Picking a Winner and a Lesson in Randomness

Filed in Uncategorized by on June 16, 2013 6 Comments

A little over a week ago I asked for some assistance in picking a color for my next skirt project. Today the votes were tallied and the results are in….and the greens/browns won by almost 2 to 1! But what I loved most were some of the “editorial” comments that were shared along with the vote. Several folks figured by the time it was done Fall would be arriving soon (they obviously know me). Others commented about the colors being better for a skirt since they are a bit less vibrant (darker being more slimming). Of course lots like the blue/turquoise/green combo with most of those comments falling into the “I love those colors” or “bright is more cheery/summery/fun”. I was good either way, so for me, just seeing the input was really fun.


Then I got to select a random winner out of the 32 comments/votes. I LOVE giving stuff away because it is so fun to do. I did it as a two phase random drawing. First via a coin toss I decided if the winner would be selected from the winning camp (brown/green) or the losing camp (blue/turquoise) — the winning camp won! Next of the 20 folks who votes for brown/green I wanted a random number from 1 – 20 working in the order folks submitted their votes. The number that popped up was “1” so the winner was the very first comment on the blog.

Image via Flickr by Patrick Hoesly

Getting a “1” doesn’t “feel” random, but it really is a perfect example. That got me thinking about randomness in general and its potential importance in design. Particularly for visual stuff, our brains want things to be either very organized and/or symmetrical OR random and/or asymmetrical. Truth is, we really don’t do random well naturally. Thus the need for tools to help us with random when random is important as part of the design.

So all this talk of randomness and skirts combined with all the other back office stuff I’ve been working on got me thinking about something we could do for our readers…let’s have a KAL (knit-a-long)!!!! Specifically, lets have a Design Your Own Skirt from Leftover Sock Yarn KAL!!! Because I will be trying out a variety of new tools and applications, let’s make it FREE!!! You all like free, right?!

So needless to say, this hasn’t been totally planned out…it just came to me. But as with all my KALs, there will be a large educational component because I just can’t help myself. There will probably be more topics covered, but the things I guarantee you will learn about are:

  • Selecting leftover yarns for consistency in weight
  • Randomization techniques to help blend and harmonize colors
  • Stitch patterns options for successful skirt fabrics with leftovers
  • Working with a gauge swatch (yes…this will be important since you are designing your own)
  • Taking the key measurements
  • Selecting a basic skirt structure and designing a SIMPLE skirt (you can totally do this)

Because part of this is to provide me an opportunity to work with various technologies and applications in a “real world” application not everything will be posted here on the blog (much of it will). So I am going to invite you to try out the first “new” thing and sign up for our e-mail newsletter here.  We would love for you to start receiving blog post notifications via e-mail (there are several options), but at a minimum select the KAL under Special Activities. This will be the only way to know about, locate and participate in all the steps of the KAL.

This will not start until August 1st, so I have time to prepare and you have time to start hunting down your leftover amounts of sock weight/fingering weight yarns. And of course, we would love for you to share this with all your knitting friends both those you know in person and via your virtual connections. So sign up now so you don’t forget and miss out in all the fun.

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