Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Gaining A lack of control

I was educated by people who, for the most part, design products to be mass produced. It's kind of the point of industrial design - make something that is reproducible using efficient manufacturing and standard materials. It's something that I have had to start thinking about professionally - products for a mass market, a user profile which dictates aesthetics, obeying the trends which sometimes conflict with my sensibilities. It's almost the opposite of the factors which I consider when working on personal projects. You give up some of your artistic control to gain the ability to design at all.  Everything is standardized to allow for optimal production and sales.

The process of designing for industrial means of production is actually really similar to designing for DIY production. You have to think about your reasoning behind the product: Is it going to be useful to different people in different situations, what materials and tools will be used to make this thing, and how much importance are you going to place on aesthetics? You're basically doing the same thing, but for a smaller audience. The only thing that you really lose is uniformity. Because production is in the hands of a bunch of individuals, no two finished objects will be the same. You have to be open to all sorts of  interpretation, success, failure, and disagreement.

Though there is something very satisfying about seeing a factory made product of your design, surprise will rarely be a positive reaction. Nobody ever sends instructions which, instead of a standard pantone color, say "surprise me." In the ideal situation, you have control over every detail and always get what you expect. But I really like surprises and a bit of diversity as well. That is one of the reasons I share knitting patterns here on my blog and on ravelry. Earlier this week I posted a bunch of interpretations of the same knitting pattern. Each product looks very different from the others, but that's the best way to cater to an audience of individuals. People create things that I would never do, and, for the most part, they like it more than if I had only allowed them to make my version.

This must be why people continue to value handmade over machinemade.

It's pretty exciting to have freedom.

Monday, January 23, 2012

More Mostly Male

Some of you are familiar with the Mostly Male pattern book mentioned in a previous post and on the internet. It's one of the funniest books of knitting patterns ever published, the name is proof enough of that. The really amazing thing about the humor in this book is that none of the patterns are really strange or ugly. The photography however is odd in just the best way.

Yes, there ar four people on this page and two of them (the mostly men) are wearing pink pants or shorts. The others seem to be wearing sweaters with their bathing suits or underwear.

You probably want to see that dude in the pool a bit closer.
Nice pose. Have fun swimming in your wool sweater.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Snowglasses/Felt Your Raybans

Sunglasses are kind of good for the beach, In the winter, however, they look kind of out of place. But snowblindness can be a real problem when the sun reflects off of the white ground, so sunglasses are still kind of necessary.

I got some really cheap, large, fake Raybans at the drugstore and felted over them. The problem of winter sunglasses is solved. If you do this with your glasses, you may want to go with the pink tinted lenses (they make the snow look like everything is covered in glittery cotton candy).

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Color Theory in Practice

Almost exactly a year ago I posted a knitting pattern for a cowl which used two contrasting yarns to create an interesting interaction of color. A bunch of people have made color theory cowls now and everyone has used different yarns.

I picked out a few pictures from Ravelry finished object pages showing different interpretations of the same pattern.

Kimberly Wachta's
Colour Theory Cowl

Cheshy02's Cowl for her Sis

J. Daneman's Color Theory Leftovers

Kcol's Colour theory cowl


Sybilramkin's Stripey Cowl
Thank you to all the knitters above who let me use their photos and to those who made their own color combos.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

this should have happened a long time ago

Looking through old photos for gif-able content.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

some sweaters are time machines

If I could turn back time, I would travel to the '70s and meet Cher and her striped pants.
I think you would call her The Cheriff

I don't have a time machine, but I do have some red heart yarn (the cheapest) in the perfect colors for a kitschy afghan. Here are a few more mood images.

I'm off to make a sweater that will transport you right back to the '70s.

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