Friday, July 15, 2011

UDP = Unidentified Design Project

... so. I've been working on several design projects since spring of 2010. None of them are completed. But I'm finally closing in on the finish line for one of them! (Another is close to completion.)

I won't divulge what the project is yet, other than to say, I'm excited about finally completing it... so I can use it! This first design is the brain-child of my frustration, which is just as valid a "mother of invention" as necessity... frustration's very close sibling.

Designing is a challenging, frustrating, rewarding, unpredictable, repetitive, exciting, time-consuming endeavor. There is an inordinate amount of frogging, tinking, and re-knitting. (At least the way I do it, which is likely more OCD than necessary.) Patience is not only a virtue if you want to design something from scratch, it is essential to maintain your sanity! The ability to recognize when you're almost at the limit of that patience is essential to protect the design in process! If you push past that limit you risk a fit of irrational rage that may well result in the dismantling of the entire thing in a screaming fit.

Designing is an exercise in creative problem-solving. "I want to do this, but I've got to have an even number of stitches to do that. I've got an uneven number and those stitches are not divisible by the number of repeats I need. How am I going to add those stitches I need... or remove the excess stitches I have... where am I going to make that change, what kind of increases or decreases will look best, and how will those choices impact the balance of the design?" Each of those decisions has a direct impact on a following element of the design unless they are the last decisions in the piece.

"Form follows function" may not be universally true in architecture but it sure has a strong influence on knitting & crochet design in my experience! The inverse is also true: if you alter the function, you'll most likely have to alter the form. I've found this particularly true in the very small project the design of which is taking "forever" to complete. Every element of this project has an impact on every other element, esthetic as well as intended function. It is really more an "engineered" project than a "designed" project! Don't let the small size fool you.

The "form" of the design, each aspect of the form, has a specific "function," either independently or as it relates to and impacts every other "form" in the design.

All that to bait you with this... the finished design is an object intended to make knitting and crochet on the go, or in a stationary position, less frustrating and more "compact."

... stay tuned for details. :-)

Joy in the Journey,