Thursday, October 3, 2013

Tips and Techniques: I couldn't have said it better myself

On days when I ponder what to blog about next, I think "Add value!", "Demonstrate techniques!" - all stuff I see well-known knitters doing. It's the logical thing to do from a business perspective. You need to keep providing content that keeps people coming back to your site, because presumably that's how you sell them things. Or something.

But then I look at all the content that's already out there, at one's Google fingertips. And I think - what can I really say about knitting that hasn't already been said in many ways, in many places - and said very well already. Why add to the "noise"?

I'm a trained technical writer. As part of my training I learned a few guiding principles of writing that I apply to all my writing (and life in general, sometimes). The one I always come back to is this:

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
Just because you can write something in a fancy or cool looking, blinky font - doesn't mean you should. Just because you can add neat effects to a photo in Photoshop, doesn't mean you should. You need to think about what is going to be visually appealing, clear, and understandable for your audience. You don't need to distract them with cool things just because you can.

So, just because I can talk about knitting techniques, I keep telling myself I shouldn't re-invent the wheel when others have made such darn awesome wheels.

Like Tin Can Knits. They've put together The Simple Collection - a series of free, simple patterns designed to highlight basic knitting techniques. Each pattern is gorgeous, yet easy enough for beginners. And TCK provides wonderful tutorials for the techniques used in each pattern.

Today, their Rye Sock pattern is featured on their blog, along with the perfect step-by-step explanations of sock anatomy, techniques and tips for knitters new to socks. Their photos are beautiful. Their sock schematics are clear and easy to understand. And they make it easy for people to learn to knit not just socks - but anything.

So, if you're looking for the perfect entry-level sock pattern go check out Tin Can Knits' Rye Socks here.

As for me, I'll be over in my corner trying to reconcile myself to the fact that while I enjoy designing, want to be successful at at, and know that I should be emulating successful designers - my personal style is different. I want to share my love of knitting (socks), I want to share the great resources which have helped me over the years, and I want to create designs that are fun, beautiful and enjoyable to knit.

But I don't need to present myself as an expert with new & definitive things to say. I'm pretty sure wiser people than I have already said it and said it well. I think my personal style is more of an aggregator and sharer of useful information. And coincidentally, this is what I've always done in my professional life in the tech industry. I've always said, "I may not know the answers, but I know how to find the people who have the answers and connect you with them."

So go connect with Tin Can Knits' Simple Collection - they've said everything beautifully.

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