In Stitches

There's a part of me that really dreads the thought of selling all the stuff I'm making right now. It's causing me to think hard about what it is I'm trying to do with this craft I just happened to pick up for the hell of it. Exactly a year ago I finished my first crochet project. It was a slouchy beanie. Big surprise, right? The following month I signed up on Etsy to reserve my name. This entire year has been focused on improving my skills so that I can offer hand knits to people who might want to buy them. That's a pretty general goal, but there it is.

Now that I'm here surrounded by thousands of sellers, I can't help but feel like everyone is offering the same thing: chunky-ass knits. What's up with that? If i were to guess, I'd say it's because they look fantastic on a computer screen. The stitch definition is all up in your face, plus you feel warm just looking at it. Another reason is from a production stand point. After developing the Carve series I was reminded of how easy it is to work with worsted weight yarns. They knit up quick, so you can blow through a hat in one day. Easy.

It doesn't fit. Carve series doesn't jive with what I'm trying to do with my knitting. You know what it feels like? It feels like I'm copping out. I'm falling for that Etsy trap of spitting out some quick thing that looks great on your iPad or whatever. The whole idea of coffee cup cozys is another cop out. I may as well be churning out amigurumi owls or felted mustaches on sticks. Okay, maybe that's a stretch, but that's what it feels like to me.

So the Carve series is my compromise. It's me accepting that most people won't understand that Skew series is wearable throughout the year, or that Pyramid series is far more sophisticated & stylish than any chunky cop-out.

Then what am I trying to do with this craft? Well, I've been learning crochet and knitting for one year, and I see all the old fascinations I had as a graphic designer materializing in stitches. All the geometric abstractions and glorified distress are coming through into a new medium.

But more than anything, it's the design process I'm fascinated with. The sitting there moving a triangle left and right for an hour trying to find the flow of visual energy. I don't really care if the things I'm doing have been done before. My knitting isn't about them, it's about me. It's the learning and the doing, and the logical progression towards a conclusion independent of outside influence.

Sat though all that, did you? Well then have a relaxing look at these pretty pictures of works in progress and sweater entrails:

Carve Bravo WiPDuality Bravo WiP
Two Strand CottonThree Strand Cotton


Carve Alpha

While figuring out different ways to accommodate multiple price points in my shop, I came up with the Carve series. Initially I thought about making smaller items like coffee cozies, but I'm still undecided about that. Very undecided, but more on that later.

What I know for sure is that I like accessories, so I looked at my pricing strategy: one of my biggest pricing factors is production time. By knitting with heavier weight yarn I can produce an item quicker. That much I learned just by being inundated by chunky knits whenever I do an etsy search. In fact that's pretty much why I started my collection with finer knits, and will continue to produce them. There's an eloquent sophistication about smaller-gauged hand knits. I'd love to see Pyramid Bravo worn with a slim, tailored suit. It would look dope as hell.

Carve Alpha

So this project was an interesting gear-shift for me. I don't want it to sound like I'm merely pandering to a lower price point. Developing this pattern was actually pretty rewarding. It was nice to work with worsted weight yarn again, and being able to work up swatches quickly was great for ironing out all the kinks.

The Carve series is characterized by a section of nullified stitches that reinforce the basic pattern. In this case, the seed stitch sections are carved out by purls. What this does is form the dynamic geometry that I can't seem to shut up about. Another aspect of the series is that the stockinette section at the top slants opposite of the carve.

Good stuff. I love how it turned out. I've already picked out the yarn for Carve Bravo. Want updates? Then don't forget gridjunky likes you!