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August 07, 2006



I know where you're coming from and I am speaking as a person that's given up several activities because I was good but not (as I saw it ) the best. Ridiculous.

Most people can't do what you do. They can't take an idea and transform it into a knitted item, let alone make a pattern so it fits many sizes. And not everyone wants all that fancy stuff. I think most of us want something simple and "cool", both to wear and to knit. What would we do if people like you weren't around to design these wearable and funky items for us? I tell you, I love to look at that fancy stuff. It's beautiful and it takes my breath away, but I don't want to knit it.

You must recognise your special talent and realise it's appreciated by many.


It's tying knots with sticks. :) I (for one) love simplicity, and am just not going to knit a complicated fair isle or bulky cabled thing for myself. What I like about your designs? Classic simplicity. The reason I'd buy your book? Classic simplicity. Tart it up a little with separate instructions for doing a ruffled hem or something if you must, but please leave in the basic sweater pattern. Not that you have to please *me* - but some of us are grateful you design the way you do! We like you! And your patterns!

(It's late.)


I'm with the Princess (Alice). You see things that many of us might actually wear, and produse them elegantly and with readable,well-sized patterns. I like Rowan, but how much of that would I actually knit - or even more, actually wear? for me, I like some of the fiddled-around stuff, but keep coming back to the simple styles. Thank you.


oh gosh wendy I know what you mean. it's such a battle not to compare the things i design with other people's work, and always come away thinking it's not 'special' enough, or 'clever' enough, or 'imaginative' enough or 'accomplished' enough. gah. but i echo what your previous commenters have said, and try and take it to heart for myself too. with much admiration,


Yes, there will always be those in any given arena who are divisive and judgmental. I choose to do my best to not become too disheartened by it nor allow myself to become tangled up in it and become a participant in the destruction. I like to appreciate the differences. I try not to label them "good" or "bad," but to see what part appeals to me. Some things I would never knit for myself, but could make for others, and vice versa. I move amongst different techniques and styles depending on my moods, needs, resources, and life circumstances. Some "plain" or "simple" stockinette has been an excellent companion for situations ranging from long rides in the car to stressful sitting and waiting. Lace charts, color work, and cables have all found their way to my needles to engage my mind when it was empty or to distract it when there have been worries. When it comes down to it, if it is something I want to knit for myself or others I will. If it is not for me, I will move on, allowing that it is meant for another knitter, or another time.


Simple fits my life (or is that "instant gratification"?) As we all know, if someone wants to snazzle a knit up a bit, that's the freedom and beauty of handknitting! How cool is it that we could each knit the same pattern and due to different yarns/gauges/techniques end up with vastly different projects. I say "Do Simple" and let the rest be up to us!


Whether it's school, jobs, babies, or knitting, folks cannot or will not repress their competitive urges to outdo. "Look how clever I am!" "Look at my fabulous job!" "Look how extraordinary my child is!" (Insert Charlie Brown sigh.)

Your knitting is both CLASSY and SASSY. I know of no better combination. Keep on knitting on.


Keep on doing what you are doing Wendy. Yes there are some really cleverly constructed, fancy fairisle, convoluted cable designs out there and hats off to the designers that made them. but time and again when it actually comes down to something you will knit and wear time and again, simplicity is best. I invariably finish up taking a patten and leaving off ruffles or intarsia design because I know that although I will enjoy the challenge of knitting it- I probably won't wear it. Being on the large side classic sillouettes look better on me and the subtle styling that you put into your designs keeps the classics fresh.


I feel that a pattern/design/logo are best being sweet, simple and to the point. Any one can add to a piece to get it noticed but not just anyone can make a piece that will be remembered. Elegent lines and a great form are lot better, then frills and bulk for me.. Don't change a thing It Is Beautiful.


Coco Chanel's designs were simple. Extraordinary, buy simple.

Enough said.


The thing about simple - and I think that's the wrong word here - is that it gives people a base to move from. Here's a wonderful pattern for you - a cardigan or whatever - and you can use this pattern and THEN CHANGE IT. Take this garment contruction and add a cable here, a lace panel there. Use different yarn and give it a whole new texture. You can't build a house without a good foundation. Simple as that.


Ya know, I am drawn to the cables and lace and fancy bits, but my true person in me is simple. I like the simple styles, and that's what I wear the most.
Definitely don't change a thing, quit second guessing yourself. I'm betting everything in the "you know what" will be amazing. I for one, can't wait. :)
Shoot, I've been knitting for 8 years now, and I still haven't had the desire to knit fairisle. Gives me the creeps.

Patty bolgiano

I like simple because I layer my clothing. Nice sweater over blouse. Maybe a scarf to tie things together. With a simple pattern we can use yarns that are either busy or highly textured, or colored and the pattern and yarn don't fight against one another. I also look at construction. Where does the pattern hit me in certain places, the hips, strange buttons holes (I've seen more than my fair share of bad buttonholes in major magazines) and are my nipples going to pop out in the lace pattern. (I call it nipple nudge, your nipple always nudges out..) Yes simple has its place as well. More than you think!



I hear you...I am currently working on a wrap that has lattice, braids and cables....ugh.


Please resist the urge to tart up your designs. Focus on necklines and shaping--just as you have.


Simply Red is my favorite sweater. It is hard to find "simply anything" these days. I am a simple person who will buy your book because I know it will contain classic designs--the kind of thing we wear everyday. Wendy, please keep designing for non-runway types like me!

Knitting Momma

The thing is...so much of what sells in knitting is sold to novice/intermediate knitters. Once you start thinking "Maybe I should buy a Zimmerman book" you're not really going to buy lots of knitting books, at least for the patterns. What sells, IMHO, is the design/layout/format, and maybe a bit of the attitude. I love "One Skein", not for the patterns but for the overall look and feel of the book. It's like knitting books aren't just patterns anymore - they're coffee table art.

Just something to keep in mind as you go through the publication process.


I think your particular designing strength lies in the female-flattering shaping of the garments. This is obviously not an easy thing to do, as anyone who has tried on clothes can attest. And I for one feel bizarre and conspicuous wearing a freakin sampler. If I want to fancy it up, as it were, heh, I'll use a luxurious yarn in a beautiful color, or add a jewel-like button. What could be better?


I echo all the above. Simple is classic - that is the beauty of your designs, Wendy. They are simple but we will keep knitting them and wearing them. Remember -in every arena there are those "overachievers" - it starts in childhood and grows from there. Keep up your designs as they are your trademark and we appreciate them!!

Katie V.

It's a good thing I love simple, classic designs, because the few times I've attempted anything complicated, it's ended up frogged and turned into something simple and classic! I love your designs and have bought three so far. I just bought the "Breeze" pattern from Marie Grace, on your tip from the other day, and I know my 9 year old daughter will love it. She never gets fancy intarsia or fair isle items, but she's happy with my simple stuff (knit in her favorite colors and super soft yarn, naturally).


don't start talking yourself out of anything Wendy! you know what some of my most successful, most pulled out of the dresser, handmade knits are? your patterns! they are not simple, they simply work. in fact i've made 2 different versions of Maryiln.
look at some of the classic designers through time(furniture, clothes, cars, shoes, jewelry). timeless. no froo-froo or fun fur there.
simple is not so simple Wendy. we know that!

Liz K.

Thank you for making me take another look at the garter-stitch, very simple baby jacket I just made. I was thinking about frogging the whole thing, because it was just so...simple. I showed it to several non-knitters and they loved the squishiness and texture of the fabric, the saturated purple of the yarn...and all I could think about was how simple it was.

I won't be frogging. The jacket is simple. The baby girl for whom I knitted it is the star.


If simple knitting makes one a simpleton, then I am definitely a Simpleton. With a capital "S".

I like a wee bit of intarsia just like the next person. Fair isle? Only if I (or the recipient, should I be knitting a gift) will WEAR IT OUT. Complicated construction? I admit that INTERESTING construction might make me want to knit something. But again: Only if I (or the recipient) is going to WEAR IT.

In summary: I live by the phrase, "Less is more". I don't slap on too much makeup and I don't gussy up my Christmas tree from here to eternity. Ditto with my knitting.

Don't feel the need to sass or snazz something up: Sometimes, a clean design with simple lines says a heckuva lot more than a busy fair isle pattern that might you go cross-eyed if you look at it too much.

Carry on :-)


Classic, Simple lines and a beautiful design...I've knitted 2 of your patterns and those are precisely why I love them so much.

Don't doubt that your designs are worth knitting even if they are not all fussied up with bobbles and intersecting cables.

As far as Arans and Fair Isles? I've yet to see a decent pattern with elegant shaping. Boxy knits? That doesn't come to mind when I see your designs.
I for one would joyfully knit a simple cardi from your book. Which I am eagerly awaiting. Yours will be the first I preorder. :)


I love and aspire to simple yet fun, fabulous designs. Which, happens to be what you design - keep it up and I can't wait to buy your book! By the way, the fancy stuff is beautiful, I would just never wear it.

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