This week, I took two big steps in my design career – I started pattern testing and I started my own group on Ravelry. Let me backtrack a bit here first. Since I started formally writing up my designs last year, I’ve had several patterns published in print magazines.
Today marks the first day that I’ve had a pattern published in an online magazine. I can finally share that my broomstick lace shawl, Quadrilateral, is included in the Fall, 2011 issue of Knitcircus. This is the top secret project I mentioned in these posts (#1, #2, #3) and which I can finally show you.
I love the way the outdoor photographs look. The pictures really highlight the beauty of the yarn, Heather by the Schaefer Yarn Company in the Subtly Solid Botanicals Thistle colorway. Working on Quadrilateral was my first opportunity to work with Schaefer Yarn, and I’m so glad Jaala Spiro (the editor of KnitCircus) recommended it! The yarn is so lovely to work with and the colorway really highlights all of my favorite things about purple . The issue goes live today and I have the opportunity to give away PDFs of several issues. But more about that later…
So my work in progress for this week is getting some patterns “up to snuff” for self-publication. When you work with a publisher, they hire people to tech edit your designs, photograph your work, and layout the pattern. (Often they also arrange for yarn support and handle the questions that readers have about your pattern, too!) On the other hand, when you self-publish a pattern, you have two options. You can just write up a pattern and publish it without testing, editing, or considering layout, or you can try to replicate all of the functions of the publishing company in addition to your own design work.
I’ve been teaching crochet since 2007, and I decided that I didn’t want to be one of the designers who just presents their work to the public, warts and all. I didn’t want to be one of the designers that have people convinced they don’t know how to read patterns (when actually the pattern is full of errors). So I hired a tech editor and when the patterns were returned to me, I started pattern testing.
I was lucky to find a great group on Ravelry called the Testing Pool. Through this group I have found thirteen very nice crocheters who are each working on one or two of the three patterns I’m testing right now for a fall release. Two of these patterns are in the Crochet: 100+ Patterns Throughout the Year: 2012 Day-to-Day Calendar and one has never been released. The pattern tests are working great so far. The testers have found typos, made suggestions for layout, and identified phrasing which could be unclear or confusing.
Managing all these tests on email has been a bit challenging, since I’m trying to link up (in my mind) people to their Ravelry IDs. So I decided I would also start an Underground Crafter group on Ravelry. This could be used for pattern testing, crochet a longs, info on upcoming classes, and other cool stuff that I have yet to imagine.
What are you working on this week? Check out the other WIP Wednesday posts at Tami’s Amis!
Here’s your chance to win a PDF of the patterns in the Fall, 2011 issue of KnitCircus! This issue includes 27 crochet and knit patterns, as well as all of the other goodies KnitCircus is known for like recipes, articles, and reviews. If you’re not familiar with KnitCircus, you should check it out. Much of the content is available for free, and you can see awesome photos of each pattern before you make a choice about whether or not to buy an issue. You can also buy individual patterns through their pattern shop.
You will have one week to enter this giveaway. To enter,
- Leave a comment on this post by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, August 31, 2011. Be sure to include your email address (which won’t be displayed) so I can contact you if you win. (Please note that my comments are moderated, so if you are a new visitor, it will not appear immediately.)
- For another chance to win, like the Underground Crafter Facebook page. Then you can either post a comment on Facebook or here again so I will give you another entry. (If you already like my Facebook page, you should post a comment for another chance to win.) If my Facebook page has 100 fans by the deadline, I will give away a second PDF of the Fall, 2011 issue of KnitCircus, so feel free to share the link!
- For another chance to win, share the link to this giveaway via Twitter, Facebook, or your blog. Then post a comment here with the link to your Tweet or blog post, or leave a comment on my Facebook page so I will give you another entry.
- To get my fledgling Ravelry group off the ground, I will also host a separate giveaway there for members.