No to War
On Punishment

Jumping on the bandwagon

There's an interesting tension in the knitting world (yes, I'm using some sociological jargon, I've been writing an article which is why I haven't been blogging as much.  I want to stay in that language space so I can get the damned thing finished).  It's about whether to join a trend on the blogs.

Do you knit the Jaywalker socks or not?  If you really like them and have sock needles free and the right yarn, are you a mindless trend follower or are you just knitting what you like, recognizing that lots of other knitters like it too?  How does something become a big knitting trend anyway--the next Birch or Clapotis or Jaywalker or Rogue

In the end it shouldn't really matter to anyone else what you knit or what you do with your knits.  We all come to this craft with differing sets of motivations and desires and that's what makes it fun.  Yesterday at Lettuce Knit (yes, I finally attended a Stitch'n'Bitch and had a great time) there was a woman knitting a beautiful Jade Starmore steeked stole, two of us making jaywalker socks, some blankets, a baby sweater and a nifty-box in progress.  Some swore they would never make Jaywalker socks now that they are the thing, others were thinking about it despite the teasing of their friends. 

Really in the big world out there, we are not a trendsetting sub-culture that will be on the cover of People magazine, we won't get to the front of the line at the "right" bars because we knit.  And we like it that way.  We're used to be on the outside of what the media deems as popular culture.  So who cares if a bunch of us knits the same thing?

That being said, here are my Jaywalkers in progress.  My assessment so far: love, love, love the Socks that Rock yarn, kinda like the pattern.  I think the look is beautiful, but I'm not sure about the fit. 

Jaywalker1

The design of these socks means they don't have much stretch in them, so I knit the larger size to conform to my foot measurements (damn bunions).  The leg is comfortable and will stay up, but I find the ankle/heel area a bit big and I'm trying to decide if I want to rip back and do a short row heel which I think makes a bit shallower ankle or just do the first sock and see how it goes. 

Call me lazy, but I don't fiddle with my socks much because I figure if they don't fit me, I'll find someone who can wear them.  But right now I have some weird sentimental thing going on with this yarn.  I bought it at Rhinebeck so I want it for me.  I'm also a bit worried about running out of yarn.  That would suck big time.

Comments

Sadly I am one of those blind followers, I am trying to wean myself from following all the knit trends though. That said I am frogging the jaywalker sock, frankly, I don't really like it that much. ;)

I did however knit a clapotis that my daughter proudly wears to school, I skipped over birch and Rogue, too complicated for me. I am an odd knitter though, I like to knit but don't care for the end product... I just like knitting. ;) Slowly I am starting to knit things I really want, not just what everyone else is knitting.

That is a great colorway so I can see why you would be sentimental about that yarn! I'm in the same internal debate, to start jaywalkers or not, but I've got some other things to finish before I go there.

Hmmm...very interesting question that you pose here. I am intrigued by all of the popular patterns you mentioned. Except for Birch...and really Clapotis. However that said of all of them Clapotis is the only one I have knit up. And that was a choice based upon how much fun I saw various bloggers having with the pattern. It was fun to drop the stitches...but overall I am not really that excited with my finished product. But it is practical and serves a purpose (it is probably my most used knitted item right now; as I keep it at work to fend of the frigid A/C {it is also at work because I would not be too upset if it disappeared}). I would not knit it again. I would like to make Rogue...and after seeing Jaywalkers like yours I am contemplating that as well. So am I a sheep following the herd...I guess in some respects Yes. However, who is going to know? There are not many in my daily sphere that keep tabs on knitblogs. And I really don't need approval to like what I simply like. Seeing a pattern worked on by many others and hearing their thoughts allow me to determine if I want to pick up that project or not. Sometimes I am very happy and other times I wonder what all the fuss was about. It boils down to my personal taste.

This is such a tough question for me! I'm generally one who really likes to go along with my own thing - only knitting things I really want to knit.

I have knit Clapotis - and I enjoyed it. It was the perfect gift for a friend and I got to use glorious silk yarn and over all I was very pleased with it. That said, I haven't knit any of the other knits you listed. Except of course The Jaywalker.

Ah the jaywalker. As I said before, I knit what I want to knit. How did I find the sock? Well, I had come home from Rhinebeck with a lot of STR, lol, and was looking for the perfect pattern. I really don't like the whole feather and fan sock thing - at all - and I'm not a real chevron fan either - although an argument could be made that the Jaywalker is a chevron. There was something about the clean lines and stripey goodness and I cast on. I never swatched. I never deliberated about size. I just cast on and started to knit and I LOVED the way the yarn looked. And of course, I love the STR. I mean how could you not love that yarn? But anyway, back to jaywalkers. I was EXTREMELY lucky in that the pattern fit right off the bat, if not a tad tight over the heel, and I managed to make a pair without running out of yarn and it really was one of those fated yarn things where the pattern and the yarn and the wearer all kind of had a kismet relationship.

So I tried to see if I could duplicate that lightning strike again. And I did. And I did. And believe it or not I cast on for sock #14 last night. I've got six pairs of finished jaywalkers with no end in sight.

Did I mean to start some kind of crazy knitblog fad? ABSOLUTELY NOT! In fact it's starting to drive me a bit crazy all those jaywalkers out there. Believe it or not, I feel COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY responsible when someone has fit trouble or runs out of STR or basically hates the sock.

The only reason I keep knitting them is because I love how they look and I love how they feel on my feet. I love the yarn. In fact I have all this other non-STR sock yarn that would be perfect for jaywalkers and I can't do it. It's like they have to be STR, for ME, or nothing else. And I've seen some great jaywalkers out there with other yarns, yarns I have in stash, but I guess my goal is to work my way through the small(er) skeins of STR in the stash - stuff I know how to make a pair of fantastic socks with.

Each pair I cast on is my new favorite pair. I completely understand the idea of I'll never make them because everyone else is making them and honestly, I've done that in my life. Not wanted to so something because everyone else is doing it. At this point I'm like THANK YOU! That's one less update I have to worry about. ;-) Although it also makes me a little bit sad because, you know, I do think it's a great pattern.

In the end, what's so AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL about knitting is that there's stuff like this out there! You can knit what everyone else is knitting, or you can't or you can make up something on your own or be inspired by something else or knit dishclothes all day long and be EXTRAORDINARILY HAPPY! How LUCKY are we to have found such an amazingly diverse outlet for our creativity!

Thanks for your post and I'm sorry to take up so much space - I probably should've saved this for my own blog. But it's something I've been thinking a lot about - feeling guilty I guess - and wanted to get my feelings off my chest.

A very good question indeed!
I don't think I " follow the crowd" I think that if a pattern becomes popular and I like it and would wear it, once it has been brought to my attention I may decide to knit it. I have knitted two Clapotis that I wear constantly in our ever changing weather, I have knitted a couple of pairs of Jaywalkers, one for me and one as a gift and I have knitted a Rogue as well. All these are popular patterns but there are other out there that are equally popular that I know will not suit my body shape and I therefore don't knit accordingly.

I generally knit what I like and, more importantly, what I have the yarn for or can afford the yarn for. To me it's just as silly to knit something because everyone else is as to NOT knit something for the same reason. I don't let others decide what I do either way.

The sock is lovely!

A friend and I have talked about this a little bit, too. But, gosh, the Jaywalker pattern is speedy and does fun things with variegated yarn, so I'm not sorry I jumped on this particular bandwagon.

Haven't made a Clapotis, Birch, or Rogue... altho Eris is tempting me...

I knit what I like, whether it be following a crowd, heretical, or just an interesting use of a bit of yarn. The capelet for my daughter was the exception (god, I hate rainbow Katia ribbon), but she asked for it and picked the yarn. So, you know, a few weeks of wanting to retch every time I picked up the Pony Puke was worth it.

I love seeing what other people are doing. Sometimes it makes me want to do the same, sometimes not, but it always makes me think about the craft.

I've found that I tend to really trail the trends. Like, I only just now casted on for my first clapotis. I did manage to do a charlotte's web right before it got so popular.

I do tend to not knit things that are popular, just because I'm a snot like that. Just like I have a really hard time knitting something in the same color as the magazine - I want to be unique. Which is silly, I am sure.

(I also knit Birch way, way after other folks, but that's just because I wasn't paying attention. )

That STR is wonderful yarn. I knit a plain jane pair of stockingnette socks in it and it is very comfortable. So if this sock doesn't fit, rip and do something you will wear with the STR and try something else for the Jaywalker (or not).

I feel ambivalent about the fads. I bought the DFS pattern back in teh summer when only Mamacate had done it and before the Yarn Harlot got hold of it. But I didn't start to knit it until after the YH had posted about it and then everyone was doing it. I almost didn't do it because of that though I'm glad I did in the end.

I think knitting something because everyone else is doing it is kind of sad and shows a lack of self-confidence in picking/finding/designing patterns that will suit you and the yarn. But finding out about patterns by seeing them on people's blogs and deciding that they are right for you/your yarn is not. Of course from the outside folks can't tell which you are doing.

That's gorgeous sock yarn. If I were you, I'd rip back to make the mods you need to get a sock that fits correctly. The colorway is gorgeous.

Thinking about trendy stuff I've knit: 1. I knit Rogue because I was just getting back into knitting again when the pattern became popular. It's a gorgeous pattern, and I definitely was seduced by one of the factors I think helps make a pattern popular. That is, knitters who don't know all of the resources out there, and who choose to knit beautiful things they see others knitting, because that's all they've been exposed to. But even though I feel I have a much better knowledge of what's out there, and a much longer to-do list, I'd still have made the Rogue. It's also an example of one of those patterns that's popular because it's gorgeous and well written.

I've also knit a pair of Jaywalkers. Those came about because I happened to have the yarn sitting around, and was waiting to find the perfect pattern for it. I wanted a pattern that would show off the variegation to its fullest, which meant something fairly simple, and preferably without too much ribbing, as I find that obscures variegation too much. I saw the pattern, and it was perfect. I already knew of a similar pattern at Knitty, but I found the Jaywalker pattern much more aesthetically pleasing, so that's what I went with.

I'm interested in seeing your article. I'm just starting up a knitalong for a specific book, and a big part of my motivation to start that particular KAL is because I think the book and the patterns within should be more popular than they are. The book is a great resource, and a great pattern book, and I rarely see anybody knitting anything from it. So I started a KAL, to encourage more people to knit those patterns. I'm not one of the more popular bloggers, so my plug of the book will certainly not turn it into the next Clapotis, but it's a start. Except for my rare foray into the popular, such as Rogue and Jaywalkers, I doubt I'll ever be much of a knitting trendsetter, or even on the bleeding edge of what others also find so appealing. I tend to go for longer term projects, and I think most of the trendy projects tend to be things one can knit in a couple of weeks. But I enjoy that side effect of my knitting tastes. It means a lot of what I blog about is different from a lot of what other bloggers knit about. With so many knitting blogs out there, the fact that I choose projects out of the mainstream means my blog may be that much more interesting and new to any random knitter who comes across it. A good thing.

Sometimes when you trip around the blogs it certainly does seem like everyone is knitting the same thing. I felt that way when I knit Rogue two (?) years ago. Despite the feeling that "everyone is knitting this," in blog land, it really doesn't translate to the general population. I have never just accidentally spotted someone wearing Rogue on the street. Its probably the same for most knitters. My garment is still unique, depsite the blogland number of knitters.

Very interesting. In "real life" I'm not much of a joiner, so it's fun to indulge in that kind of behavior in a virtual environment...maybe that's why I join KALs and even started a blog in the first place. Knitting has mostly been a solo endeavor for me, so it's always a little thrill to read about someone else's experiences with the same pattern, and to find others who speak the same language (i.e., lots of abbreviations with a healthy dose of academia thrown in!) :)

is it blind trend following or what justly happens when a great pattern comes around??

i am one of those people that reacts to something trendy as instantly liking it less. clapotis? loved it when i saw it the first day. but when it exploded... i just couldnt bring myself to knit on mine any more. rogue? i bought the pattern the second day it was out there. i've knit up to the hood, and... well, eh. jaywalker hit my 'must knit' list the day it was released as well... but its just not 'speaking' to me now. its just a matter of time though... i just finished my clapotis last week :)

I'll eventually knit Rogue and Clapotis. I've got a Kiri on the needles (the baby Birch?). Jaywalkers don't interest me, I like plain socks, that fit.

What I find interesting about the Jaywalker/STR trend is that so many people have blogged about problems with the tight fit of the sock, the shallow heel, the "drunken" Jaywalker, the short skeins of STR, the non-striping of the STR. With all these documented problems the combination of Jaywalkers and STR is still amazingly popular. (To clarify, I have not read about any problems with Grumperina's pattern, from all accounts it is well-written.)

I'm not much of a joiner, so if I see an interesting pattern, I'll add it to my far too long 'to-be-knit" list. I'm not going to buy/knit it just because it happens to be the current trend or has been knit by someone with a huge following.

I've also noticed similar trends with yarn. The current hot commodity is STR with some Vesper thrown in for the VIPs. Before that it seemed everyone was obsessing about Koigu or Noro or Peace Fleece. I bought some Koigu off of e-Bay a few years ago, it's OK. That experience put me off of hunting down the latest "hot" yarn commodity and ordering it sight unseen off the internet. I'll stick to what's available to me in yarn stores and supplement with on-line purchases after I know I like a yarn.

I am they type of knitter who just knits what I like ;o) I did knit a Clapotis (and gave it as a gift) but, I tend to knit what appeals to me personally.

Trends in knitting are good for attracting new knitters but, individuality is waht makes knitting fun in my opinion ;o)

Knitterz hugz!

i've never thought of myself as a joiner, until i started blogging. i've printed the jaywalker pattern, and even bought yarn for it because i didn't have anything appropriate. i've got rogue, and cast on for it, but had to put it aside, and never got back to it. i just got the pattern for birch (and crack) a couple of months back, so i will be casting on for that eventually.

i don't think of it as following trends, i think of it as inspiration. i do like clapotis, but i probably won't ever knit it. not my style. i like rogue, and i like the jaywalker socks (and found some yummy yarn to do them in!) i also finished my first lace project, recently, (the flower basket shawl) and it ahs inspired me to try more lace. in fact, i'm getting married in december, and am now on the hunt for a lovely shetland weight shawl to wear. i've got the yarn, lol.

inspiration, baby, that's what it's all about

I am a joiner, but I only join those things that a)I can knit b)that I totally like c)that some of my close friends have knitted

Yeah, some of it is the fad and lemming syndrome. However, sometimes a design apears, wonderful in its simplicity, that sings as you knit it. Clapotis and Jaywalker are in that category with an added benefit that sets them apart. They resolve the curse that haunts us all: how to use the space dyed yarns we love in the skein and hate in the garment. These designs give great results with space dyed anything.

As to Rogue, well it's all about shape, seamless and circular. Smart and simplicity also yield very good chi.

I knit a pair of Jaywalkers over Xmas because I'd had my eye on that pattern since it first appeared. Now I'd like to knit another pair with a striping yarn, because I've seen so many photos of beautiful Jaywalkers, but I think I'll wait till the frenzy has died down.

I don't often join, but when I do, I'm always careful not to twist.

It doesn't matter if you want to knit a pattern because you like the pattern or if it's because everyone else is knitting it. I have done searches on patterns I thought I might like to knit to see if anyone else had done them. In some cases, it's saved me time and expensive yarn because what I find out deters my interest.

Found you through this link from Cara's site. I've knit 2 pair of JW, neither in STR, lol. I like the pattern because it's so easy to memorize and I use sock knitting as my down-time knitting. The mindless knitting, shall we say. I'm sure I'll knit other JWs in the future and it doesn't matter to me if they are trendy or not! Thanks for this whole topic, I think it's worth exploring.

wow, talk about getting deep with your knitting. i for one knit some jaywalkers, i did it because i loved the way they looked and also because i hadn't tried too many socks before. i knit what i like, and if others are knitting it than it makes me feel good that i'm sharing in this knitting with others. i can't imagine consciously saying to myself, "um, no i'm not knitting that because everyone else is." if i like it, i'll go for it. and i feel only bonuses come from knitting something that lots of people who are knitting the same thing - you can ask questions!

thanks for putting this out there!

I tend to roll my eyes at people who say they won't do something just because it's popular--just like I'll roll my eyes at those who say they will; as in either case it doesn't seem to matter whether they *like* it or not on its own merits. There seems to be a segment of the population who thinks that they have to disdain something just because it's popular. Whether it's a certain singer, or movie, or for a more specific example, Harry Potter, there are some people that delight in turning their nose up at something that's widely popular.

I won't knit Clapotis because it just doesn't interest me, though I would if someone I knew wanted it. I'd like to knit Rogue because it does interest me.

And really, those are the only reasons that should matter.

Hmmm...I'll join if it's something I really like....like the Crossed in Translation sweater. I joined that KAL b/c I knew I'd need help with the pattern (hopefully at some point I will be able to contribute as well as 'take'!).

Hate Clapotis, will never knit it. Birch? don't dislike it but don't like it either. Rogue? Really like it, got the pattern, but have so many other things it's down on the list. Jaywalker? cute, & I've just started sock knitting, but there are other patterns I like better.

I did join the Annie Modesitt Corset-a-long. got the yarn, haven't knit it yet either.

(I'm not a slow knitter, it's just I do a lot of other things (work & triathlons!) too.)

I *do* like the idea of the knit-a-longs etc, simply b/c it can bring something to my attention that I do like (i.e. STR yarn!).

If I didn't have so many projects in mind I'd be checking out the FLAK aran and bowerbird's Sweaters from Camp KAL.

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