I was sitting down to write the sixth installment of the "Evolution" series, but the truth is that's going to have to wait. I stopped by my Twitter feed (you can follow me, if you like - @adriennepdx). I don't spend a lot of time on the site, but this morning I happened to see a tweet linking me to the blog Dark Matter Knits.
The topic? The lessons designers learn from working in a yarn store.
I've never worked in a yarn store. I work in education - first as a high school teacher, then as a college admissions professional, and now in grant management for college access programs. I am passionate about education and providing access to higher ed, so I don't see myself leaving the field anytime soon. I have had moments, though, when I've thought it would be fun to work in a yarn store. Fun. I mean, really really FUN. I have worked retail, so of course I know that it wouldn't be all fun. But since it's merely a passing whim when it hits, I'm going to go right ahead and keep on deluding myself into believing that there would be no bad moments. No miserable customers. No days of exhaustion. Nope. I'm going to keep right on telling myself that working in a yarn store would be amazing. All the time. Every single moment of every single day.
The problem with this delusion, of course, is that I don't benefit from the lessons one learns while working the store. (Okay, yes, I know there are many more problems with the delusion, but I'm trying to get to my point, and this problem is the most salient to it.)
But Elizabeth's blog post offered a few of those lessons. She makes sense. A lot of it. Some of the things she mentions are things I've already been thinking about. Namely, photography and the need to have it stand out. This is a good reminder for me to seriously consider my photos and to care about that as much as I do the actual finished item.
The other thing I've thought about but not in quite the same way is the yarn substitution question. I've never assumed that someone would use the same yarn I did (even with the designs I have in the Knit Picks IDP that makes it so easy for folks to purchase the exact same yarn, I know that many knitters buy the pattern and then head to their stash, LYS, or big box store to purchase yarn). I've tried, therefore, to offer yardage rather than skein-age. I thought that was enough. Now I'm wondering if maybe I should be providing actual substitutes. And I'm wondering what the best way to select those substitutes is ... when I don't want to knit several samples. And I almost never want to knit several samples of the same thing.
Either way, I'm glad to have something new to ponder. And the evolution of the snail blanket is just going to have to wait another day or two. I figure that's okay. It'll all come with time.