What I'm Working on Right Now | September 2017
In July, I shared a glimpse behind-the-scenes in my knitwear design business for the first time as part of a new series called What I’m Working on Right Now - original name, I know! You guys gave me great feedback, so I’m hoping you will enjoy this second instalment just as much.
The last couple of months have been rather busy for me. I finished the test knit for my Gaufre socks and published the pattern, which has done very well so far! 170 downloads and counting. If you haven’t already, please favourite and queue it on Ravelry - this will help other knitters to find it.
Also, the cat is finally out of the bag... On the 29th September, I will have my first pattern published in issue 3 of Laine magazine! Laine is my favourite knitting magazine of all time, so it is an incredible honour to have my pattern in print with them. If you want a sneak peek of what’s to come, they shared a photo on their Instagram feed.
I did submit a design to Amirisu magazine, as planned, but it was rejected. This wasn’t really a surprise - you get way more noes as a designer than yeses! I do intend to self-publish it next year though, so all of the design work that went into my pitch is not lost. In fact, it makes me feel like I'm ahead!
What I’m working on…
YARN: Sparrow by Quince & Co in Mica.
WHERE I'M AT WITH IT
What a difference a second test knit makes! What felt like an impossible pattern now feels neat, tidy and easy-to-follow.
A few of my test knitters have already finished, ahead of next week’s deadline, and their t-shirts look absolutely beautiful. I can’t wait to show you their work. It’s truly the best feeling to see this pattern come to life in other knitter’s hands!
This pattern will finally be released on October 3rd, so you don't have much longer to wait.
Just because the initial process is hard, it doesn’t mean that all is lost. I’m so glad that I persevered with this pattern rather than giving up on it after the first test knit. With the help of test knitters and my lovely tech editor, Nathalie, this pattern is better than I could ever have imagined!
YARN: Arranmore by The Fibre Company in Meara.
WHERE I’M AT WITH IT
I finished knitting the sample for this pattern a few weeks ago and can’t wait to get it photographed so I can wear it! I can’t describe how glorious this yarn is: wonderfully soft with fantastic stitch definition. It’s a great match for any texture.
Test knitting has just started and as usual, I’m feeling anxious about whether this will ever end up being a workable pattern - haha! I’m learning that this is part of the process though, so I’m staying positive and keeping on top of the feedback I’m getting from my test knitters. I know that if I stay consistent and persevere, this pattern will come together beautifully in the end.
If all goes to plan, this pattern should be released on 24th October - just in time for Winter!
All over stitch patterns are really tricky to grade! In order to keep the stitch pattern central, the edge stitches for every size tend to be different.
For that reason, I will give myself and my test knitters more time to work with the inevitable issues that will crop up throughout the development process of patterns like this.
YARN: Merino DK by Rauwerk
WHERE I’M AT WITH IT
When Christine approached me to design something with her newly released Merino DK, I jumped at the chance. It’s a very bouncy, squishy yarn that holds texture beautifully.
It has a fabulous story too: the fibre comes from sheep raised close to Munich, where her yarn shop is, and the yarn is spun, processed and dyed in Bavaria. It is such a pleasure to work with yarn that has such a transparent production process.
This pattern came together very quickly. I designed the slip stitch repeat inspired by a cushion on our sofa (ha!) and it was so addictive to knit that the hat simply flew off the needles within a couple of days! I think it will be perfect for gift knitting.
I’m now ready to write up the pattern and send out a call for test knitters. If you’re interested in this and haven’t yet signed up to my team of test knitters, please do! I’d love to have you with us.
Real talk: I’ve learnt that smaller patterns like these are, financially, more sensible for me. They take less time to develop, less time to knit and generally have a smoother testing process. This means that I can produce more patterns and hopefully, make more profit.
As much as I adore designing sweaters, they are a labour of love for me at the moment. I make very little money on them, considering how much time and effort goes into them!
Whilst I'm not going to stop designing sweaters any time soon, I've learnt that is important to design smaller pieces like this too since they will help me to reach my goals for my business sooner.
When it comes to accessories like hats, mittens and socks, it is good to knit a tighter fabric than you would usually use on a sweater. Not only is it more hard-wearing, it is also warmer - exactly what you need from cold-weather accessories. Yay for cosy heads, hands and feet!
I have so many exciting projects planned for the next couple of months. I can already tell that time is going to fly by!
Both Fragment and Shorthand will be released in October, so it’s going to be a very exciting month! It’s the first time I have ever released more than one pattern in a month. It’s quite fun to think that I shall be catering to both hemispheres with a lightweight linen t-shirt and an Aran-weight funnel neck sweater. I hope you love them as much as I do!
I have quite a few new designs lined up that I intend to start work on over the next two months. The first one I will be tackling is a new sock pattern, which I intend to release in time for a Christmas Eve cast on! I also plan to start on new shawl and cardigan patterns that will be released next year (Can you believe I’m already thinking about April 2018?!)
I’ve had another pattern accepted for a magazine that will be released next year - hooray! All of the design work is done, so now is the time to put the pattern together and knit the sample. They are taking care of the test knitting for me, so I will need to have the pattern ready by early December.
What would you like to see more of?
Do you have any feedback on my design work so far? What would you like to see more of? Share your thoughts in the comments section below - I love feedback and take it all very seriously!