Saturday, July 30, 2016

Continuing "Sparks" & Swatches

I re-wrote my last post many times before I published it.

It was a little bit agonizing, because I was trying to be honest about what I am not so good at; yet, I also tried to write a post that was (at least a little bit) worth reading.

As I wrote that post, I was reminded that I DO like to write about my design "sparks" and my swatches. A few of those posts have actually been my most popular.

My friend, Ann, took this photo of me wearing my first design sample for my new summer top.

Not so bad. I was "pleased" with the way this turned out. I have named it Pinstripe Box-Top #1. The shaping and sizing came out as planned.


Alchemy Yarns, Silken Straw [100% silk], 153c - Spider Orchid
my yarn and it's color, were my real design "sparks". I first shared this photo with discussion of the colorway, Spider Orchid, in my Early Spring post.

For me the colors drew a comparison to the blue spruce trees (which have lightened in color with the heat of summer) in my front yard.

Not long after I decided that I wanted stripes on my summer top, I walked into Gosh Yarn It and I saw a great little yarn for my blue spruce stripes. I quickly knit the swatches in the first photo.

ITO, Gima 8.5 [100% cotton], 408 - Aqua

I am considering my Pinstripe Box-Top a prototype, and I am planning to make another with some Shibui, Pebble in my stash. I have made a bit of progress this spring and summer getting to a point where I can finally release a garment pattern.

I leave you with an image of the neckline and armhole details.


I hope your knitting of late has also been rewarding, enjoyable and successful! ♥♥♥

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