Don’t Think About the Audience – Whether Writing or Designing

I’ve been having fun, writing every morning in response to a word. My writing partner and I choose words on alternate days and see what comes up. We share what we write. I am having such a good time. I feel like this is what I’ve been waiting for, forever.  A purpose.  It’s revealing. I love the differences, the revelations of each of our selves prompted by the same word.

My husband, the only other reader of my outpourings, a teacher in his soul, had this advice –  don’t think about the audience. I don’t. But because creativity in one place seems to spur creativity in other places, I have been designing and I started to wonder about that territory. How much do I think about the audience when I’m designing?

How did I come to choose Windmere Maroon, firstly a yarn weight, bulky, I’ve not used since my very first sweater in Lopi, and secondly, a colour I would never choose for me? Maroon and burgundy suck the colour right out of me, or at least they did when my hair was red. Now that it has faded, turned to ‘taupe’ as my haircutter says, maybe that colour will work.

I chose the colour for the audience, although I do love the look of the colour, the richness, the depth. The colour complements the yarn and the stitch patterns so very well, the squishiness, my hands sink into it, I dive into the yarn. You can see it in the photo up above, part of my Shelridge Yarns stash.

So was it chosen for the audience? Oh, I thought so, but maybe not after all. Others do love that colour, too. And I wanted to choose one of Lyn’s colours that people would love, so they would buy a kit from Lyn, buy a kit and buy my pattern.

My Boxwood Shawl has been a surprise to me. Knitters love it at shows when they see it draped and pinned.  They buy kits. I really want to repeat that success with (what shall I name it?) the new reversible, cabled wrap.

Do I design for the audience? It’s impossible not to. It is for an audience of makers. I want people to buy my pattern and make it.

The new design is a support, a demonstration, for my reversible cable class.  It was time for a new reversible cable design and I wanted it to be complex looking but easy to execute for most non-beginner knitters and it is. The cast-on is a different and bit tricky to start, but I love it.  This i-cord cast-on doesn’t result in a loopy first row and it transitions beautifully into i-cord selvedges – not standard. 

The reversible cable is a revelation, too. Different on each side, like magic.

So this is a design for me as well as the potential audience. Learning new stuff, which I love, and sharing it in a pattern that works. I hope that’s the result. 



Note – if you are interested the pattern, a wrap, it will be complete in a couple of weeks and I’ll post about it here. If you are in Barrie, Ontario on August 25th, it will be displayed at the Fibre Spirit Festival in the Shelridge Yarns booth. The photo shows the knitting in progress, unblocked.

12 Replies to “Don’t Think About the Audience – Whether Writing or Designing”

    1. I had to think about this a bit. I love the look of mossy green and I’m comfortable wearing it. Teal is always something I like and navy, one with some richness, not flat.

  1. I find that my designs work best when I only think of what I would like. Turns out that other people like what I like! But when I try to second guess what other people might like, I’m usually wrong. Maybe it’s because those pieces require more “selling” than actual enthusiasm?

    1. Yes, Julie, I agree, the enthusiasm is critical! And I have had an experience with a colour chosen because people liked it and it didn’t work especially well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.