, I think it’s going to be a long haul.  I think knowing how difficult number one was for me is making it harder for me to dive in head first, and as the weather warms up, I have less of the drive of desperation that kept me going last time.  Still, the Dude(ette) abides, and I’m plodding away with some success.

I’m also almost done with a Le’ Slouch, a hat I’ve admired since it was first posted on Wendy’s blog, and which I’m only now getting around to making for myself.   Simple, but so cute, and very satisfying.  I love seed stitch, and I’m getting my fill here.

More later.  I promise to be less full of the pathos of the world next time.

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11 Responses to “Down doo bee doo down down”

  1. Fuji Mama Says:

    You keep on feeling welcome in the knitting community! Not all of us are professional designers, but I think we should still be able to share our ideas. I think we can help each other out in a positive way, and those who have negative comments should just keep them to themselves. I think you are fabulous!

  2. Cyn Says:

    If it’s the thread I’m thinking of – I don’t know if you saw it, but the same thread was started in the Designers group, and it got quite a different reception there than it got on the main forums. More of a “dude, errors happen even though we try our best to squash them” type thing – because anyone who writes patterns knows how damn hard it is to be absolutely positively sure that a pattern is error-free.

    The interesting thing is that – again, if I’m thinking of the same thread as you – the chick who posted the thread is a designer, so maybe she’s the “if my patterns are perfect, EVERYONE’S PATTERNS MUST BE PERFECT NEENER NEENER” type. (Well actually, I’ve seen that chick around other knitting communities and… well, okay, the rest of this comment is not appropriate for a public post. Heh.)

  3. theLady Says:

    Knitters are people, and there are all kinds of people. Anyhow, if you want to get as close to possible to error-free, consider having people test-knit your patterns before sale. Also, look at Rowan and other knitting publications – errata all over the place! And independent designers have errors too. I’d say don’t feel too bad about it. As to publishing – everyone’s got a first! If you think your pattern is good, might as well publish for payment, because a lot of thought and work goes into those babies.

  4. expatknits Says:

    I’m actually tiring of the main forums on Ravelry. The same things come up all the time: “Am I the only one who hates dpns/circulars/lace/cables/crochet?” – then the inevitable “What’s with the dpns/circulars/lace/cables/crochet hate?”, the neverending needles on planes questions, and, not least, the not-quite-trolls-but-awfully-strong-in-their-convictions-type people like the ones you saw in that thread. I have a great deal of respect for your design aspirations, and I was very inspired by the work you put into the Maude Louise design.

  5. Kristen Says:

    Thanks, all. I’m feeling a lot better – it was just a bad thread to read on a blue day. I’ve always liked how open and generous the knitting community seemed online. Most people seemed excited to share their expertise, and to welcome even the newest of knitters and designers. I suppose the hazard of a forum is seeing a lot more opinions than one usually would see in one place, and oftentimes, those drawn to a particular thread are a small, self selecting group with a strong opinion. It’s hard to always keep perspective, though.

  6. RobinH Says:

    On kids knitting, I’ve read suggestions that said you can teach kids to knit as young as five. Personally, I was too klutsy at twelve to master it, but I came back to it as a teen and have been knitting ever since.

    And? I think that every hobbyist group develops a collection of conversations that repeat endlessly. I see it in all sorts of online groups. It kind of rolls over groups in waves and then they go back to talking about fun stuff again.

    (I’ve been lurking for a bit. Hi! Love seeing your projects.)

  7. orata Says:

    Aw, don’t let it get you down! I didn’t see the thread and I’m not sure I care to. I don’t think most people really realize how much work it is to get something from out of your head onto a piece of paper, then (where applicable) doing a bunch of math to get it into different sizes, without making mistakes here and there. And every step–reformatting, copying and pasting, rewriting directions–introduces the risk of something going wrong somewhere.

  8. Amanda Says:

    I read that thread, too, and it made me feel the same way. This is the way I look at it…Pre-ravelry the feedback I received was through readers of my blog-people that have the same mentality (happy and sweet) as I do. I am sure you and your readers are the same- sweet, supportive and mostly happy. Post-ravelry I get to hear from everyone in the world that knits and unfortunatly some of those people are judgemental, unhappy, elitist. The downfall to such a large community is the b*tches are usually the ones that are the loudest, and are not happy unless they are making others feel inferior.

    Mistakes are going to happen, we are all human, don’t let that stop you from publishing your patterns. You have a great eye for design. If you like we can do a bit of proofreading for eachother- sometimes it is so hard to see your own mistakes after looking at the pattern so many times.

  9. Christabel Says:

    Aw, don’t let it get you down. We’re human, and mistakes are a part of life.
    That little goldfish pattern is gorgeous!

  10. Emma in France Says:

    My daughter will be 3 in June and she’s doing pretty much the same thing. She’s also insistent that she wants to knit socks so I might actually start her off with socks when the time comes. After all she doesn’t know that they’re supposed to be hard 🙂

  11. Michaela Says:

    I’m sorry to hear that the shininess has worn off the online knitting groups for you! Try not to let it though. MOST knitters like to see how others go through their creative knitting process. That’s why we’re here, right??

    As for your daughter, you could start her off knitting i-cords on her fingers. You weave the yarn back and forth between your four fingers until you have two loops (front and back) and then pull the bottom loop over the top and off the finger. Weave he yarn through again and repeat. That’s what I started out doing when I was younger and helped me understand how stitches fit together later.

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