Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ethnic Knitting and Just Plain Knitting

A while back, I was interviewed for an on-line magazine called Black Purl. The tag line for the magazine title is Sharing the Passion and Soul of Needlecraft. This resonated with me because this is what I do - whether it is with my books or my blog or whatever. It's an interesting collection of articles so make sure you check out the back issues. The article has just gone on-line and now I see what it was all about. L’Tanya Durante interviewed six different knitwear designers about how they see ethnic knitting. I was included along with Marianne Isager, Gina Griffin, Donna Druchunas, Sahara Briscoe, and Susan Lazear. It’s really interesting to see how each takes the word ethnic and makes it the basis of their textile art. Some of us have similar answers to the questions but others take the questions other places. Check it out here.

When I was thinking of what kind of visual image I could use for this post, I did some browsing through my massive iPhoto library on my computer and I found this little patchwork quilt-ish image. These are swatches that were knit for the color section of Kristin Knits and they illustrate how combining different colors gives different effects. They also happen to be colored in what I consider very ethnic colorways - although that wasn't the point of the swatches at all. They were knit to illustrate how different colors play against each other. When they are grouped together, they give a very bright and happy feeling - the same feeling I get when I look at an ethnic textile from far away lands. Someday, I should seam them and make a patchwork pillow. I’ll just add that to that long and growing list………

Going out to booksignings is good for me. I don’t do it very often because I live so far from everything. When I do, it helps me meet who I am working for. Working for perhaps is an odd way to put it but it’s pretty true. I am working for whoever will buy one of my books or designs and invest their precious time and money in yarn to knit one of my designs. I know most knitters don’t have lots of spare time and they have way more ideas than the hours will spare. If a knitter makes a project I am thrilled. If they make it out of my Julia Yarn, I am even more thrilled.

My new book Kristin Knits has been out now for about two months. I’ve heard from lots of people knitting things from it and I’ve seen projects in progress posted on blogs. It makes me happy that knitters are actually making the things I thought about so carefully and that they are having success. I just heard from Storey, my publisher, that the book went back to press which is really great news.

I’d love to have a place for people to post projects – finished and in progress. I welcome your feedback on this one. Should I start a blog on blogspot or a flickr pool of KristinKnits projects. I don’t have a lot of extra time in my day though for lots of administrative type stuff and you all know about my slow dial-up situation. I'm afraid the blogspot thing would be just too much for me and besides, does anyone host knitalongs anymore? Would a flickr pool be good or do knitters not go there? I think there is something started on Ravelry about my book but I haven’t joined yet. I know I should but I just don't have enough time in my day to do it all. It's all I can do to keep this blog going. What do you think I should do? I welcome your comments here or by email.

20 comments:

Jocelyn said...

There is a Ravelry group (Kristin Knits!) that is for fans of your designs. Pictures on Ravelry are linked from Flickr, so they can go to Flickr first, and then people who are on Ravelry (and presumably in your group) will just link to that. Personally, I would rather have your input on Ravelry than on a specific blog since there is already a group dedicated to you there. Of course, not everyone is on Ravelry or interested in that, so that's something you would have to evaluate. I'll be interested to hear what you decide to do.

Wool Enough said...

I think a Flickr group would be a great idea. As Jocelyn mentioned your Ravelry fans are all set up. But there are still a lot of knitters who don't belong to Ravelry and rely on Flickr. I've noticed that some of my projects get many, many more views on Flickr than on Ravelry, particularly the kneesocks, since I "share" them with two Flickr groups dedicated to kneesocks. Ravelry is great; I love it. But I think Flickr has a much wider audience.

Green Kitchen said...

You really should sign up for Ravelry. There is no commitment there -- just add your email to the list. Once you are in you can participate to whatever degree you want. At least you'd be able to see what's going on, see what people have to say about your designs, yarn, etc. I *really* enjoy their database format -- it's beautiful and well done. Of course it's not open to everyone yet, but will be soon enough. You *need* to be on it. I imagine it would be good for business.

Having said that, setting up a Flickr group is very easy and needs almost no moderation. You could even assign the task to someone else -- a fan, perhaps. Delegate that job and then go hang out at Ravelry.

Agnes said...

I think a Flickr group would be the best for you ... basically once you set it up, you just need to send out a few invitations to get the word out, then it would get itself running ... demand on your time can be very minimal. I'd love to see all those colourful projects being put together in one place!

KnitOneQuiltTooKristin said...

Definitely Flickr. It's very easy to maintain a group there.

Mama Urchin said...

I think flickr is a great idea.

Alissa said...

I could do any or all, but flickr would probably be the easiest for everyone.

Thank you for thinking of it. I feel a little weird commenting on your blog, because I'm "just a fan." But I do read you regularly, and not just for the knitting.

elizaduckie said...

Flickr.

Jennifer said...

You have fans, my dear. I think whatever you decide to start will work great for all of us who love your designs. It has been my experience that "if you build, they will come".

Along those lines, both Amy Karol and Hillary Lang have huge flickr followings with tons of images from their patterns. The Wee bunnies alone would take a while to look at... They're sewing, but I think fibery stuff all goes hand in hand.

Sarah said...

Flickr. I run a knitalong and it actually takes a lot more time than I thought it would. And then sign up for ravelry, and only go there as much/as little as you want to.

Luni said...

I would rank the ideas you have thusly: 1. Flickr, it is the easiest, most accessible and requires less time; 2. Ravelry, your group there is small, but growing; 3. a blog or knit-a-long on Blogger, these seem to be less popular now (I belong to a couple that see very few postings.)

Kate G. said...

I visited the Kristin Knits Group on Ravelry and it's quite nice, with a solid moderator. A Flickr pool would be fun. Maybe one of your fans would handle the posting to Flickr for you. You could put a notice and link to them in the left-hand column of your blog page.

knittingiris said...

I only scanned through the comments above but I'd agree with Green Kitchen and Sarah. Flickr seems it would be easiest and the most accessible to everyone. You have to go through it to post pictures to Ravelry, anyways.
At first Ravelry seemed superfluous to me, when there is already Flickr, but I'm starting to realize how much more it has to offer, the more that I use it. You can search and link to designers, yarn, patterns, and other people who have knit the pattern, and all their suggestions and modifications so much more quickly than you could ever do on Flickr or through a Google search. It seems to be the direction people are going, although the groups I've seen thus far don't have the same feeling of personal interaction that reading a blog does, but I've never really gotten into forums and the likes.

gringrumble said...

My vote is for a flickr group. I love your work and I love reading about your life on the farm. I am a big fan of Colorful Stitchery.

MarilynA said...

Definitely Ravelry as it is the "wave of the future", if you will. I am a long time knitter and avid internet user (all the way back to Genie days), but I personally didn't know much about Flickr (with regard to a knitting community) until Ravelry came along. Most knitters are going to be using Ravelry in the future because there are many, many more features, and it's so easy to navigate. Right now, it is in beta test stage, so comparing number of hits on Flickr with Ravelry at this point probably doesn't mean much. However, last time I checked, the number of knitters on Ravelry was approaching 20,000. I've seen a number of "famous" knitwear designers on Ravelry, and if I were you, I would at least get over there and join (if you haven't already).

Anne said...

hear hear, from a huge fan of Ravelry (the way it changes one's connection to the knitting world can be pretty profound). I wanted to let you know, too, that though you don't know me from Adam (an odd expression indeed) I have included your blog in my list of 10 blogs that make me happy & inspire me ... for LOTS of reasons. Thanks!!

AlissaDumont said...

I just joined Krisin Knits on Ravelry - it's a great place to see what others are knitting from your book. I love your patterns and just completed my first "Kristin Knits" project. I used Julia and love it- I think that whatever you decide your fans will follow- do whatever is easiest for you. Thanks for sharing your life on the farm and your passion for knitting with all of us on your blog.

southern gal said...

I agree with many above:

1. Flickr - easy to set up (email me if you want)

2. Ravelry - you already have exposure so nothing to do - but you should join !

3. KAL - you can do a KAL group on Ravelry - which would be really easy to monitor - the Forums on Ravelry are much easier to deal with than blogspot or whatever its called now (go typepad).

email if you need help with any of the above!

Joanne said...

I think Ravelry would be a big plus. I buy just about everything on line now. I recently bought several knitting books and patterns due to fact that I could see the projects from the books which others had knitted or have in their queues. If you choose you could also sell any individual patterns in PDF format with a link to your website or blog. It would also be great exposure for you yarn as links to stores that carry it can be setup. It may take approximately a month to get your invitation once you add you email address to the list. I do not have any affiliation with Raverly other than being a happy user.

Lisa said...

I love all your squares! I think they would make a fabulous pillow!