Friday, July 09, 2010

Pamela Wynne is a mensch; I am not

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm interviewed in Shannon Okey's wonderful new book, The Knitgrrl Guide to Professional Knitwear Design.

Shannon interviewed me by email... we've worked together a few times, and it was a long and fun email conversation, and I was my usual candid, opinionated self. Shannon printed many of my comments verbatim.

Rereading it now, I realize that my intended tone doesn't come through in print at all... it reads to me like I'm cranky and bitchy.

In the interview I criticize another designer's work, and name names. And that's not fair or professional.

The design in question is a top-down raglan, and my personal struggles with those are well known. I cannot wear a top-down raglan - seriously wrong shoulder/bust ratio to make it work. To make it fit around my bust, it gets (much) too big in the shoulders and armholes.

When talking about challenges with finding a garment that fits your own body well, I cited this sweater as an example of a sweater that had fit challenges. What comes through in print is that I think the sweater is bad. Not at all true - it's just bad for me.

As soon as I realized how it read in the book, I contacted the designer in question, Pamela Wynne, to apologize. She was gracious and kind in return, and I'm very grateful for that.

One more lesson learned from Shannon's book - to remember that tone doesn't come across in print, and that anything may be reproduced out of context.


Bonnie said...

I'm glad you made the effort to make it right. I think we've all done something similar--written something in an e-mail only to realize later it came across differently than the way it sounded in our head.

Northmoon said...

Part of my professional job is to comment on professional design submissions. I realized early on how very easy it is to be critical of someone else's work. And that comments in print can be percieved as blunt and heavy handed.

I applaud your action to contact the designer and apologize. Sounds like a good lesson learned.

thatdarncat said...

Hi Kate,
I wonder if you could elaborate on why top-down sweaters don't work for you?

I'm just starting my very first top down sweater, and I'm concerned that I may spend a lot of time on this, and not be happy with the final product. I did the math (at least, I tried!), and calculated that I could add 3" under the arms to get the right size for my bust. I'm a large person, and a sweater will take a lot of knitting. Are there certain body types for which top-down doesn't work?