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Fail early, fail often - or the value of serendipity in design

Angelina Russo Blog Blog Posts hi vis cycle poncho hi vis poncho poncho Womens cyclewear

This phrase "fail early, fail often" seems to have become particularly popular since the advent of social media. I'm guessing that it is because social media gave us all an opportunity to experiment in areas that were historically unattainable unless you were expert in them; ie: content creation, design, pr, advertising, marketing and film production. Now of course, the advent of participatory media allows us all to create, publish and distribute content and I suspect that for those who hadn't done it before, the idea that you wouldn't get something right the first time was a bit of a surprise. Thus the phrase, fail early, fail often. For those of us who have been in these industries for a while, the notion of getting it right the first time seems somewhat idealistic. So much so that we all have our own modes of prototyping which, themselves have their own specific names: a toille for a fashion designer; a model for an architect , a mock up for a graphic designer and, of course, in the IT world, its called BETA. Rarely do we expect to get something right the first time and that's why bespoke designed objects are that much more expensive! So what does this have to do with cycle wear? Late last week I was looking through my pinterest feed and found a stream on "concho poncho". Having undergone many different attempts at a serviceable, readily duplicated poncho that I could sell for under $120, I found the idea of a single rectangle which achieved its shape through folding rather than shortrowing (a technique which I adore but which takes quite some time and concentration, of which I have limited quantities). hi-vis-poncho-prototype-1 hi-vis-poncho-prototype-2 hi-vis-poncho-prototype-3 So, I pulled out some old yarns and began a toille on the bulky machine. I thought I'd done enough, basted it together and realised it needed more length so back to the knitting machine. As I had finished the old yarn I used some of the orange cashmillion and here is where the serendipity came in. While I've used this yarn on the mid gauge and the Bulky 8, this was the first time I used it on the 9mm machine - and what a find. It knits like butter and the final stitches are large and open so that it is incredibly attractive and comfortable once on. Here are some shots of the toille and here is the final product. Now Making: hi vis cycling poncho in orange, pink or green.


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