Yesterday I received the unexpected pleasure of an email from Melissa in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Melissa made a version of my men's vest (featured on an archived Knitty.com) for her guy for Valentine's Day. She was also kind enough to send a photo:
This is one reason why I enjoy designing. You know by now that knitting is the source of great pleasure for me, and providing someone with a project that they enjoy knitting and produces a good-looking garment -- well, that's very gratifying. I get a huge kick out of seeing someone else's spin on a garment I've designed: their color choices, slight alterations they make, and so on. Melissa used a cashmerino instead of Manos and you can see how the stitch pattern just pops with a less rustic, more uniformly-spun yarn. Cool.
I know some knitters who are very talented and creative and design lovely items, but who have no interest in creating patterns that other knitters can follow. To them, knitting is an opportunity to create one-of-a-kind garments, to wear a sweater or scarf or hat that no one else in the world can wear, an expression of their individuality, a way to reject some of the everyone-is-wearing-the-same-sweater-they-bought-at-Gap mentality of the masses. Knitting as anticonsumerism, if you will. I find this fascinating, although it's not something I personally am very concerned with. When I was a kid, I was painfully conscious of not fitting in, of not wearing the "right" brand of shoes or clothes, of not having a huge budget for clothes and not having parents who were very concerned with style. (To give you a feel for my parents' take on fashion, my dad freaked out the first time I wanted to wear blue jeans to school because he viewed blue jeans as something poor kids had to wear. You can imagine how this went over with the hippie sensibility that was en vogue at the time, this being the, ahem, 1970s.)
The knitting world is large, and I am lucky to encounter knitters of all ilks. Philosophical differences like these keep it interesting.