Zoom Loom Love

 I swear, sometimes I think I've made it my personal quest to try all the yarn-related crafts.

A few of my friends (I'm looking at you Angela, Heather & Barbara) have been into the pin looms lately. And, you know me, I don't like to be left out when it comes to the yarn things. So I ordered a Zoom Loom and soon I was on my way.

 The Zoom Loom comes with a little instructions booklet. I found that was all I needed to get going!
I'm currently at the stage of making random squares. What will become of the squares remains to be seen. I'm very interesting in sewing them together to make a blanket or shawl. Time will tell!

Do you pin loom? If so, I'd love to know what you make with your squares!


The Kindness

My Kindness KAL sale has come to an end. I'm very happy to report that it was a success! On Monday morning, I tallied the Gradient eBook sales (I also included the patterns that people bought at the same time as the Gradient Collection eBook) and sent it off to Halos of Hope. We raised $219.75  for Halos of Hope, and I rounded it up to $230!

That $230 will be used to ship over 700 chemo hats to cancer centers all around the country. I'm so blown away by everyone's support and generosity. I shouldn't be surprised, though, knitters are a kind bunch of people.

The Knitcircus Kindness KAL has now officially started. It will benefit several charities, including Halos of Hope. If you want to find out more about it, you can check out the Knitcircus Ravelry group.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. We started the year off right! 💗💗💗


Fox River Hat & Mitts

My first pattern (well, patterns) for 2017 is here! This is the Fox River Hat and Mitt set, published by Sweet Georgia Yarns:

The set is knit in Sweet Georgia's Superwash DK yarn. This is some verrrrry lovely yarn. It's so squooshy and the stitch definition you get with it is amazing.

Both the hat and the mitts start with ribbing that flows seamlessly into the small lace pattern. The lace is created by making huge yarn overs - it was a blast to knit. After a few rounds of lace, it's time for a nice wide ribbing, giving the set a clean look.

The hat is written for three sizes and the mitts are written for one size. Both have great stretch though, meaning you can make a set for all your friends!

The Fox River Hat and Mitts are now available as a single pattern on Ravelry or on the Sweet Georgia website. You can also read a little more about the pattern in this post on the Sweet Georgia blog.

I hope you enjoy the set as much as I do!


Design Your Biz: Professional Proposals

Recently, I discussed working with yarn companies and magazines for my new crochet designs. Today, I’d like to follow that up with talking about putting together a professional proposal.

You’ll first need to find somewhere to submit your design idea. Many companies use the Designers forum on Ravelry to post their calls for submission. They will give you detailed information about what they are looking for in their posts, as well as links to mood boards and forms you may need to fill out. I check the Designers forum about once a week for calls I think I’d like to submit to. You can also visit the websites of your favorite magazines or yarn companies. Many of them have a link where you can sign up to receive emails for their calls for submissions.

So you’ve got the call for submissions, now it’s time to put together the proposal. Again, some companies might have a template to follow, but many just want a 1-page PDF explaining your design submission. Here’s the information you need to always include:
  • Clear photos of your swatch
  • A sketch of your design (even if you can’t draw….please see my pretty terrible drawing of a fingerless mitt below)
  • Details about your pattern – design features, sizing, what makes it unique, etc.
  • Yarn Requirements/Suggestions
  • Materials Needed
  • Contact Information
Here’s how I put my one-page submissions together. This was my submission for the Mandarijn Mitts.
You can see from the proposal that you can get a pretty good idea of what the mitts will ultimately look like. Here are the finished mitts:

With your professional proposal and killer design idea, you’ll be getting accepted to that magazine or yarn company in no time! And, as I’ve written about before, if you get rejected, don’t worry. It happens to all of us. Now you have your proposal ready to go and you’ll be ready to submit it to another call when the time is right.


Knitcircus Kindness KAL

Did you hear? Knitcircus is hosting a Kindness KAL! It's a great way to start off the New Year and I'm thrilled to be involved with it.

The KAL will directly benefit: The Global Fund for Children, The Children’s Health Fund, Halos of Hope and The Road Home. The rules of the KAL are simple:

  1. Knit a shawl (any pattern, any yarn). Post a photo here with the text FINISHED and letting them know which charity you’d like to support. For the first 100 finished shawls, Knitcircus will donate $5 for each finished shawl to one of the organizations.
  2. Knit a Hat for Halos of Hope! Knitcircus will collect and send them in. For every 50 hats, Knitcircus will donate $50.
  3. Donate to any of the organizations and show the world the power of knitters.
As for my part, I'm offering my Gradient Collection eBook for just $9. $4.50 of each eBook purchased will be donated to Halos of Hope! Most of you know collecting chemo caps and working with Halos of Hope is close to my heart, and I'd like to help them ship as many hats as possible.
$9 with coupon code "kindness" at checkout

The coupon code is good thru January 15th, 2017. At that time, I'll tally the number of eBooks sold and will send a big fat check off to Halos of Hope!

You can read all about the Kindness KAL here.



Top 9 of 2016

Well, 2016 is coming to an end. Thanks for another year of reading my blog, even if it was a little slow over here at times. ;)

Here are the top 9 posts on the blog this year:

  1. A Kit Club Right In My Stash
  2. Weekend Wraps
  3. Crochet A Farm
  4. Life of a Knitwear Designer
  5. My First Crochet Shawl Pattern
  6. Milton
  7. Cozy Stash-Busting Knits is Here
  8. A Collaboration That Works
  9. Oh the Planner Stickers
Looking forward to new adventures to share with all of you in 2017!

Want to keep up with the blog? You can get my blog posts directly to your inbox! You can sign up right here.


Design Your Biz: Self-Publishing vs. Contracts

Self-publishing or contract work? Which is better?

Honestly, I have no idea.

There are lots of pros and cons that go along with each. Self-publishing you have all the control (which is great for a control freak like me). There's also a lot of time and money that go into producing a good pattern and you don't really know how much you'll make. With third-party contract work, you might only make a set amount of money, but at least it's guaranteed. And, many times (obviously it depends on the contract) you don't have to worry about things like paying for a tech editor or photography and a lot of the other costs that go into releasing a pattern.

So, I thought I'd talk a little bit about my venture into crochet design this year. I went the route of solely doing contract work for my crochet patterns in 2016. That was a decision that I consciously made.

My Flibbertigibbet Shawlette in Interweave Crochet Winter 2017
Photo Credit: Interweave/Harper Point Photography

But, why? 
  1. I am much newer to crochet than knitting. Many of my customers might not even know that I can crochet. I felt like getting published by a yarn company or in a magazine might help give me some legitimacy in the crochet world. 
  2. I'm not as comfortable writing a crochet pattern than a knitting one. Writing a knitted shawl pattern I can do in my sleep. Crochet? I still find it a little overwhelming and time-consuming. I really liked the idea of having to follow a company's pattern template and working with established crochet tech editors. 
  3. As I already mentioned, self-publishing costs money. There's tech editing and photography and ad space and maybe yarn. Plus the time it's going to take to make the item, write the pattern, edit, layout (or you have to pay someone else to layout the pattern) and do all the social media about it. There's Paypal and Ravelry fees too. It's not free. And, as an unestablished crochet designer, I was unsure I was going to make enough money from my sales to cover the costs associated with self-publishing.
Will I eventually start self-publishing crochet patterns? Absolutely! I just wanted to get a couple crochet patterns under my belt and get more comfortable with the process before taking the leap into self-publishing.

Photo Credit: Willow Yarns

To be clear, I don't think that you have to start with contract work. With my knitting patterns, I self-published patterns for awhile before I ever did work on contract. As I've talked about before, everyone navigates through this industry differently. There is no right way.

If you're a designer, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!


A Very Crafty Christmas

Every year, my knit & crochet group does some kind of gift exchange. This year was no exception - yarn and hand-made accessories for everyone!
Last Christmas, we all exchanged yarn. You don't know who has your yarn, and they don't know who you have. Then, you have a year to make something for the person with the yarn they put in their bag for exchanging. It's so fun!

Last year, I got Lynette's bag of yarn. I was in for a challenge - it was several skeins of recycled sari silk. That is not something I typically work with it, and it was fun to figure out what to do with it.

Lynette is the "Cowl Queen" so it seemed like a cowl was the way to go. After searching around Ravelry, I finally settled on "designing" my own. I use designing in quotes because I picked a stitch pattern out of a crochet stitch dictionary, held the yarn doubled and started crocheting with a large crochet hook. It was more like a reallllly large swatch than a real design. Haha.

I seamed it at just the corner, so it would have a cool, funky shape when you wear it. Perfect for the yarn!
Melissa picked my yarn (so random, she had me the year before too and knit me a beautiful Tilt shawl). It was two skeins of Fiber Story Glow Sock. She knit me this amazing shawl. The pattern is Waiting for Rain.
Check out that short row lace. Melissa said it was so much fun that she's now knitting a second one for herself!
As for the yarn we exchanged this year, we decided we are using it selfishly. I picked Laura's bag. Yay for gradients!

It's a shawl kit from The Alpaca Yarn Company in their Paca Peds yarn. It's so soft and pretty.

It was another successful crafty Christmas! If you're knit or crochet group does a gift exchange around the holidays, I'd love to hear about it. Our group always loves trying new things! 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...