Monday, May 18, 2015

Success and Failure

The contemporaneous accounts of  fisherman's garments tend to describe them as "rough' or "coarse". Warm, durable, and inexpensive, but not "pretty".

Thus, if I spin yarns for traditional fisherman's sweaters, and they are warm, durable, and inexpensively, and I can get them spun on the required schedule, then I have succeed.

Those who want me to make "pretty" yarns, want me to take a giant step in the wrong direction.

If they spin yarns that are not warm, durable, and inexpensively, then they are not spinning yarns for fishermen.  Fisherman do not need pretty yarn.  Fishermen need warm, durable, and inexpensive.

Professionals must meet the needs of their clients.  Client's needs include function, durability, price, schedule, and only sometimes appearance.

I do not not respect those who cherish superficial appearance over functionality.


purplespirit1 said...

"I do not not respect those who cherish superficial appearance over functionality." - says the person who has bragged, repeatedly, about shopping at Neiman Marcus. I hope you really think at the irony there.

You seem to have a misconception about spun yarn. Spun yarns can be both pretty and functional, spun not-at-super-speeds and still warm.

I'll admit, most of my yarn that I've spun hasn't been spun as fast as yours has, and some of it even not as thin - and it's certainly not knit nearly as tight as yours. Despite that, the items I've knit from my spun yarn (including sweaters) have enabled me to stay warm and dry during Canadian winters. And my yarn is still, for the most part, pretty - as are the items I've knit from them.

There's no sense in making something if you're going to make a point to make it ugly.

Aaron said...

When you say. " the items I've knit from my spun yarn (including sweaters) have enabled me to stay warm and dry during Canadian winters." I assume that means outside 24/7? Otherwise part of what is keeping you warm is your tent, car, house, time in heated shops, and etc. I do not make that claim. I merely wear mine to sleep in the snow some times. If we are skiing, I go into a warm bar for a cold beer. After a few days, I get in a warm car and drive down into a warm valley.

I do not shop Needless Markup.

I walk the racks, and touch and feel to see what the designers and buyers think is high quality merchandise.

I am not above sitting there knitting, and watching customers shop, and looking at their reactions to the merchandise. And I am not above tagging along as others shop there. This is necessary sometimes so security does not just throw me out.

I do not make a point of making things ugly. I make functional objects. I choose warmth and durability over decorative. I seek quality materials and choose methods that produce quality product. My object have what I consider a simple functionally elegant design. However, I do not do stitch patterns unless it makes the object more functional. The Lizard: Lattice makes a warm fabric so I use it a lot. It is not as fancy, and some might not consider it as attractive as other stitch patters, but I use it because it gives good warmth and a nice wearing ease. I could make a more distinctive stitch patterns by using more ply twist, but I like the way the lower ply twist yarns perform in the weather. Thus, I am willing to give up some of the modern knitting aesthetic for enhanced functionality. I aim for Scandinavian Design ( rather than something like Bohus or Fassett. I adapt Wright and Thompson to meet my needs rather than following an Alice Starmore pattern.

purplespirit1 said...

"" I assume that means outside 24/7? "

Why would you assume outside for 24/7?

I've been outside for 16+ hours in cold winter weather, in the knitwear that I've made and survived sub-zero temperatures.

Admittedly, I haven't spent the night sleeping in snow. I'm neither an idiot nor have I been in a survival situation where I found myself without shelter where sleeping in snow was the only option. If you're sleeping in snow, regardless of what you're wearing, that says more about your (lack of) thinking than the quality of your knitting.

Aaron said...

Sometimes I go places where it takes a day or two to ski/hike in, a day or two to do what needs to be done, and a day or two to ski/hike out. That is 2 or 3 nights sleeping out. It is not a $100,000 Everest Expedition with Sherpa porters, it is one or two guy(s) on skis. Going into the back country with a 30 pound pack is easier than going into the back country with a 50# pack. If you can sleep in a snow cave, it is lighter and easier than dealing with a tent.

Last week, I skipped black Sheep for some camping in the Redwoods. We had the big tent, and setting it up the breeze was rather like landing a big box kite. Sometimes, just sleeping outside is easier.