Monday, March 26, 2012

Stitch Dictionary Inquiry

Today I treated myself to a copy of Barbara Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns. I usually use stitch dictionaries as a way to understand how different stitches interact on the final knitted fabric. Then I'll create my own version of the stitch or mix a few together. Although there are plenty of great designers that plug the stitches directly into a pattern.

I'm not knocking putting patterns from stitch dictionaries into new patterns, but I am curious about how people feel about that kind of pattern writing. Are you happy to see a beautiful kind of stitch put together into a pattern for you? Do you feel ripped off when you find the original stitch pattern? Does the type of garment influence your feelings? (A sweater with a readymade stitch pattern vs. a scarf with the same pattern)

5 comments :

Pumpkin said...

You know? I was just asking myself this question today. I haven't really formed a strong opinion on the subject, but if I were a designer my process would be similar. I think that it happens more than we realize because there is a finite number of stitch possibilities, and whether or not you use a dictionary, that all of the possibilities have already been invented and by more than one person. I also think that it is easier to adapt this method of design to a scarf compared to a sweater. Sorry if that came across as rambly!

kiwiyarns said...

Well... none of us get mad when a designer uses stocking stitch or garter or ribbing in a design... why should anyone feel ripped off because a designer has used an existing stitch pattern? I feel it's the same thing. Besides, imagine if those beautiful traditional cables were never used in a design because they'd 'already been thought of'!

I wouldn't get too hung up about it if I were you. ;-) x

fridica said...

I don't think designers should be forced to reinvent the wheel, as Pumpkin says there is a finite number of stitch possibilities... But I like to see credit given if the designer took it out of the stitch dictionary (a mention in the design description works for me). And also, I tend to discriminate by garment type: if the stitch is used as a design element in say a cardigan, then I know there was more work put into it other than just copy-pasting the stitch pattern, the designer incorporated it into shaping, etc... But if it is just a scarf (or more popularly nowadays - a cowl) in which the stitch pattern is repeated 10 times in a row and that's it, well, then it's unlikely I'll buy the pattern. I still find it ok to use, but I might as well get it from the stitch dictionary myself in that case...

Erin Kate said...

I've always wondered about that too, it is an interesting moral question. I think it can only be decided from pattern to pattern.

AC said...

I agree with fridica for the most part--if there's shaping involved, it doesn't bother me at all, if it's a rectangle, it's a little annoying. I've heard tell that there are people who are terrified of doing ANYTHING without a pattern though, so they're still providing a service to those types of folks.

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