30 Jun 2016

Precision is not my thing


Have you noticed that precision is not my thing? Not in writing, not in knitting, and not in drawing or painting. I am all about having fun, playing, and making stuff up. I don’t like following rules or prescribing rules for others to follow. I’m in the middle of doing the 100 Day Project, where I am drawing a portrait a day for one hundred days. I’m up to about number 70 and as I’ve been doing this, I’ve discovered that the less detailed and precise I am in my portraits, the more I like them. In most cases, the looser the sketches are, the more of the person’s spirit and likeness I feel like I’ve captured in the image. But in my latest attempt, I abandoned all attempts to be precise, and I painted some stripes for a background, then drew my subject with a clear crayon so I could not even see my lines! I added more paint on top of the crayon to make the lines show up, and then I tinted some areas like the hair and lips and cheeks. This is one of my favorite portraits!

Portrait 73/100

Of course, in many of my knitting patterns—most in fact—I’ve been quite precise in defining step-by-step instructions. I don’t want to do that any more. I don’t believe intelligent knitters (that means you!) need step-by-step instructions if you understand the concepts of what you are making. In the Rumšiškės In Summer sock KAL, I’ll be showing you how to make stuff up as you go, even when you are working from a very precise pattern. I’m going to be teaching you how to adjust the size of a sock pattern and how you can so easily adjust the heel and toe and pattern stitches for any customization you want to make. Really, it’s not very much harder than drawing a portrait with invisible wax!


My next ebook, coming out this fall, is going to take this concept to the next step. It will have generic instructions for making mittens, gloves, scarves, and hats in colorwork patterns with a stitch library of traditional Lithuanian motifs. I’ve got several sample knitters making stuff up using the “patterns” and stitch library to give you some ideas of where you can go with your own creativity. I think you’ll find this kind of freedom, well, freeing! I know I had much more fun writing the “patterns” than I normally do, and I didn’t have the sleepless nights worrying that some number got typed in wrong and that everyone will hate me because the math doesn’t work. Even though I have always worked with tech editors, errors have crept into my patterns from time to time. I now work with a tech editor AND test knitters on everything, but I really don’t want to be a slave to patterns, and I don’t want you to be either!

WordPress publish settingsAnd fuck you, WordPress! My writing, although it may not be precise, is very readable!


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4 Responses to Precision is not my thing
  1. I get that readability notice, too. It means we are writing at a level beyond 6th grade–I ignore it. Their algorithm needs improvement–haha.

  2. This is what I enjoy about your Donna. You are forever seeking and merging ideas.

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