Chock-a-Block Cardigan Done 2

Designing: Form And Function

When you consider knitwear, form and function are both important. Which is the most important for you? Visual appeal or functional use?

Today’s Knitwear Demands Both Form And Function

But which is more important? Would you be willing to wear an ugly garment if it was comfortable and warm and fit you well? Or is it more important that it looks nice, even if it’s scratchy and you must have attained your weight loss goals to be able to wear it?

It’s already been discussed about how “just being nice” has become more of my motto.  Especially when it comes to critiquing others’ designs.

But honestly, there aren’t many folks who wouldn’t ever wear an ugly knitted garment. No matter how functional.

Yes, there are exceptions to that. I still wear my ugly first cardigan. Mostly because it’s not really ugly so much as it is ordinary and not very well-designed.

And then there is designing and knitting something for sale. For my craft show garments, I have both “accent” scarves and functional scarves. I hope both are beautiful. But I honestly don’t care if some of the more beautiful scarves keep someone warm.  They’re accessories. So their warmth factor is secondary.

Ideally, I hope to have both beautiful form and functionality in my garments.

But when it comes to my designs, I think function follows form when it comes to how I prioritize them.  I would rather something be really beautiful than really functional. I know this would probably get me kicked out of the architects society, but that’s how I seem to lean.

How about you…which is more important?  I know both are important, but are they equally important for you?

Current Knitting

It was my current project, the Zig Zag Striped Scarf that got me thinking about this.

ZigZag Striped Scarf 04-24-20 01

It’s not just a beautiful garment to accentuate your beautiful cashmere coat this Winter. It’s also a beautifully soft and warm garment.  So it has it all going on.  It will also eventually be about 5 feet long and 9 inches wide, so it will work as a soft, warm scarf.

I’ve finished about 36 inches so far, so only 24 more to go!

I’ve also been distracted with sewing even more masks.

Isolation Masks 04-22-20 02

Very functional as they’re three-layers of tightly woven cotton fabric. But I’m paying no attention to how well the front and back fabrics go together. So in this case, beauty takes a back seat.

Readers’ Comments/Questions

Thanks to all who gave feedback on knitted slipper patterns. Especially those who provided useful tips on reducing the slipperiness of them.

6 comments on “Designing: Form And Function

  1. I guess aesthetics are more important than function. I would (and have!) worn ugly garments because they were warm. But that was wild camping…out in the toolies or on top of a mountain and no one there but us. And any sweaters were ones I didn’t knit myself. If I am going to put all the effort into knitting a garment I am more than willing to put some effort into designing and knitting something attractive. It’s more likely to be worn so the effort isn’t wasted, plus it’s more fun to knit so gets finished faster!

  2. Tough question. As a young knitter, in the 80s, I knit pullovers in every shape and texture. I remember knitting one cardigan. Forty years later, I knit mostly cardigans because they’re so darn convenient.

    Good design is simply that—crisp, complete-not over done. One way I recognize it is if I am willing to knit something a second time or rewrite it in anther gauge. Reynolds Candide #17 is one—I’ve knit it for $50 and for several times that and have loved the results every time. It’s not difficult—simply lovely. There’s an Aran in Alice Starmore’s Stillwater that is in the same category—men, women, pullover, cardigan—always lovely, every time.

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