Friday, October 24, 2003

Dumbing down

Most of the things I've been knitting lately are pretty simple. Shop samples need to encourage people to buy and many of our customers are new or returning knitters who seem to want quick and easy projects. And that's fine. Sales are what keeps the shop going and growing.

There's been some chatter about the dumbing down of knitting. You know, warsh cloths, Darryl Hannah and similar iconoclastic references. Personally I don't think it much matters what a knitter chooses to work on.

I have one student who is so challenged by a single row of knit stitches that each row is a mini-triumph. She desperately wants to knit a scarf with one of the novelty yarns that are so enticing. Every time she comes to the shop, almost every day, she wants to know when she will be ready.

So today, in what may be one of my weakest moments, I told her she could try some of the Trendsetter Genie. (We have a garter stitch pattern that Ann Mary developed for this yarn, 65 stitches on a size 35/19mm needle. It's only seven or eight rows wide.) She was so happy I thought she would cry. So next week we will make the scarf. I will have to check each row to make sure there are no inadvertent yarn overs or dropped stitches. But it will be a beautiful scarf.

And she will feel like she's a knitter. We may not all agree on that but that's not the point. For her, it's going to feel as good as I may feel when I finish something that's very complex. Well, that's the plan anyway.

If you want something less "dumb", check out the Adrienne Vittadini pattern in the lastest Vogue Knitting, pattern number 15. Read the pattern; don't just look at the picture. I'd like to make this but I'll have to have more quiet time than I currently have.

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