Monday, January 11, 2010

Simplification

Having spent an inordinate amount of time over the weekend writing out the most complicated portion of the new pattern, I have come to realize that there is a much better (and more simple) way of managing the increases, etc, etc. The time wasted is very frustrating, as is the effort of all the calculations, write up, etc, etc. It was not for nothing though, as eventually I happened upon the much simplified (and preferable if I do say so myself) version of the pattern. I do wonder, though, why I seem to need to spend lots of time and effort figuring out how to do things, or write them, before the easy way "appears". When knitting for myself (not focusing on a write up or design specifics) I tend to "knit by the seat of my pants" and the easy way appears as I need it, no lengthy considerations, calculations, how to's, etc.

Of course, I also feel like now my pattern looks like I didn't put in the effort and work into it that I poured out over the past few days. Oh well. I will continually remind myself that simpler and easier for the user is preferable. I guess I have to go through the process of doing the more complicated difficult thing to get to the simple elegant solution.

I'm getting close to having a write up that I can send to test knitters. I think we will have a googlewave set up to have an organized central place for everyone to comment and discuss issues that may come up. I have never used googlewave so this will be yet another technology leap for me. I'll let you know how it goes.

2 comments:

spinningjezebel said...

hehe. was a little concerned that i am also the only one knitting 'by the seat of my pants', as you put it. actually, was thinking of asking my mum to cast an experienced eye over your pattern as well, as she is better at following patterns than i usually am!

bek mylastname said...

I know what you mean! I never follow patterns as written, usually I don't even read them other than a glance over to see how they were constructed. I buy pattern books for the photos almost exclusively except for "technique" primers of sorts where the patterns are actually so simple that they are more about teaching concepts ala zimmermann, walker, etc.

I feel like there is real art in simplifying, but it is also painful in a way. It is very similar to editing your own writing when you've spent so much time and energy getting down your brilliant thoughts and cleverly worded phrases only to have to cull them out b/c everything is too wordy and unnecessary.

As a knitter I would have been completely turned off by the sight of the pattern I had, it was pages and pages of "row 1: abbreviations, numbers, more numbers, ridiculously huge amounts of numbers" and it went on just like that for pages. (plural) I was getting headaches and blurred vission trying to read it much less re-check the numbers yet again b/c there was some issue as I went along trying to make it all work together. blech. Now that entire section has been compressed to about half a page including cable explanations, etc.