When the line between engineering and knitting is blurred…

On Thursday night I was trying to study for my design midterm the next morning but it deteriorated into writing up the chart for Jess’s mittens (a more creative name is hopefully forthcoming…) Seeing as I was already unfocused and procrastinating I set my facebook status to: “Studying Engineering Strategies and Practices quickly turned into designing a mitten pattern. Which could be thought of as studying for the design midterm, right?” 8:40 PM

I was expecting to amuse some of my also design-midterm-procrastinating engineering friends (which would be, like, all of us.) What I was not expecting was Nicole C’s response:

“Ensure that your design space is kept as wide as possible, you may wish to draw some black box/transparent box diagrams to analyze the functional inputs and outputs of the mitten pattern, you may also wish to benchmark/dissect/reverse engineer other mitten designs to inspire yourself, but do not concentrate too heavily on the specifics of those  designs, lest you steal other people’s ideas!! Don’t forget to generate a list of objectives and constraints, and don’t confuse objectives with functions, or objectives with constraints. Make sure you take into consideration all the stakeholders of the design, and its particular service environment. Look carefully for secondary, and potentially unintended functions of the mitten design. Use a graphical design matrix to narrow down your patterns, ensuring that the viable patterns meet all of your objectives. Lastly, you may wish to iterate at this point..dropping the name “mitten pattern” because it is too solution-driven..and opt for something like “aesthetic design for the insulating covering for the dexterous component of the upper body appendages”

~Nicole C.

That was basically the core of the whole course applied to knitting patterns. How insanely cool is that? What’s best of all is that she doesn’t even knit! Yet. I’m working on it.

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