The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...


Monday, December 05, 2016

Auroral Scarf

My second pattern has been published by I Like Knitting December 2016:

Photo @I Like Knitting

I really had fun with this design. Two compatible stitch patterns move randomly up the scarf - I used dice throws to determine the movements for my sample/instructions. The pattern also includes the 'rules' for making your own unique scarf.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Zebra Set

I am very happy that my zebra hat and mittens set has just been published in the October issue of I Like Knitting. I know it is not October yet...

These are my first third party published patterns. Look out for some more coming in the next few issues too :)

Photograph @I Like Knitting

Sunday, June 12, 2016

New Ventures

So over 3 months have gone by since my last post...

I have been pleasantly surprised at how well my throw has done.

I have published 3 more patterns since:

Pinstriped Mitts - a fun pattern to use up sock yarn left overs.

Not so much fun taking the photos in a freezing March...

I eventually published my sweater Nuance in April, despite having finished the actual knitting in December,

Really happy with the cables for the waist shaping and the clean finish of the V-neck. I swatched about half a dozen different methods of splitting the cable to run parallel before I was satisfied with the finished look.

And most recently Chillin using the second skein of my beautiful Crystal yarn.

I have signed up to ICG crafts, a print on demand service, to allow some of my patterns to be sold wholesale on the request of my yarn support Hearthside Fibers. They would really like to have copies of the patterns I designed for them to take to shows.

This meant reformatting, which wasn't a problem for this pattern but was a little more challenging for my Maplewood shawl :)

I currently have a new cardigan that has been tech edited and is now being tested. Hopefully it will be published in late July/early August:

I have also ventured into submitting some designs to magazines.

Before I went down this route I did some research on the process.

Ensure you supply all the info asked for in the format it is wanted in. READ THE SPEC!
If responding to a specific mood board show how your design idea MEETS THE SPEC.
Sketch of the idea does not need you to have any real drawing skills as long as you can portray the idea clearly. (I think I have proved this with the less than complimentary reaction from hubby and my friend Penny - lol).
Photos of the swatch/prototype need to be as large and clear as you can make them.

Email it off and wait... and wait... And then the response arrives.

If it is "Yes" you bounce around excitedly and then fret waiting for the contract and any other details to arrive, and if "No" you can either scrap the idea, hold it back to see if it fits well with another call or decide to self publish at a later date. So far I am 50% bouncing although over a very small sample number.

And then you have to actually write the pattern(s) and make the sample(s).

On my first acceptance this was not as straightforward as self publishing. I needed to use a different yarn to my prototype as the yarn I had used was not readily available in the US. When I swatched with the agreed yarn I got a very different gauge...

And the hardest thing for me is not being able to post details and photos on Ravelry as I normally do with what I am working on...

You finally have everything done. Email off the pattern, charts etc and head off to the post office with your samples being handled as if they were as fragile as a newborn baby. And then find that the smallest box that they will fit in without scrunching them up is actually quite large, So you need something to fill it with... A trip over the road to Penny who luckily had some spare bubble wrap...

And then you nervously track the parcel. Why has it been sat in O'Hare airport for 5 days? It was quite a relief when it finally showed as delivered...

I haven't actually heard anything from the magazine... I have been told this is fairly normal. And as they have said yes to a second design I am assuming all is well.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Textured Landscape Throw

Several years ago in a burst of enthusiasm and an effort to use up a myriad of odd balls of aran weight yarn I embarked on making a throw, randomly picking stitch patterns that took my fancy from newly acquired stitch dictionaries.

I really love it for all its imperfections and the sheer joy I had knitting it. The wibbly wobbly sections. The odd bits of garter and stocking stitch to get the heights right for the next stitch pattern. The oh dear, I don't have enough to do matching borders so I will just knit with a colour until I get bored or it runs out...

And then people asked if there was a pattern for it. Er, no.

And this was before I had even contemplated designing patterns.

So I decided to make a 'proper' version... Approximately two months work from initial layout plan, choosing stitch patterns, ripping back back if they didn't work, designing transitions/tweaks if needed, designing a few of my own blocks, reworking blocks when I changed my mind on a colour, writing the pattern, getting it tech edited and finally published.

Pattern is now available on Ravelry here.

And don't say you want a pattern for the original version!

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