Tuesday, 8 June 2010
Finding a way forward?!
After some 4 hours of intensive surfing (Google must have been fed up with me!) I had an intense headache and a severe attack of despair. The web seems to be awash with baby clothes (especially quirky hats - what's that about?!) mostly in nasty colours and yarns, or very pretty, but not terribly practical, vintage style knits in horrendously expensive yarns. Those seem to me to be rather turbulent waters into which to deep my toes - far too crowded with other craft, not very well steered! So, I thought, what's the situation with adult hand knitwear?
Again, I could find quite a few sites, but while I could find wonderful traditional Fair Isles, Arans and Ganseys, or the kind of arty-farty knits that shriek "Look at me, aren't I clever?! Look what clever knitting techniques I can do!" or even the kind of In-Your-Face brightly coloured, so-called 'Ethnic' knits, there seemed to be no simple, wearable and modern hand knits at all! Now, while I'm an experienced knitter, and have got my needles round quite alot of techniques (I do enjoy learning - just learned to do 2 socks at the same time, pure delight!) I see no point in designing a garment around a particular technique. Clothes are meant to be practical, first and foremost, and stylish. The technique should be a means to an end, not the end in itself, and while fashion is exciting, style is more personal and important.
When I studied Dress & Design at college in the 60s, I rapidly realised that a garment that is uncomfortable, difficult to keep clean, or in any other way impractical for the wearer is not going to earn its place in the wardrobe for long, and the purchaser is not going to return to that source for further purchases, either! Classic designs last because they work, but they need to be re-assessed in the light of current life, so a style of garment that worked well in, say, the 1940s, is going to need tweaking more than a little to work well in the early 21st century! However, it would be foolish to throw out the baby with the bathwater, the shape of the human body, and what it does, don't change much.
So, I'm thinking of making One-of-a-kind knits, and blogging about each one as I create it, from design, through yarn selection etc to finished garment, then making the result available for sale, so it will be more than just something nice to wear, it'll be a story, too.
So far, so good, but then we have the issue of a website. In about 5 hours of surfing, I didn't see one site that I found satisfactory! I have to start from scratch. It must be easy on the eye, not too business-ey, but business-like. It must load quickly, so my potential customers don't get impatient (it'll be picture heavy, so that's crucial) It must have a youthful feel, as my potential customers will be young and stylish (not easy to get my head round that, as I'm no spring chicken) and not take itself too seriously. Uuuuum!
I think I shall experiment by blogging about one or 2 garments on here, and ask anyone who reads this to give me feedback, please! And I don't mean compliments, but serious 'this is rubbish' type comments where needed, please!