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Standardization Dilemma

February 9th, 2012 at 09:53 am » Comments (5)

In a pretty much unrelated conversation in a designer’s group, a comment was made that “got me thinking” about one of my favorite topic – Standardization.

This is not really to say that how a technique is taught should be standard, but what the end result “looks like” should have a common name.

As most know, I Love Standardization and several of us are currently involved in trying to get some into Crochet beyond the 5-8 basic stitches. There is another group that tries very hard to create at least standard terms in “English” for Japanese Braidmaking – Kumihimo.

Not making a judgement here, but I have never understood calling the part of a “threaded needle” project that was the “Stitch Key” a graph or a chart. Although I can, for purposes of illustrating stitch placement see where either term could be reasonably interchangeable.

However the dilemma is that terms “cross craft”. We could spend hours and pages on why, but let’s don’t and just stipulate that it is so.

Using graph as an example, to say that it is limited to Cross stitch just does not work. Graph is commonly used in Crochet, Knit, Beadwork, weaving – Not to mention the one place where it does have a fairly standard meaning – Math and in every case including Math – if there are more than one person at the table, we could site at least 1-4 other terms commonly used to describe again placement be it of stitches or color.

Parallel development is so common in craft technique that there is always going to be someone who thinks they “invented” a stitch or whatever and even when others can, often as not, show that the “end result” of the stitch already exists, with a different name but with the same steps in its execution – they will still choose to claim authorship and name it as they please.

Then you have the main stream (or as main stream as niche publisher can be) craft book houses who have, because of the vacuum in established standards, make their own so at least the bulk of their publications would be the same and thus more usable for the consumer.

Is there an answer to this? Probably not, that won’t stop some of us from trying to make it easier for those who love the techniques from trying to make it easier for all to share.

Maybe we need a “Design Author Pledge” where egos are set aside and common factors are defined, common names used, and then it will be up to the individual to decide how to teach the process/technique.

Okay obviously I needed something to rant about – but really, what do you think?

Enjoy the Making


P.S. A thank you to Linda Reinmiller for her comment that helped me “finally finish” this commentary

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