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May 14, 2017

Knitter's Choice

Designers in designing mode tend to gravitate to two types of yarn: Desirable evergreens or newly released yarns.

This makes sense.

Evergreens have gained popularity due to their sustained performance over time. New releases are fresh and current, creating buzz that appeals to knitters, publishers, producers and yarn store owners. In both cases, patterns written for a particular yarn boost the chances the design and yarn will attract attention, capture a following and be promoted across more venues. This is a very good thing, whether you're a designer, yarn producer or yarn seller.



Naturally, I've taken a slightly different approach. My patterns identify the yarns used, but they're deliberately written to accommodate the yarn of your choice, along with easy modifications if you want to adapt the pattern.

To me this makes the most sense, because it gives you the maximum flexibility. It's frustrating, both as a knitter and designer, to see how quickly many lovely yarns are discontinued, but with knitter's choice, you can work from stash, invest in something new or do a combination of both.



If you're a relatively new knitter, you're probably thinking, What's the big deal?

If you're a long-time knitter, you intuitively understand my point. Back in the day, the universal assumption was every knitter would use the specified yarn and work the pattern precisely as written. This viewpoint was so pervasive, producers knew demand would skyrocket and manufactured massive quantities of the pattern's featured yarns in the colors shown.




Many of us have always bucked this mindset, choosing yarns and modifying patterns to suit our preferences, an approach that used to earn quizzical looks from fellow knitters and puzzled LYS owners alike.

Today, thanks to bloggers, designers and Ravelry, independent inclinations aren't merely accepted, they're actively encouraged. This is a welcome advancement, producing a crafting environment that's fluid, flexible and accommodating, just like the knitted pieces we love so much.

No judgments here, but I'm curious: Do you use the yarn recommended in the pattern? Make your own choice? Do a mix of both?


Have a happy Mother's Day!

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8 comments:

  1. Since I'm a new knitter I'm staying with the yarn recommendation in the pattern. Hopefully some day, after I have more experience, I'll be able to choose.

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    1. Wise decision, Debra, and a good strategy for success as a new knitter. Give it time and one day, you'll find yourself substituting yarns to create a look that's uniquely yours :)

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  2. Great questions! I do a mix of both, but most often, I opt to substitute yarn so it suits my tastes or allows me to use yarn from stash :)

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    Replies
    1. Makes sense, and as someone who's diligently stashbusting, I can relate :)

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  3. I almost never use the yarn suggested by the pattern. Very occasionally, I will, if it happens to be in my stash or something I can easily get my hands on.
    But I was taught to knit with the idea of not having the yarn the pattern called for, so that probably has a lot to do with it!

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    Replies
    1. Same here. I buy yarns and patterns I like, then find a way to make them work together. When I first got hooked on knitting as a preteen, I bought yarn, needles and patterns with babysitting money, so I couldn't afford the premium yarns called for in many patterns :)

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  4. I mostly crochet but I never use the yarn suggested. Most of my knitting is with my own handspun. I guess its because of either budget reasons or yarn preferences.

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    Replies
    1. What a pleasure it must be to knit and wear something you created using your own handspun, truly handcrafted from start to finish!

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Love hearing from you! I enjoy each and every comment. If you have questions, share those too, and I'll do my best to respond.
-b

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