Wow, lofty title huh? Sorry, I'm not planning a dissertation or anything, but this is a post I've thought about writing periodically. Whenever I read blogs that dismiss popular patterns - Oh, I won't make that. It's so ... pedestrian - I get a little miffed. I'm not much for personal attacks (getting enough of that in the presidential race thanks), so I never comment, but since this is my blog, well, I get to let it out here without directing my ire at anyone individually. I'm also frustrated with those of us who are making a popular pattern, but feel we must apologize for for it. That's a "we" because I've done it too. The old "I know, it's all over the blog world/Ravelry, but I think it's cute ..." intro. So today, let me praise imitation, for it is indeed a fine form of flattery.
Photo break. Lizard Ridge is a perfect example of an immensely popular pattern that I'm happy to copy. I LOVE knitting these squares. Blocking is not as much fun, but it makes them sing.
Intending to block about every five squares so it's not overwhelming. Not worrying about outliers until further along.
Of course many crafters join KALs or copy a pattern down to the yarn color or fabric pack and go happily about their way without a worry. This is a hobby. It's supposed to be fun (as we remind ourselves when ripping out). Many times a little mindless activity is far preferable to reinventing the wheel. Other times we question jumping on the bandwagon of an immensely popular pattern. Still, we leap on because that cart is going somewhere we want to go, and we're hoping it's not hell in a handbasket. Yeah, that's stretching the container metaphor, but I couldn't help myself! I've always loved that phrase! It's so visually evocative. Wikipedia says it's of unknown origin, but thought to be mid-century Midwestern, which given my KY background explains why I heard it so often in my young life that I assumed it was Shakespearian.
Then there are some who get awfully snippy about the idea of doing a popular pattern. I have no problem if you only want to knit or sew completely original work - more power to you on your creative journey - but I've never quite understood the need to turn that impulse into indirect indictment of those who choose to be inspired by someone else's creation. Isn't that why we troll Ravelry for endless hours? Isn't that why we read blogs? To be inspired. To see something so intriguing, so beautiful that we just have to make THAT. NOW. And sometimes we see a person who seems to have gotten it just right. The perfect pattern. The perfect color. We don't want a modified version of it, we want THAT. Why not copy it? We'll still get the joy of the creative process.
Here's my in-progress copy of the Flutter Cardi from the new Interweave.
Must admit I've stopped knitting on it over the last week or two since we've had warm weather, then rain. Spent days and days cleaning the old growth from the garden and replanting for spring. February is our April and haste must be made if one wants spring flowers. When my husband came home last week and found me planting by porch light at 9 PM he questioned my sanity, but I crowed the next day when we woke up to rain. For those of you who don't know, here in San Diego County we get 10" or less rain per YEAR. Some years 5" or less. Gardeners here rejoice at the sound of rain. And yes, I am obsessive.
Still looking for a pattern for this Lavold Silky Tweed, but at least I found a good use for Asian pear wrappers. They were almost in the trash, but I held my hand closed thinking There must be a use for these foam nets? ...
Not much in the veggie garden right now, but the greens are still coming on. Kaffe Fassett found chard inspiring and turned it into fabric. I am thankful. My husband put a few stalks in a vase one day to brighten the bookshelf and I just had to photograph them with my Farmers Market quilt.
Separated at birth?
I'm honored beyond measure to tell you that my quilt has a doppelganger. I grabbed that photo on the right from Julie's blog, but there are other larger ones at the link. If you appreciate costume sewing you must scroll through the rest of Julie's blog because she and her daughters do simply amazing Renaissance Faire outfits. Julie was very thoughtful and asked if she could make her quilt in a similar colorway. Of course! I'm so sorry it's taken me so very long to say thank you publicly. I just hope that one day our quilts meet for a party.
My newest quilt was inspired by the $700 Ethan Allen Rosette Quilt from last year. It's not on their website anymore but I found this photo from the catalog on a home decorating blog (yes, also copied to my server). For once I'll be able to tell my DH that I'm saving money with my crafting! OK, truth is I cut the pattern down from a 98" x 95" bed quilt to a 60" x 40" wall hanging, but I'm sticking to my $700 price point.
Over the weekend I happened onto the torn out catalog page stuck between pattern photocopies and suddenly knew it was the handwork I was looking for to take to softball and gymnastics. I'd bought this yo-yo maker a while back with this quilt in mind, but it had fallen off my radar.
These are gilded Asian themed fabrics from my stash cut to 5.5" squares. I'm changing the colorway to match my fabric, but following the rhythms of the EA quilt. 14 yo-yos down, 240 to go.
To finish this: Artists have copied Mother Nature and each other forever. Yes, great artists produce groundbreaking work, but they build on inspiration. Art isn't created in a vacuum. Knitting and quilting are perfectly suited for sharing creativity. Any work you make will be both individual and part of a greater whole. Don't worry about copying someone. We go out shopping and buy clothes and shoes that literally thousands if not hundreds of thousands of other people in the world are wearing. Even if you're a boutique shopper, there are probably more people wearing that "unique" shirt than have made almost any knitting pattern, Clapotis aside. And why not make a Clapotis? Who cares if 5000 other people have? Isn't it wonderful that a knitted object can identify you at just a glance to other knitters around the world? If it came off your needles, hook or machine, it's yours. Enjoy.