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New Pattern on Etsy.com/shop/LindasCrafts – Check It Out ! August 11, 2010

Posted by myblueheavenknits in Uncategorized.
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The Origami Jacket

Can I just tell you how hard it is to do a pattern?  Maybe its easy for others, but let me tell you about my process.

It usually starts with me waking up at 4:00AM with a brilliant idea.  Yikes, you say.  Well, that’s how it hits me.  Then I think about it for a couple of hours while I have my morning coffee because maybe it was a nightmare of a knitting idea.  But if I start working out the idea in my head , then I want to go into the studio, pick out a tester yarn and start knitting, while taking brief notes in pencil (I have a BIG eraser too, as I go through the one on the pencil real quick).  If that test went OK, then I do maybe three, four or five more of the “test” until I have my notes somewhat perfected for that one size, usually mine since I like to keep my best sample.  This process might take 3 days to 6 months, and if the tests come out “funky”, even longer.  I keep thinking about it until I solve whatever problem I am having with it.  During that time I am also selecting the final yarns I am using, adjusting gauge, ripping out the old samples and rewinding the yarn for other projects, and oh by the way, teaching, doing laundry, shopping for food, cooking, cleaning and doing all the things necessary to keep me alive until I finish this PATTERN!!  Since most of us don’t have time for therapy, we just soldier on and keep knitting.  But I digress……back to the story of my process……

I always like to test my customer market to see if a pattern is viable.  That brings me to my Craft Shows which have their own needy process of knowing which ones to get into, sending in pictures/applications/money and then waiting to see if you are accepted.  Then waiting for the date, packing the van, setting up your booth to sell, and what I really like – talking to customers to get their feedback on my new items which by this time I would have 3-6 of each style or version to sell.  You learn a lot from your customers and I take it all in, make adjustments on the pattern, select yarn colors they want and knit for them, mostly in gratitude because my customers continue to come back to buy from me.  Without my customers I don’t know what I would be doing, so I am grateful that they continue to feed my knitting obsession. 

With successful Craft Show sales bolstering me, its at that point I think maybe other machine knitters would like to do this pattern for themselves.  So then, with pretty good notes in pencil with what I think is the final version of the one size and best selling version, I go to the computer and get it all written down.  This takes about a week as I continue to find errors, have to go back to the machine and work out the needle selections, etc. to revise my notes for the umpteenth time.   Then I start with writing down any other versions, sizes, etc.  This process takes another three months at least.  Then the pictures need to be done, assembling the final pattern copy with all its needy printing quirks, running out of color and black laser toner, high quality paper, etc.   Office Depot just LOVES me!! 

So why don’t I just get DesignAKnit (DAK)?  Most of what I do is One-Size Fits All and the ideas in my head aren’t ones that can be easily generated from a computer program.  My ideas are more “conceptual” and I want to make them fun and accessible for anyone with even the simplest knitting machine to do.  I even bought DAK but have yet to even look at it.  I think the machine knitting industry went down because it got a little too fancy for most of the people who could have been the new customers.  It ended up being a niche market for those who knew how to knit and wanted to continue to explore new frontiers with computer machines, disk drives, cables, etc., leaving the new knitters in the dust.  New customers (and I include young girls through old retired people like me here) don’t want to invest too much in a new “hobby”.  They want to test it out to see if they like it or have any talent with it before they go whole hog with expensive machines.  And there was no path for “hobby” knitters to become “professional” so that you could make some money and actually make a career for yourself.   So new knitters stopped coming into the market as soon as manufacturers got too complicated/costly and when that happened, the world changed for machine knitting from a regular line offered by Brother, KnitKing and Studio to a niche market of used equipment.  I count myself as a total ODDBALL that I got in late in my life, found Helen Koshak of Newton’s Knits to be my mentor and teacher, had the money to invest, discovered I had the talent for it, could actually sell what I didn’t want to keep for myself, worked as a novice for years and now am able to create my own designs which people actually LOVE enough create a market for me so I can continue knitting and selling.  In all my years of college, studying every facet of Home Economics, draping, fashion design – even in the top rated Florida State University where 16 graduate students began a Master’s program and only TWO of us lasted to get through (that is a whole other story I need to post) – I was NEVER exposed to machine knitting or even heard of it.  When I think of that missed opportunity, I have to shake my head.  If I had a mentor like Helen Koshak back then, who knows what would have happened?  Maybe I could have changed the world!  I could be a SuperHero, The Dream Knitter who saved the industry!  OK, maybe that’s a little much for you, but who knows?  It could have happened although I blanche at the thought of me in a spandex leotard costume!  Let’s get real!!

Which brings me back to my latest pattern, just finished yesterday after two years of  being “in the process” with extensive customer feedback from my Craft Shows.  You can check it out on Etsy.com/LindasCrafts.  It seems like it would be so easy to whip out this pattern, but its not.  I wanted to finish it before my seminar next weekend for the San Diego Machine Knitter’s Guild.  I know that some people will “borrow” and then copy a good pattern instead of buying one from the designer, not only from me, but from any designer.  There is so much bad kharma in that, I don’t want to even go there.  I just wanted to explain to you how hard it is to do a pattern so hopefully you would not do that, but you are your own decider here.   You can easily tell if one of my patterns is a copy – no color.  Color adds so much detail and cost (over $200 in laser printer toner each time you need to replace), but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Only the best for my customers will do.   

Woe betide me – I have another pattern I want to do, but I lost my notes in the move of my studio.  An exhausive search yesterday revealed them, so I am now tasking myself to get that one going – for the Baby Jester Hat.  So adorable!  But oh the time to do……

Keep on dreaming….keep on knitting….

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Comments»

1. Betty Smedley - August 21, 2010

I would like to buy your pattern for the oregami pattern. Where can I find it? Thankyou

myblueheavenknits - August 22, 2010

Hello, and welcome to my Blog. You can go to Etsy.com/shop/LindasCrafts. That’s the easiest way to get to me, then save me as a “Favorite” so you can see my new patterns as I get them done. I have three in process and put them up as soon as I get them edited and proofed out. Thank You for your question and keep on knitting!

myblueheavenknits - April 12, 2012

Thank you so much! I do value your feedback. It really helps to give me a dose of reality with my readers, so I hope you keep reading and enjoying!

2. etsy - April 12, 2012

Woah this blog is great i really like reading your articles. Stay up the great work! You know, a lot of people are searching round for this information, you could help them greatly.


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