Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Hat's on Me (Part 2)

I wear many hats as a knitting pattern designer.

The last part of every design release is what I tend to think of as "THE PROMOTION" and I need to get better at it.

(worn by me)

There are very many steps to writing knitting patterns...

1) THE SPARK!!! Some of my more popular blog posts describe design "sparks" and are worth revisiting:

Tartan Mitts Spark
Rosebud: My "Spark" & My Design Proposal
The Spark & The Reinvention: Opulent Cowl
Wearing m
y spark hat is all about creativity.  It is one of my favorite parts.

2) THE SWATCHING:  On occasion, the design begins with the yarn or a swatch made from the yarn... a swatch becomes my spark.
At other times, a "spark" leads to a swatch.
I have posted about swatching as well:

Some Things I Like
More of the Same 
I like to think of swatching as my R&D (Research & Development).  It is another of my favorite parts.

3) SKETCHES & SCHEMATICS and very often CHARTING:  Planning the design sample and how it will be made.

4) PATTERN ROUGH DRAFT WRITING & SAMPLE KNITTING:  The design sample gets made at this point... I write (most) parts of the pattern as I go. Sometimes I stop and do math, and sometimes I make new sketches. 

5) PATTERN WRITINGWith my finished sample and all of my notes and sketches around me, I write my "first best possible draft".
These last three steps can be challenging, but I love bringing my "sparks" to life.

6) THE TECH EDIT:  I send my "first best possible draft" to my tech editor. My tech editor sends it back to me with at least one million edits. (Oh, my!) We send emails back and forth until we agree on all the edits.  (I always agree on most of them.)

7) PHOTOGRAPHY:  This is something I have been getting better at, but I still have a lot to learn. My models (recruited friends and family) work for free. Scheduling photo shoots (and locations) in various weather conditions can be a very bumpy process with prolonged delays.

8) FORMATTING:  In which I put the edited pattern and the edited photos together in a PDF document.
These last three steps are never easy, but I accept them as part of the process of pattern writing, and I have enjoyed learning more about them. 

9) RELEASING THE PATTERN:  Uploading my formatted and edited PDF pattern to Ravelry where I sell it. Then (the PROMOTION begins as) I create a pattern page on Ravelry with some release announcements in appropriate forums.

10) PATTERN PROMOTION:  This includes a blog post (here) and posts in some other social media places. (Right now I use Instagram and Pinterest.) I need to do more.

My last two patterns, JUST CHILLIN' and DOT ON, were also test knitted in a June Hat KAL at my LYS, Gosh Yarn It. I was grateful for that. I gave away several copies of each pattern for the KAL, which I do not regret.

Then I gave away even more hat patterns through an offer in a recent post, The Hat's on Me (Part 1). That was a promotional giveaway. But it has not helped me in selling any patterns. I kind of think it is better to get paid a fair price for my work. Next time I will stick to an introductory discount.     

My promotional hat is not my favorite.  (It does not fit me so well.)
I need to learn how to create ads on Ravelry and I need to figure out if it would be a good idea to sell patterns in other places. Indie knitting pattern designers I know of also sell on Craftsy, Etsy and Patternfish.  Do you ever buy patterns in any of those places?

I'm really hoping for a comment or two! Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Midweek Meditation (Restart)

"It is better to create than to learn! Creating is the essence of life." 
  ~  Julius Caesar, Born July 12 or 13, 100 B.C.

Previous Midweek Meditation: (Nature) Midweek Meditation

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Hat's on Me (Part 1)

Earlier this month I wrote about my new hats.  As in: My Newest Hat Patterns...

There was this one,
DOT ON, (worn by me)

There was that one,
JUST CHILLIN, (worn by my dear Mallory)

In that earlier post, I said, "These new hat patterns will become available on Ravelry for $5 each in late June.  Watch this blog for the announcement of their release after June 20th.That has already happened.

I also posted, "I will provide a coupon code for my blog readers to get one new hat pattern of their choice for free."  That is happening now.

The free pattern coupon code will not appear anywhere other than this blog post...

Dear blog readers,
Your coupon code is:  ThisHatsOnCarolyn

Click on one of the links (Dot On or Just Chillin') to find the Ravelry pattern page for the hat pattern you like best.  I hope that you have enough time to take a look around at my other Ravelry patterns.

Details (the fine print):
This offer has been extended to expire at midnight, Ravery time, Monday, July 4.
The coupon code shown above can be used one time only for one free pattern.  Chose between
Dot On or Just Chillin'.

Thanks for your support!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Many Good Reasons to Knit a Hat in June

As far as knitting goes, hats are fast and don’t require a huge amount of yarn. Hats are great for beginners who want to learn to work in the round. They are also a good way for more experienced knitters to try a new technique (such as cabling or stranded colorwork) on a small canvas.

June can be a busy month with all kinds of family occasions and outdoor activities. No one wants to knit anything big or bulky this time of year. June is a very good month to make a hat… or two…

I am leading a hat knit-along at Gosh Yarn It! this month. All of the June "Sleepaway Camp" KAL knitters will be making a hat using one of my previously released or soon-to-be-released hat patterns.

The soon-to-be-released hat patterns are now being offered (for free) to participants in the GYI! KAL. (Blog readers will soon have the opportunity to score a free hat pattern, as well. Continue reading for more details.)

JUST CHILLIN' is my soon-to-be-released worsted weight cable hat with an optional pompom.

You can make a pompom with your knitting yarn, or you might try a purchased (faux or real) fur pompom.The hat pattern has three sizes to fit heads 19 (22, 24)” circumference, or to fit an average sized child (woman, man).

DOT ON is my soon-to-be-released worsted weight beginner stranded colorwork hat with optional pompom -- a great project for using a two-handed stranded colorwork technique.

The hat pattern has four sizes to fit heads of 17 (19, 22 and 24)” circumference, or to fit an average sized toddler (child woman, man).

These new hat patterns will become available on Ravelry for $5 each in late June. Watch this blog for the announcement of their release after June 20th. I will provide a coupon code for my blog readers to get one new hat pattern of their choice for free.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Design Release: Floribunda Mitts

Even before I designed my Floribunda Cap (with a brand new yarn that was then soon to be available at my LYS, Gosh Yarn It!) I knew that I would also design a companion mitt pattern.

The yarn, Knit One, Crochet Too Après Ski, is a soft blend of wool and nylon featuring really bright colors.

With GYI's request for a new colorwork class project using this outstandingly brilliant color, I immediately thought of flowers.  The mitts have an optional rose in duplicate stitch on the back of each hand.  The pattern has two sizes to fit most girls (women).

The hat is a great beginner two-handed stranded colorwork project.  The rolled stockinette edge goes quickly to get right into the stranded colorwok.  The leaf border is the simplest kind of stranded colorwork... limited to three stitches between color changes, it requires little attention to the lengths of floats.  When you get to the rose motif rows, I recommend "trapping" some of the floats.  For more information on all this, please see my popular blog post, Two-Handed Stranded Colorwork Tutorial.

Any two 100g skeins of worsted/aran weight yarn should be plenty to make both the cap and a pair of mitts.

Finished Mitts Measurements
5¾ (6¾)” [14.5 (17 cm)] hand circumference (measured around palm) and 8¼ (9)” [21 (23) cm)] long when unrolled
Yarn Required 
Worsted weight yarn 
50 (60) yd [46 (55) m] Color A 
50 (60) yd [46 (55) m] Color B 
Shown in: 
Knit One, Crochet Too Après Ski (70% wool, 30% nylon; 197 yd [180 m], 100 g) 
Color A:  #238 Cherry Bomb, 1 skein 
Color B:  #589 Colorado Spruce, 1 skein 
Needles (Adjust size if necessary to get correct gauge) 
Size US 7 [4.5 mm] needles (two circular or set of double-pointed).  Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

The Floribunda Mitts pattern is now available for a limited time at a special introductory price of $2.50.  This discount ends midnight Sunday, April 24.  The regular price of the pattern will be $5.

Thanks for reading and happy knitting!

Related Post Just Adorable -- Models, Hats, Hats on Models