Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Swine Flu of the knitternet

I've fallen victim to knitternet swine flu. I have caught not one, but THREE viral knitterly things this week.

The first is that I joined a sock club. Something I never thought I'd do.

The second is that I bought three skeins of Wollmeise after being tipped off by mobile phone of an update in progress. Yeah, thanks Donna.

The third is that I knit and Aestlight Shawl. Not quite the ubiquitousness of the Ishbel, but still a lesser viral knit.

There must be some kind of pill for this?

In more viral knit news, here's another virus I'll be catching as soon as it's released. You've all heard of the new book by Jared Flood of Brooklyntweed fame?

The internet knitting design industry is a viral environment that most yarn companies and magazines can't seem to get their heads around, much as they'd like to. The reasonably successful ones try to add more than just an online shopping experience to their internet presence. Interweave Press have made a consistent and steady push in this direction, Vogue have a dreadful 'video preview' and that's about it for them, Berroco has a blog and the internet darling Norah Gaughan herself, whilst others seem to make a token effort with a dodgy free pattern and vacant community forums.

Companies like Classic Elite Yarns have recruited from the magazine industry, with Pam Allen (previous editor of Interweave Knits) as artistic director.

Can you beleive the lengths Classic Elite Yarns have gone to in this 'deal' with Jared Flood? It's mind-boggling how many balls of yarn they think are going to sell off the back of this publication - because I can't see any other value in it for Classic Elite. Have a look at the terms of the deal (that we know of ..)

"Classic Elite would give an independent designer like me the opportunity to create a publication of designs in which I was given complete creative control over designing, pattern writing and photography, while retaining the rights to my work and the ability to distribute them as online PDF downloads as well as having them available in print at your local yarn shop." (from the Brooklyntweed blog).

Either this is a massive step forward in knitting designer rights, or Jared Flood is a design heavyweight beyond the likes of even Norah Gaughan herself.

I predict that others will follow; can you imagine Ysolda Teague for Rowan or Laura Chau for Knitpicks or Kirsten Kapur for Cascade?

Interesting times indeed I think.

9 comments:

M-H said...

How interesting. It's like how music is sold on itunes - buy 'a track' or buy the 'album'. I wonder how it will play out?

kgirl said...

It's rather impressive negotiating on JF's part, don't you think? kudos to him, retaining his rights to the work...

Donna said...

You're welcome :)

LynS said...

I was also astonished by the rights brooklyntweed managed to negotiate - pleasantly so, and good for him. However, my 70s feminist self wondered if this is the latest and rather bizarre example of working conditions for men in traditionally women-dominated occupations being better than they are for women.

missfee said...

I concur with Lyn

and feel some shawl like symptoms happening here too, in knitabulous of course
and sock club what sock club - where's YOURS!!!!!!!!

travellersyarn said...

Aestlake shawl? A new viral pattern? I just bought Ishbel - and am planning to knit it out of knitabulous yarn.

Bells said...

Oh I think Lyn's take on this is quite interesting. People like Annie Modesitt etc have been lobbying for this kind of stuff for ages and BT gets it? Hmmm.....

I can't see Ysolda going down that path. She's too vocal about being passionately pro-self publishing after being offered dodgy deals for too long.

knitabulous said...

I must admit I did think to myself - I wonder if a woman could have pioneered this kind of deal? It did kind of irk me a little too.
It's also interesting that a woman who proclaimed her desire for 'complete creative control' over a book would instantly be branded a control freak in the media. Particularly if she was 'a mother of three' or something like that.
But here's hoping it's the future for the female designers too.

Ann said...

Hope you are recovering from the "flu". I always catch one when I am on ravelry - sometimes it;s quite bad!