Oh, So Fashionable

Swatch and Sketch

Yes, I concur. It’s been a little quiet on the public side of the blog. I have my reasons, not the least of which is that it’s design time once again.

Sketch this. Swatch that. What’s the deadline? It turns out that committing to the submission schedules of various publications is hard work, and not a little bit expensive. For one project alone, I’ve purchased 2,000 beads in 3 different sizes because the yarn selected by the publisher was of a different weight than I originally anticipated. For another submission, the proposal book and overnight shipping to meet the deadline ended up as a not-inexpensive proposal itself.

Then there’s the research into color trends, construction techniques and materials. And oh, the brouhaha over contracts, reasonable fees and intellectual property rights. It’s a hornet’s nest, I tell you. Even for the established and well-known designers, it’s hard to make a living. So why bother? Because I’m driven! I get such a buzz from throwing around ideas and seeing them come together into the realm of the possible – even if it’s just on paper.

The hard part comes when it’s time to write an actual pattern that people will a) want to knit or crochet, and b) be able to use to successfully reproduce your design without pulling their (or your) hair out. I’m learning that pattern writing is an art unto itself, especially since so many things are open to interpretation with the written word. And the software that helps you create patterns, charts or schematics only takes you part of the way down the road. Eventually, you have to do your own maths and instructions, particularly if you’re doing something out of the ordinary.

So when do I get to call myself a designer? I ask myself this when, of course, there is no “right” answer: whenever I darn well please? whenever I start to sell my stuff? whenever someone actually buys it or everybody’s making it or I have my own knit-along? I’m still on the fence on the answer that feels right to me. In the end, I suppose that’s all that really matters.

10 comments to Oh, So Fashionable

  • I really admire your perseverance and motivation. You’re an inspiration!

  • Pattern writing is a law unto itself. It is not my favorite activity, especially since I am an off-the-cuff knitter, and in a pattern I have to be so exact. You have my complete sympathy and empathy.

    And your goodies are lovely!

  • Hmm, I like both swatches, but I like the one on the bottom best.

  • You have designed and created so many beautiful things. I guess we always question ourselves. In my mind you definitely deserve the title of designer. I am always amazed by the wonderful creativity that is out there. I am grateful for the work that goes into the patterns that I love. I have neither the patience nor the eye for detail that designing requires.

  • Anonymous

    You are sooo! inspirational! You go girl! Glad that you are not letting those roadblocks of designing letting you down, you keep it up so we can see your work in print soon! Terry 🙂

  • The yarn is Rowan Felted Tweed in Dragon (grey) and Rage (red).

  • I’m totally digging the yarn and the colors in the pattern swatch, what are they?

  • Jen

    First, I love your swatches. Second, I can’t wait to buy your book one day! 🙂

  • Love your swatches, nice colors, yarn, and stitch patterns. I just heard last week, that there was a KAL in a yarn store around here, for my Kyla mittens. I’m glad when people like my patterns. I still don’t feel right to charge something, I’m not good enough for that, and I don’t want to do this for money, it’s too much preasure, which I can’t handle. Every now and then I get the urge to write something up more for myself than anything. But I’m always impressed by all the desingers out there, who can live from what they come up with. I would say, just do what you want to do, and go with the flow.

  • I know stitches west is this weekend but I see you have no comments and for me, Bloglines still hasn’t picked up this post!

    So how are ya?

    PS – You’ve been a designer since you shared your first pattern, just cause it’s *free* doesn’t mean it came easy 🙂