Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The design experience I haven't talked about until now because it was upsetting

The Chris sweater is so close to finished I hate to put it down for the evening, but, thanks to that very sweater (knit in shetland at a tight gauge with all sorts of pattern action), as well as a bunch of submission swatch knitting under deadlines and a busy week spent primarily assembling and formatting large documents at the Job (think scrolling and clicking), my right wrist is killing me.

So I thought I'd take a moment to organize things here and talk about a pattern I wrote that I haven't mentioned on the blog but may be familiar to those of you on Ravelry. Meet the Tiny Brocade Cardigan, knit for the Smart Knitter Newsletter's August issue.

I think of this as the anti-Rowan photo. It's all about the sweater and not at all about the styling. It was taken in haste... those are the weeds outside my Job. No one asked what exactly was up with my hair that day in all the comments I got, and it is truly a horror.

The shot without the head is much better. By the way, that's a slip-stitch pattern, you only use one color at a time.

If you've clicked on that Smart Knitter link, you'll see that there isn't much there. I was contacted by the assistant editor of the newsletter, who sent me a sample issue, which I liked. When I investigated further, I found several other clever patterns on Ravelry that had been published in this venue (including three from Tikru, whose work is impeccable and inventive as anything), so I decided to work with them.

The August newsletter came out, I received it electronically, and I posted the pattern to Ravelry. And people wanted the pattern. A lot of people. A. LOT. And the Smart Knitter was not particularly helpful, so I spent a lot of time feeling really sad that people were having trouble getting my pattern and sending messages to the Smart Knitter people about the desire for my pattern and the troubles people were having, and didn't hear back. I still feel sad when I think about it, but it taught me to carefully consider where I publish my work and also consider my goals for my designs and designing in general. And that goal is not to make a full-time living, or even a part-time living, or to be famous in a tiny niche way (I already had that... well, not "famous," but known... in my little academic field when that was my gig), but rather to give others access to my ideas, challenge myself to write out and size patterns, and make a little extra money to, well, finance my knitting.

Fortunately, I did not sign over copyright to The Smart Knitter. I was paid a small amount for the pattern, but rights were not transferred. So to make things better, I have self-published the pattern, which is available now as a PDF for $5. After the Smart Knitter incident, I wanted to make it free, but I know that many knitters paid $10 for the newsletter in which it was published, so I decided to do what, after many nights of serious contemplation, I considered the most fair thing.

So here it is. I will post it to my sidebar soon, along with more organized links to all my downloads and free patterns.

I said this in a few forums on Ravelry, and will state it again here: If you paid for the Smart Knitter and did not receive the issue with my pattern, please email me at and I will email you the PDF. For free.

P.S. Tiny Brocade is made of Cotton Ease, so it holds it shape better than 100% cotton and is a total cheap-o project. Hooray!


Loulek said...

Yes I saw it on Ravelry ! Beautiful. I like how you made the neck. :)

nicole said...

Gorgeous. Too bad you had to deal with so much crap. The finished product is worth it though.

tikru said...

I published my Kaura-set also by myself..Just the same reason. I was so pissed off with that not-answer-to-your-mail, and bad service by Smart Knitter people.
I'm glad that I'm not the only one :)
And no, not again that mess... rather without or with them :)

craftivore said...

What a shame that you had to go through all that. It's a terribly cute grellow thing, the perfect summer top. Your hair looks intentionally punky and cool, that's why no one said anything. Your goals for your designs are really noble and heartfelt, I salute you! Someday I hope to grow up and be like you.

AmyPinSeattle said...

Bummer you had such a bad incident! I'm glad it's available now and I think you are doing the right thing! I expect to buy it when it's availalbe...will you be posting something to alert your readers it's available for purchase?

granny said...

what a story.
i'm sorry darlin!
its a gorgeous sweater!!

Salty Miss Jill said...

Ooh, I like this!
You are so lovely and talented. I am truly in awe.

granny said...

Denmark is supposed to be amazing in December...

HA. I'm all in!