Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Going with the flow

Mary jacket
Last month I was delightfully surprised to find my Mary design included in the Patternfish Newsletter.  The resulting increase in blog traffic and pattern sales following that post was dizzying! and made me realize the value of this outreach. And so it's been with renewed motivation that I've spent the month of May designing and preparing submissions to online and print publications in the hopes of making an appearance one day in their pages.

I have no illusions about the likelihood of acceptance.  I understand that it's a bit of a lottery driven by many factors I can't predict or control. Its risks are few – some weeks of invisibility maybe as I put my self-publishing aside, and the potential of a bruised ego if/when my submissions are rejected – while its ultimate benefit, if designs are accepted, is great.  What I didn't anticipate however, were the benefits of the process.

I'm on the mailing lists of Interweave Knits and Twist Collective and receive notice when submissions for future issues are being accepted.  Mood boards are included highlighting required styling themes. As luck would have it, notices for winter 2013 and spring 2014 issues came in at the same time of my Patternfish epiphany, so I was more than willing to see how I could fit.

One of the themes for Knitscene spring 2014 (a production of Interweave Knits) was Black and White.  I'd been working with color blocks lately so it seemed a go.  My favorite yarn supplier, Quince&Co, didn't have a white that was white enough, so I went on an online search and discovered a bright white in a wool I'd not used before, Cascade 220 sport, in my favored gauge.  I found a supplier in a local store, Gather Here, that I had been meaning to visit for a while.  It turned out to be quite a treat and I've been back a few times since.  I suggested this same bright white for my Twist Collective winter 2013 submission, a match to its icy winter photo collage style sheet. 

Candy Box was one of the requested themes for Interweave Knits spring 2014, aiming at feminine colors and lace.  I felt that this too would work for me.  In a whitknit.com blog interview I'd come across recently, Pam Allen mentioned Susanna Lewis’s Knitting Lace as a book every knitter should own, and now I do.  It's this book I mined for my candy box lace, along with the previously untried Quince color of Dogwood, a luminous pink I now swoon for, and that is now on my needles for my next project as well.

So with all submissions made by their respective deadlines I'm back to my own design stream, armed with new wool, new colors, new lace, a new store, and 3 new fleshed out designs that I'll publish myself if the responses come in as "thank you, but no."  It's all good.  I'm going with the flow.

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