If Wednesday mornings are hectic, energetic and inspiring…then Monday mornings are pensive, investigative and at times, heart-breaking. I find myself standing at the crossroads, trying to decide if the choice is going to be “making peace with knitted stuff” or “pursuing perfection with OCD”. yes, there is a lot of obsessive, compulsive work hidden in each product which will come in our online store!
Last week was all about cushion covers with slip stitch color work. the patterns were exquisite, the colour combinations looked smart and the finished ones were met with murmurs of satisfied admiration. It felt good to see ideas becoming actual objects, and the knitters were exhaling their relief after looking at my smiling face.
And then, came Monday. The covers had been washed and blocked and it was time to stitch the labels. Deepa and me looked at each piece and there they were…those tiny mishaps which would be missed by a happy customer, but would rankle on the mind of this producer.
Buttons were too small, the flap needed two more rows of knitting, the stitching seemed bulky and the cover looked elongated. I could have done a little bit of stretching/adjusting/blocking/anything and the covers could have graced a room beautifully.
But then, how are the knitters going to learn about perfect covers if I don’t share these goof-ups and repair them? How can I ensure perfect quality in the future, if I myself turn a blind eye to tiny mistakes?
There are a zillion organisations in our country and all over the world, trying to provide opportunities to crafts people and artisans, trying to ensure economic support and prosperity to communities and villages. And everywhere, there is this major issue of quality.
Quality is a way of life. Its a decision which has to be taken with purpose and intent, at every small and big fork on the road which we are travelling. Most of the time, its the narrow, rough and difficult lane which starts at that fork of of the road. In comparison, the smooth, wide and straight road of mediocracy looks so easy and doable.
Quality knitting demands many a sacrifice. Large orders, bulk volumes, widespread nets of knitters…these things are left behind on that straight road at the fork. I have to deal with terrified knitters ( transforming into attentive and intelligent crafters), small volumes for sale ( but every perfect piece is admired and grabbed quickly), and more nays than OKs to impatient customers ( who usually get the logic of perfection and are willing to wait for the final product).
Quality ensures that I am in the “Slow Knitting Routine”…and like the Slow Food and Slow Fashion movements,which I follow slavishly, I will continue to ponder over colours and shapes, examine each piece of knitting like it was a 2 carat diamond for sale, pore over patterns and blogs created by quality conscious designers and knitters.
Here is a link to some of the loveliest patterns to have emerged at my favourite wool site! The Brooklyn Tweed Autumn Lookbook is worth a few minutes of your time.