Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Birth of a Designer

I know, it's been almost a week. What kind of blogger goes without writing to their peeps for almost a week? The kind of blogger who has been working on a project that is taking way longer than expected. Still, I understand that is no excuse and from looking at the pictures, you would want to know why the scarf took a week to make....

and therein lies the lesson. (Get some coffee or tea; this is gonna take a while.)

I feel incredibly blessed to be able to combine writing with knitting. It is something that seems to fit with me since I am either at my computer or have my knitting needles in my hand.
So, I had this idea - several ideas- to combine them both, earn something of a living and be able to enhance the spiritual walk that is a part of my life.

I am working on a book of patterns that have a spiritual basis to them. It involved reading Bible passages and seeing what type of garment those passages inspired. I would read, make a note that said something like: "Prayer shawl: red, orange, burnt orange - colors of the sunset." I had thirteen of these to go with the Bible passages. There were prayer shawls, blankets and afghans.

But I had no designs. No patterns. And I hesitated as I thought about how I was going to go about getting these patterns for my book. Would I hire designers? Would I ask for freebies? Would I purchase patterns outright?

While this was going on, I had the bright idea of opening up the shop on Etsy and trying to sell my items there. I figured I wouldn't specialize in one particular thing because that's the quickest way to boredom for me. No, I would knit items as I do now - pull the first book off the shelf or look at the first item in my Ravelry Que or bookmarked on my computer and start knitting.

(Do you need a drink refill?)

Funny thing happened on the way to stocking my store. The next pattern for me to knit was for a baby blanket. A weird looking baby blanket. I liked the pattern but thought a baby would take one look at it, slap the doctor and go back into the womb.

So I thought: keep the stitches - alter the pattern.
Change the size of the yarn
Change the needles
Increase the size of the blanket
Use different colors - manly colors
Make it a throw.
and that became the Man Cave Throw I've blogged about.

Next, I pulled out a pattern for a baby blanket. I read the pattern and I didn't have enough of the right kind of yarn (no, seriously, I didn't.) But I did have all these skeins of a 'baby yarn' that I brought for another project and didn't like so I started knitting with that and it worked.

Except I had to change the size of the needles because the weight of the yarn was different than the pattern called for.

Which meant I had to calculate the number of stitches I would need to get the size indicated in the pattern.

Except I wanted it to be bigger than the pattern indicated.

And I wanted to use different stitches than the pattern indicated.

Those of you who are very smart have already put this together. I, on the other hand, was still clueless.

I began to work on an afghan. The pattern called for about nine strips: four cabled strips and five strips of a different pattern. I started working on it when, you guessed it, I decided I needed to change what I was knitting.
In the meantime, I was working on the book when I raised the question again of where am I going to get these patterns - and then it hit me - I had just designed two blankets.

I was still dense.
I said to myself, "But they don't match any of the descriptions of the items I said I wanted." The voice spoke to me again. "Change the descriptions."


So, I placed the two patterns into the book and was feeling pretty good and went back to working on the afghan with all the cables. I decided to completely change the pattern but not until I had knit this strip. And last night, at about midnight, I told myself to go to bed when I looked at the strip pinned to the cable strip and decided to remove it. I took it off, looked at it and thought to myself 'what am I going to do with this?' and I put it around my neck and said, 'Bet I can turn this into a scarf.' and 'Bet I can do a different kind of fringe.'

And I did. Pattern number three. A new item for the shop. A new blog post.

Ain't God alright?


Anonymous said...

He sure is!

What a great story! I, for one, would love a book like what you are putting together. If you need a test knitter, keep me in mind.

Melodye said...

After your family, I'll take the first copy. Congratulations! I can't wait to see it. All that late night knitting will pay off. {grin)

cici said...

You go girl... You are working it out! Those creative juices are flowing.. congratulation on the 3!!! That scarf is beautiful:]

Beverly said...

Thank you, thank you and thank you.
Iwill need a test knitter and you are hired! Still have some patterns to go, but i'm not worried about it. i'm grateful for the new gift i've been given.

i'll keep you all posted!!

Anonymous said...

Cool!! And yep, God IS alright.


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