Thursday, January 17, 2008

So, what's the blog today?

My daughter asked. Just as inspiration was striking, she peered over my shoulder to see what I was writing. This whole blog thing has her fascinated. As a truly gifted writer in her own right (those are her teachers' words, not just mine!), she's very curious about the process of writing and all the ways writing gets into the reader's hands. I foresee a blog by her one day very soon . . .

Meanwhile, what's the blog today?

I was thinking about the difference between originality and creativity today. There is a difference. In the knitting world, originality is sometimes random, oftentimes scarce. It's a burst of genius that comes from lots and lots and lots of effort, imagination, and risk-taking. Creativity comes more frequently, whether in the colorways a knitter chooses to express a design or the reinterpretation of a concept.

I've been following the Annie Modesitt's pursuit of fair compensation and recognition as a knitwear designer. You go, girl! Certainly, a designer deserves far more compensation than the current "standard." Publishers of knitting magazines and yarn manufacturers have fairly narrow profit margins because their audience is relatively small (compared, for example, to a Better Homes & Gardens or Real Simple, which have broad appeal, larger circulations, and deeper pockets). So they have to watch their costs. Yet they'd be nowhere without the designers' efforts, which are the reason knitters buy the magazines and design booklets in the first place.

And there should be a definite hierarchy of compensation. Genuine originality warrants higher compensation. Check out Ravelry. The top 10 designs now underway by thousands of knitters include FREE designs! Jaywalker, for example - will Grumperina continue designing out of the goodness of her heart? Are the paid designers getting the royalties they deserve?

I sure hope so. Because knitting designers have a direct impact on the quality of my knitting and my satisfaction in the craft.

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