While all of this blog post still rings true, sometimes kinks still have to be worked out! In preparing for our first big show, the WNY Fiber Arts Festival, we realized that our tensioned ring just wasn't quite right. A few previous versions that did work made it to the marketplace, and hopefully are serving their owners well.
But, rather than sell a product that was not performing at peak, Brian and I made the hard decision to remove it from the shop, and toss all our current inventory. We will revisit this concept for sure, but neither of us wanted to pass on tools that didn't perform as well as we expected them too!
I wanted to leave the post up because visibility matters. I want to share our journey, as we develop and redevelop our ideas and concepts; we are always learning and growing, and challenges are just as important as successes.
I've often heard "It is a poor workman who blames his tools", to denote that the tools aren't at fault for a poorly done job. Maybe I'm not a poor workman. Maybe because my hobbies bring me joy, I put everything I have into them, but I differ with this old saying. Poor tools can really suck the joy out of crafting.
Poor tools can hamper accomplishing your goals - they can hamper the outcome of your project, they can impede progress. In all my crafting, I have found that good tools are worth paying for.
So what is a girl to do when the tools she buys for her knitting, just doesn't get the job done? Simple - build a new tool.
When I complained to my husband that I needed a 3D printed knitting fairilse ring because none of the 8 or 10 other options I had purchased were solving my problem, he printed me the one we found on Thingiverse. It broke pretty quickly (we were very early in our 3D printing journey), but i realized it didn't do what I needed either.
I wanted a ring that clearly delineated the strands of yarn from each other. I'm a "picker", continental style knitter, so operating both yarns on the left makes for a much smoother and more even knitting job for me. But the knitting rings on the market made me so mad. They wouldn't hold tension, and half the time they wouldn't even keep the yarn strands separated!
So my tolerant, loving, and sweet Brian started designing. He'd pull a new version off the printer bed, and immediately start iterating the next version. He'd have me try something with so much anticipation, and then as I struggled, assess where the issue was and what needed to be changed. The end result was a ring that did all the things I have ever hoped for, and a tool that is inexpensive, accessible, and easy to reproduce.
I'm so proud of our Tensioned Knitting Fairisle Ring, because it does all the things I've been waiting for all this time!
Edited 9/25/23: this link will take you to some cute server cats, but not a working ring! Tensioned Knitting Fairilse Ring
So when you hear that the tool is at fault, maybe, just maybe blame the tool, and find a better solution!