24 July 2009

Information Mapping

Dear Mandella,

I'm working on the Color on Color scarf as found in Scarf Style. Maybe I'll get a photo or two posted over the weekend. Anyway, it's amazingly easy in some respects because you just work one section at a time and most of them build on the other. I'm getting a nice bit of practice with stranded knitting on Section 11; there's some intarsia coming up in section 13, I think.

What I'm discovering as I work on it is how unclear and/or incomplete the directions are in some places. This is an easy piece to work; the complexity comes in its construction because there are times when you're working reverse stockinette stitch, times when you have to turn the work, times when you *don't* bind off the stitches, at least one odd place in which you allow the work to curl . . . and all you're given are written instructions. The people who produced the book put in loads of photos of the finished product but only one illustration of the scarf construction, and even then one of the sections is hard to identify because the number of it gets lost on the color illustration.

This irks me on so many levels. I'm a professional graphic designer. That means I know how to anticipate these kinds of problems. It also means I know how to lay out info -- yes, even if it's just words -- in such a way as to help a person get from A to B to C and all the way to Z without losing the path. What burns me is that they actually paid someone to lay out this information so poorly! And, was the editor sleeping through those instructions? Good grief!

Well, I'll come out of this with a fun art-scarf, but I can understand why a number of people on Ravelry have expressed frustration with this, and it's not just because of the I-cord!

Oooh, speaking of I-cord, I was wondering why some people don't like it. I love I-cord. I get into this kind of Zen mindset in which the only thing that exists are the 3 or 4 little stitches making that lovely little tube -- what's not to like? I find I-cord to be calming.

OK, I'm weird that way.

Love you lots!


1 comment:

Villasukka said...

I like i-cord too, it's easy but still very adaptable to different places.

No, it wasn't a picture me, but of a friend who originallyt taught me to spin. I'm always behind the camera ;)