I’m always fascinated at the wide range of opinion when my classes peruse a new knitting magazine. What would be a fashion faux-pas to one, is high art to another (or maybe high art IS a fasion faux pas..?)
At any rate, it is a humbling experience to see designs that I like from designers I admire being passover with a short, “Eh – ” and the page immediately turned. Oh, well, you can’t please EVERYONE all the time, I guess. I suppose the most important person to please, in an artistic sense, is yourself.
My current sweater set in IK is nice (to be honest when I had one of my students at the knitting retreat try it on it looked more right on her than it did on the model in the magazine) but that’s not a dig on the model. She’s a lovely girl and wears the sweater well, but there’s just something, oh, I don’t know, missing about the photograph. I love Veronique Avery’s two pieces – especially the short sleeved surplice – and was interested to read Meg Swansen’s essay on the myth of the “Right Way To Knit.”
I was feeling rather Eh – about the sweaters publication until I got a very nice note from a designer and writer who I greatly admire praising the neatness of the knitting. That was a great compliment. In her note she also made a comment about the ‘slave wages’ that yarn companies are paying knitters to work up garments, and it’s true.
Knitters are paid anywhere from $50 to $300 to knit up a sweater, with most of the fees falling in the $150-$250 range. To my mind, anything under $200 to knit a garment and take a week of one’s life is too low. There’s not much talk about this, so it’s kind of a dirty little secret, but that’s not helpful to our growth as a knitting community! Perhaps the answer is to run fewer designs in an issue? I know there’s a finite amount of money out there – and as a designer I’m not doing myself a favor to ask that knitter’s wages be raised because it will come right out of the designers fee. But fair is fair. I’m just about ready to break into a rousing chorus of “Look for the Union Label”
I’ve written about this before, but I just don’t feel it’s right to cash in on someone’s passion by paying them peanuts to work up a garment. I feel the least a yarn company or magazine can do is to give “knit credit” on a pattern to the person who actually knit up the sample! If this happened, maybe the knitter would get a bit more respect.
Wouldn’t you, as a knitter, like to see the pictured garment’s knitter given credit?
As it would happen, I am having one of my first sweaters knit by someone else right now. It’s a design I’ve sold to a yarn company, and they’ve offered to find a knitter because I told them I was rather backed up (with work) right now. I just sent off the instructions yesterday, and I’m VERY curious to see how it comes out. This is something I should have been doing for years, but I like knitting up my own stuff – it’s hard to give that up.
TB is coming along well – much of it is written and has to be reworked into the framework of a larger book. There is a lot of duplication. I’m writing the book to be picked up and read starting anywhere, so I hate to leave out something vital that a knitter might miss in a pertinent chapter.
Back to the needles!