What to expect in 2013

I, too, have done what people usually do at the beginning of the new year – taking stock of the past months and evaluating what’s likely to be happening over the next 52 weeks.

2012 has been a huge year for me, knitwise, when I finally made the step from knitting or adapting other people’s designs to doing the designing myself, and when I found out that I love doing that. In april I finally worked up the courage to sent in the first proposals for publication.

I was incredibly lucky: my very first submission was accepted (thank you so much, Stephannie!), which helped me over the following load of refusals. Without that to hold on to, I’d probably have given up after trying 10 times or so, feeling that I obviously lacked the necessary talent.

Finally, starting at the end of june things began to look a little bit brighter and I’ve gotten a few patterns accepted into several publications. What I didn’t realize: From getting a design accepted, to working out yarn support, to knitting the sample and finishing the pattern writing, to having everything proofread, photographed, tech-edited and finalized for print it takes time. A looooong time. Such an enormous amount of time that I still have only one pattern (that was just a quick shot to share something I made and liked with other knitters) out there and all the others are still awaiting publication.

It feels like I’ve already come a long way since then, even though it’s not even been a whole year. I’ve learned a lot about submitting to publications (and am a little embarassed at some of my first tries now), about the math involved in pattern grading (though I have to find a way to do this more efficiently if I want to crank out a few more sweaters in the future) and how to translate the images in my head to actual knitted garments. So many great tips, ideas and advice have come from all those generous designers I met in the Ravelry designers group (Ravelry account needed) – thanks to all of them! (If you are an aspiring designer, I’d strongly advise you to join…)

Things are (hopefully) going to pick up pace in 2013.

The first pattern will be released in issue 18 of Knit Now, a UK-based knitting magazine, at the beginning of next month. I believe it will hit the news stands on 02/11/2013. I haven’t seen the layout or the photos yet and so I can’t wait for the day to arrive. Somehow it will all only be reality once I’ve seen one published pattern of mine with my own eyes. Signing contracts is one thing, having the result in your hands is another. (I know, it’s a little silly. It’s not like I’ve written a novel or invented a clean power source. But still… I’m actually debating putting a countdown on the site… 🙂 )

And what’s next?

There are two “big designing goals” I’ve set myself for this year:

  1. Finish and self-publish at least one design.
  2. Get in contact with a few German knitting publications and maybe get a design in there as well. It’s a little strange that I’ll be published in the US and UK (in a foreign language), but not in my homeland and mother tongue. (And of course it would be a shame not to take advantage of the fact that I’m bilingual. 🙂 )

Besides waiting for things to be published, I’ll be knitting a sample for the Holla Knits Spring collection (I’ve recently received the yarn from KnitPicks) and swatching, swatching, swatching for new submissions and trying out ideas.

Concerning this blog: I hope to be able to add a few tutorials (foto or video) over the next year. I got a new camera for Christmas (yay!), and I’m currently getting to know it and learning to use all its awesome features. Once that’s done – what’s to stop me? I’d love to show you all my favourite way of purling, for example.

So, let’s all go and see what this (already not too new) year has in store for us. I hope it’s going to be great!


3 thoughts on “What to expect in 2013

  1. How funny – I just found your blog because of the designer map in the ravelry designers group. We’re practically neighbors. 🙂

    For me it’s a little weird, too, to submit to magazines worldwide and not to german ones, but as far as I know the situation in Germany is a little different. There are no calls for submissions, as the big publishers usually prefer working with their own design team. No chance for an indie designer to get a foot in the door, which is such a pity (and I really think that magazines lose a lot by being so closed!)

    I submitted to Knit Now, too, and will probably send out something to Yarnwise as well.

    Good luck to you! I like your blog and I’ll place you in my feed reader.

  2. Currently I do all the grading with a strange mixture of spreadsheets, Shirley Padens magic formula and old-fashioned pen, paper and calculator. I probably should use excel more, but somehow I feel less in control of the results… as I said, I’ll have to work on that. Charting out sleevecaps for every size takes far too much time. 🙂
    About the submissions: Yup, I’m planning something on that – once one of the more recent successful designs is released, so I’m allowed to show my sketches and descriptions to the public.

  3. As to the sweater grading, I made an Excel spreadsheet for a raglan sweater, and another for set-in sleeves, and then let Excel do all the calculations for grading. Marnie Maclean has a great tutorial to use as a starting point. I’d love to read a post on what you’ve learned about submitting to magazines. I still mostly prefer to self-publish, but I wouldn’t mind submitting to the occasional magazine just for more exposure.

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