Evolving as a Designer
Here is some straight talk for you; I never intended to be a knitwear designer. In fact I never intended to be a yarn producer, but here we are…. Now it would be fair to say my accidental step into knitwear design has been a learning journey.
The whole way through this process my focus has been on one of my core values; Accessibility. Now this is one of those words that can mean a lot of different things to people, so please allow me a moment to define this for the business. To me, the greatest purpose I have, is to get people knitting. So accessibility to learn, have, do and enjoy are crucial. Very early on I was learning what creates obstacles: from vision impairments, mobility and dexterity, confidence, concentration and cognitive function through to physical access, budget, learning tools and support, and even the inspiration to create.
As a designer that then writes patterns with these things in mind, it’s been a constant evolution. Think font sizes, paper mediums and graphic design and layout. Think knitting construction and simplicity in design and language. Think learning tutorials, knitting workshops, ongoing support. Think yarn economy and reduced waste. With all that it is now my mission to go back through all the earlier designs and advance them to their most accessible and enjoyable point. And now it’s time to think about the many and varied body shapes we all have and how I can make my patterns more inclusive, more flexible to accomodate custom fit. Earlier this year I learnt how the scaling of many patterns is, well, awful. And this I know to be true when I shop for clothes and become frustrated that things get longer when they get wider. Scaling patterns is something I have actively stayed away from (due to a lack of skill), but now I see that with proper thought in design, patterns can me made to tackle specific challenges (like an ample chest) and give the knitter flexibility to knit their own fit (like broad shoulders, big guns, long or short torso’s). And to that end, I am actively designing in this realm, and you may have picked up on the new sizing and design options coming through.
Yesterday I learnt, that my design history lacking in sizes and scales has caused distress. This is hard to hear, some lessons I guess really take your breath away. I’ve been so focused on one front that I have totally missed another. Sincerely I am sorry if my design work has caused you any distress or feeling of exclusion. To know me, would be to know this is far from my nature as a person. My hope is that you’ll see that I am but one person, who quite simply cannot do everything – but is prepared to try. I am committed to growth, learning and adapting. I may never be the person that creates the best size inclusive knitwear, but I can improve my work and partner with designers more astute to grow this area of my business. Perhaps you can help me?
I welcome your feedback, even that hard to hear stuff, with love