Noblin activity of the knitting variety.

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

A bag of mouldy bagels

I was very hungry on Wednesday but my lunch was a disappointment. All my own fault - I knew I should have frozen some of the bagels and put the rest in the fridge. I was cheered up by the parcel that I had been waiting nearly 5 weeks for:

A huge bundle of Biggan Design DK Merino First Cross for some commissions which will be published in the winter. Well, they'll be published as long as I've actually committed the pattern to paper and had a sample knitted and the idea that is idling in my brain actually works out well.

I have two different methods when it comes to having patterns published in a magazine*. Method 1 was used for Miho and is my preferred method although it is not the most practical and is not always possible. This is when I have some yarn and an idea for the yarn and I actually make the item, taking notes as I go. Then I write up the notes, make any relevant alterations and give the pattern to someone, usually my mum or my sister, to test knit. I take a few photos and send them to a magazine saying please publish my pattern. All being well, they say yes, I make any corrections that are needed and send off the finished garments and complete pattern for their official photography and editing. This can all be done at my own pace but is also at my initial expense.

Here is my striped version. Notice it's a bit short.


Here is my sister's version with a modified length and a lovely crochet and bead edging. My sister is my crochet consultant.

single colour hanging

I'll also own up to my sister being a neater knitter than me. We had to buy the yarn ourselves and take the risk that we wouldn't have this pattern published at all. Fortunately, it all worked out.

The other method I use, which I find quite stressful, is that I suggest an idea to the magazine and ask for the yarn to be sent to me. I have to make a guess at how much I need, so I always over-estimate because running short would be as much fun as a poke in the eye. I then get given a deadline to translate the idea into a real item, such as Aster.


I do love this pattern now. There was a time when I did not. It began as an idea for a blanket made with three colours and one large, detailed, illusion pattern. It then had several versions until it ended as a 4 panelled, two colour blanket, with a slightly demonic looking flower and a colour scheme that wasn't 100% what I first imagined. You see, it's all very well designing something in your head but if the colours aren't available you have to adapt. And if the pattern doesn't do what you want it to then you have to adapt again. My sister-the-crochet-consultant was a bit mean about the scary flowers (she said they should be smiling) but by this stage I was committed and the deadline was looming. My mum did a great job knitting this up, combining chart reading and intarsia techniques and knitting it up in super quick time. I'm so relieved to see someone else on Ravelry is knitting this pattern using their own colour scheme and it looks fab.

Is it okay to be pleased with my own designs? I hope so. I don't have that many ideas so the ones I do have are important to me. Like these little chaps:

Group 3

This was another joint project with the crochet consultant - mine on the right, hers on the left. I was very hurt on their behalf when they were rejected from the first place they were submitted to but I learnt a lesson. Each publication has its own style so it's worth familiarising yourself with a magazine before you approach them. If you make a mistake the first time, then have a another try somewhere else. Present you design with a little bit of self-promoting blurb ("A whimsical, stash-busting, fun knit" works better than "well, it might appeal to someone but I'm not sure I'd have it on my Christmas Tree). If you still can't find someone, then Ravelry are a fantastic resource for publishing your own work and (hopefully) getting paid for it.

I love knitting and I love the fact that I can share it with so many other like-minded people. I also love chocolate but I don't share that so easily.

*ok, so it's only really been Let's Knit but I'm really please to be working with them.

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At 4:22 PM, Blogger La Cabeza Grande said...

I've totally fallen down on my blog stalking duties. And I've totally missed out on some fab work (and mouldy bagels.)


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