Monday, August 24, 2015

Challenge One: Knit Your Life


Crash and Burn


What the Hell Was I Thinking

Take your pick or come up with a title of your own, just about anything which has an air of derisiveness would be perfect.

To save some time and get this post rolling below are the videos announcing the first Challenge and my progress video, we will discuss after viewing.

And so there you go.  Obviously I missed the mark.  I took a huge bite of the autobiographical apple and pretty much missed the underlying purpose of the challenge.  The purpose being an end product which someone else would want to knit.  I basically dismissed that part, not entirely, but enough.  I still stand behind this design as far as it being a easy top down raglan, with an interesting detail technique.  Do I stand behind the color choice?  Not in a million years.  I was thinking at the time, (oh how erroneously) that it was design for the sake of design and a statement piece, not an end product. Seriously, who in their right mind would knit this IN THESE COLORS?!?!?! (says the woman who wears pretty much nothing but black) But to my way of thinking at the time, color is such an easy thing to change, it is the easiest thing to change in a garment whose design is NOT color based so I went bold for the 'wow' factor our challenge guidelines had told us to go for. I pushed beyond my own sensibility to use colors most people associate with joy to represent the joy I have in my life. It's as simple as that. Oy.

note to self: never compromise your sensibilities, design for you and not for some poorly thought out notion of what you think someone else wants.

I used the drop stitch to symbolize the mishaps, tragedies, trials and tribulations that life throws at a person.  And then I used the (eye searingly bright) rainbow hues to mend those travesties into something new but which became a part of the new but different whole; the same kind of thing of what happens to a person when they find the strength to go forward in life. To achieve this new but different whole after dropping the stitches I mended the "wound" using the resulting horizontal threads.  This is something I really enjoy doing, but perhaps not for everyone.  I suspect most people after knitting a tunic length garment would much prefer to be done with it after the ends have been woven in and the garment has been blocked. That is not the case here, the weaving takes a fair amount of time more, thus another reason this design crashed and burned, and rightfully so. :)  Thankfully for my sake there were no eliminations during the challenges, cuz surely I would have been gone after this fiasco!!!!

second note to self: get a grip, you're in a design contest sponsored by a yarn distributor, they want to sell yarn and have patterns NORMAL people want to knit.

So there you have it, right out of the gate on the very first challenge I failed. Miserably and completely.  Meh.  It didn't bother me much I had begun with the belief that merely being chosen as one of the 12 was winning enough, regardless of how the rest of the contest unfolded. I along with my fellow contestants, had already won the biggest prize.  But being so decidedly at the bottom of the heap (with my fully in agreement self-judgement) I was able to watch and see my fellow contestants without any emotional baggage and that's when it hit me full force and haunted me for quite sometime. It was the notion which niggled at my thoughts from the very first day after I had sent in my application.

Why was I doing this?  Because I like to design things.

Ok fine good answer, next question:

Do I want a career designing knitwear?

Do I have any desire to write and sell knitting patterns?

Have I ever had any desire to write and sell knitwear patterns?


BUT most, if not all, of these people did!  As too, I'm fairly confident, did the others who had sent in applications but were not chosen as one of the twelve. Damn. I was in this contest with no desire to parlay it into anything else.  I did not and would not have a career kickstarted nor did I already have a career which would benefit from the exposure.  Taking a spot as one of the contestants without having any future plans meant I was possibly stealing someone else's dreams. It hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks.  There were no more "niggling" thoughts in the back of my brain, this was full on, and the guilt was almost more than I could handle. It went against every fiber of my being. I had believed all my life that my one true sole purpose was to help and facilitate others to obtain their dreams.  Its the one and only reason I became a school teacher. And now I found myself in the very real position of being the impenetrable road block in someone's journey.

Somehow I was going to have to get around this and make it right.  I didn't know how I'd do it, cuz that guilty plaid elephant was enormous, but I'd begin with paying heed to the aforementioned notes to myself, design to the best of my ability with my voice in my way AND pay attention to what a normal person might want to knit. That second one was going to be the most difficult.  And thus began the switch in my thinking from this was something silly and fun to do, to this was something that meant something to people and I would respect their feelings by taking this contest more seriously and do my best.  Well, do my best and have fun doing it.  ;)  One thing which would remain the same though, I refused to view any of the challenges as anything more than self challenges.  I refused to look at this weird thing I had gotten myself in too as a competition which pitted me against anyone else.  As I stated before, I truly believed just being chosen had been the biggest prize and we had all won. The challenges which would follow? Those would be challenges against myself, alone, not against them.

Ok enough of that, pretty sure I've waxed philosophical way too much and dove into the depths of what I was thinking way deeper than anyone cares to go so how about photos of "Totality" the crash and burn design from Challenge One: Knit Your Life. Laughing and giggling ARE allowed and frankly encouraged.  If I've made you smile today then all is not for naught.

Now how about a very good design?  

The Challenge One Winner by Talitha Kuomi 


Tal is one of the very BEST things that happened to me during the contest. Hugs my friend!

(Unfortunately Nigamo is not available at this time but will be soon.)

Please follow any of the links below to get to know Tal if you don't know her by now!  I can't imagine you won't find a must-knit-now pattern in her catalog.

ravelry: talithakuomi
twitter: @talithakuomi
instagram: talithakuomi
pinterest: talithakuomi

The judging videos for Challenge One can be found here and here.

Up next:  Challenge Two: Color Inside the Box or Inspiration? What is That????