Thursday, August 18, 2016

Conveying Drape

Photos and words of knitted or other hand-crafted garments just don't seem to convey the texture, heft and/or drape of the fabric.

Critical Factor in Garment Design

When I'm design a sweater or a scarf or any other garment, the drape of the resulting fabric is an important factor to how the garment turns out.  A stiff shawl or a clingy, drapey sweater might be considered a disaster...especially if it was unintended.

When I publish a pattern, like the Cross Stitch Scarf, I try in as many ways as possible to make sure knitters who purchase the pattern can imagine correctly what the fabric will be like.  But photos and words seem inadequate to convey the resulting fabric.

So, I thought I'd put together a brief video to see if that was any better at communicating fabric structure.

Current Knitting

As noted in the video, I've started a new wide scarf project.

I love this scarf pattern and it's all in garter stitch on the bias.  Not sure where I found this pattern, but I enjoy doing very subtle color combinations like the gray and the green at the bottom of this scarf.

I also swatched up all that yarn I got from Pioneer Fiber Mill:

I have to say, I love this man's yarns...they are beautiful and somewhat rustic.  If I can find the greenish mix of wool and alpaca on his site, I will look to try and get more of that.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Selling Knitting Patterns

I'm not a very prolific designer, but I have "published" a few patterns for knitters and crocheters, and I have been more than thrilled with how easy it is to publish and sell patterns on Ravelry.

Being a Ravelry "Pro"

Back in 2012, I realized that I could sell my knitting and crochet patterns on Ravelry and once the pattern is in their database, they do all the work.

Ravelry lets knitters and crocheters search for my patterns, browse my patterns, search on tag words in my patterns, look for specific features in a pattern and also lets them purchase the pattern and charges them for it via PayPal.  But most of  you know this already.

Other features that I love:
  • When I make a change to a published pattern, Ravelry notifies everyone who has ever purchased/downloaded the pattern so they can get the revised version
  • I get an invoice each month for Ravelry's tiny commission on pattern sales
  • Ravelry users set up as yarn stores, are allowed to purchase patterns (if I allow) at wholesale price
I just updated the pattern for the Cross-Stitch Scarf and for everyone that's ever purchased it, they will be notified of the change and be able to download the most updated version.  And any new purchaser will get the most up-to-date version automatically.

Ravelry definitely makes my life as a designer/pattern publisher MUCH easier.

Current Knitting

I did finally finish my latest Cross-Stitch Scarf and it came out beautifully!

FYI, for those that got the update, this is using the alternate stitch definition that I just added.  The resulting scarf is a bit less lacy and more "solid", but it still has the loose drape of the original design.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Blush Worthy

It never ceases to amaze me when folks consider a compliment from me as more important than from someone else.

Who Is Blush-Worthy To You?

Marie posted a beautiful beaded Peacock Shawl she made with Sock-Ease (my favorite solid color) and I noted what nice work she does and she replied with a ::blush:: (I hope you don't mind that I stole your photo from Facebook).

It made me realize how much value in certain people's opinion about my work.

There are a number of amazing knit-designers who's opinion I highly value...especially in their field of expertise.  Just as an example (since there are LOTS of designers who could make me blush), if Ron Schweitzer were to compliment a Fair Isle design of mine, I would be beyond thrilled.

Who does that for you?

Current Knitting

Work has been incredibly busy this week and has really cramped my style when it comes to knitting.  I was able to get some work done on the Cross-Stitch Scarf done in two colorways of Sock-Ease (one of them is the same that Marie used).

Readers' Comments/Questions

In an e-mail from Gretchen, she asks, "Do you have a pattern to recommend for a knitted scarf? Variegated worsted wool yarn; roll resistant; not too dense a fabric; fun to knit; but easy enough to be worked on while traveling, talking, etc."

 I don't really have an answer for this...I'd also add "looks good on both sides"

My best effort was a slightly modified version of the Cross-Stitch scarf done with worsted weight and on much bigger needles (don't ask me now, I have no idea).

I think this was two different colorways of variegated worsted weight yarn, just like the pattern calls for.  Other than the cross-over rows, it's really quite a simple knit.

Any other ideas?

Monday, August 08, 2016

Dreamers Make Lousy Estimators

When it comes to estimating how long a project will take me, I almost always underestimate.

Forever Hopeful

I think I know in my heart-of-hearts that I won't be able to finish a project as quickly as I think I will.   While I knit a lot, I always seem to imagine that I will knit more to finish a project...and rarely do.

It sounds delusional, but I really do think that my knitting will all of a sudden become faster or that I'll more time to allocate to it than in the past.  Okay, I guess it really is delusional.

I indicated in my last blog post that I was hoping to finish both Cross Stitch scarves over the weekend.  You'll note in the "Current Knitting" section of today's entry that I was again overly hopeful.

Current Knitting

Well, I did focus on finishing one of the scarves, and I even made a little progress on the second scarf.

To avoid disappointment, I'll just promise to continue to work on the second scarf.

Friday, August 05, 2016

More Random Thoughts

The first two times I published lists like this kind of depleted a lot of my more clever thoughts.

More Random Thoughts - III

  1. The word is voilĂ  people...not wallah!
  2. The fact that many of the clients I've worked employ idiots has made for a successful career in consulting.
  3. Much of my life is about balancing between loving-self-care and arrogance.
  4. I don't really understand what "creativity" me it just seems like trying shit out until you find something that works.
  5. If same-sex couples shouldn't be allowed to adopt for fear their child will be bullied, then opposite-sex couples with strange last names shouldn't be allowed to either, like Frick, or Mudge or Weiner or Fartson.
  6. Why did it take years of being frustrated with oil rising to the top of my peanut butter before I realized I could store the jar upside down and avoid the problem completely?
  7. When you leave the workforce, why do they use the verb "retire."  Taken literally, are you tiring yourself again?  I know they're not calling me a retread.
  8. Why is it that parents these days think it's important to constantly praise their children to build their self-esteem, but don't seem to consider it necessary for adult friends and coworkers who never got that praise during their childhoods?
  9. Conversations about many major physical transitions always seem to be sensitive and difficult, puberty, menopause, aging, illness, death, etc., while discussing birth is something we never seem to get enough of.
  10. Did it ever occur to you that the Egyptians were the first to use emoji?

Current Knitting

Continued progress is being made on the two Cross Stitch Scarves.

The pink and white one is halfway complete and purple and green one is only 1/3rd complete.  I'd love to finish these two scarves this weekend, but we'll see how diligently I pursue that goal.