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Ziggy Played Guitar (and Sometimes Did the Dishes)

I'm back—actually, I've always been here, but my knitting this year has been too dull to write about. When the highlight of your knitting year is buying shelves for your slat wall, it's hard to work up a post about it (although the effect is wonderful! My yarn is all in clear plastic boxes, up high on the wall, rather than down, taking up valuable walking space on the floor).

And my projects could be summed up in two lines:

1. K across, turn.

2. Repeat step 1.

So I felt I'd better hold off until something interesting happened. And then, halleluiah, I volunteered for a Dishcloth Group on Ravelry, I'm to select which cloth we'll knit (or crochet) during the 4th week of August ( in case you want to join in). So I said to myself "Self, wouldn't it be more fun, instead of recommending a dishcloth to knit, if you wrote your first pattern and published it to Ravelry?" ... and so I did!

I've called it the Ziggy Dishcloth because (a) huge David Bowie fan, and (b) his character Ziggy had a zigzag lightning bolt on his face, and (c) my cloth naturally zigzags left and right if you follow the instructions properly:

Nothing to do with Ziggy, the hapless comic strip character:

If anyone want to give it a try, it's there on Ravelry (search for "Ziggy Dishcloth") or go straight there via this handy link:

I expected about 3 downloads, since (a) I downloaded it, (b) my friend who was testing it downloaded it, and (b) another friend told me "I'll download it." But when I went to bed after publishing it was up to 7 downloads, and this morning as I type it's at 77 downloads in under twelve hours. I'm flabberghasted so many people have seen and taken a liking to my little dishcloth, especially when there are no shortage of new patterns on Ravelry (in twelve hours I've slipped from the first page, when ordered by newness, to the third page).

Ravelry doesn't tell you how many people download other peoples' patterns, but it does tell you how many page visits a pattern gets (bottom right corner). So my pattern page received 287 visits (so far), and 1/4 of them have downloaded the pattern. Whereas Florence the Frog, who was published immediately before mine, has received only 7 visits (so far), just to give context. It's not a race. (But if it were a sprint, I won!)

There's nothing I like more, it turns out, than being some kind of human McDonalds, sitting back and watching the numbers change. (For the Young People, I'll quickly explain: McDonalds used to have big signs outside each restaurant, saying "Over 700,00 served," and they'd keep updating over time. By now I think they just realise they're popular).

Oh—turns out I'm on the main pattern page, they have a section for hot debut patterns. That probably explains all the traffic:

That's me in the corner! That's me in the Spotlight ...

(Young People, I'm quoting an old R.E.M. song, "Losing My Religion," because the lyrics, shockingly, literally apply in this case).

So now that my giant head (24" hats, swear to God) is even bigger, we can look forward to more exciting patterns in the future. More dishcloths? Perhaps. I can do scarves and blankets as well (add stitches, add rows). Hey, has anyone copyrighted "knit across, repeat" ... ? That would make a great, easy blanket. (Kidding).

I have not yet managed to make anyone else's pattern for a knit garment successfully fit me, so anything where gauge matters is probably off the table. But there's a whole world of non-sweater knitting to explore. There are over 3,000 patterns for an "Afghan block," I didn't even notice that section existed until today (perhaps because it's under the compelling category title of "Components," yawn.) I ought to be able to invent a few Afghan blocks, right?

But what I really want to do is invent a Whole New Method of Knitting, like entrelac, or modular knitting, or Fair Isle. That would be fun, to go down in history as the man who created an entire knitting field. I know it's out there, waiting for be discovered—knitting's really a relatively new endeavour, when you think about it. Knitting on circulars just happened a few decades ago, and the Magic Loop method was invented in 2002 (I know the inventor, we hanged at the Madrona event in Tacoma, as one does). Surely if I put my mind to it I'll come up with something.

Wish me luck ;-)


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