Travel Knits When You Least Expect Them

As some of you know, it’s getting to close to the publish date for my upcoming book: Travel Knits for the Family.  I feel like I’ve talked about it a lot on other platforms, but haven’t discussed it on the website much at all. So now I will!

The book contains patterns for all those things I think you need to throw into your suitcase when you’re heading somewhere cold (there will eventually be a second book for when you’re heading somewhere warm). There are sweaters for everyone in the family, hats, mittens, slippers, and a travel knitting project.

We just got back from another family trip, this time to Grand Canyon and Death Valley (with a brief stop in Las Vegas). Now, you may be thinking that Arizona, Nevada, and California in the spring wouldn’t be considered traveling somewhere cold, but we packed our hats, mitts, and slippers anyway. And I’m glad we had them!

Because, while there were lots of days like this…

Pool Knitting

There were also days in the Grand Canyon where it was really quite chilly. Even though most of Arizona is quite warm and even hot this time of year, the Grand Canyon is carved through a plateau at an elevation over 7000 ft, where it was dipping down below freezing overnight. So we started our day exploring the Grand Canyon wearing our hats to keep warm.

Grand Canyon

Once we got to Las Vegas and then Death Valley it was well into hot summer temperatures, and the hats and mitts stayed tucked away in our suitcase. We enjoyed exploring the desert and swimming in the pool, and avoiding the winter back home.

But although we hoped spring would have finally sprung by the time we returned from our break, it was still very cold in snowy when we arrived back in Calgary. So we changed from our flip flops and shorts to shoes, jeans, and jackets. And we dug out the hats and mitts again.

Airport in Calgary

The moral of the story is – you never know when you might need those Travel Knits!

Design Process Series, Installment Three – Submissions

Vacation (and summer almost) over, back to the blog. Time for the third installment of the design series, in which I’ll cover the submission process.

I’m certainly not an expert when it comes to this aspect of the business. I have had success and failure, both with the pattern featured in this series in fact. But I’ve answered calls for submission a few times now so I can pass on what I do know.

Typically a company will put out a “Call for Submissions,” in which they detail what they are looking for in terms of color, yarns, themes, etc. If I have something in my “little book of ideas” that seems like it would be a good fit for the Call, I put together a submission.

A submission is basically a one to two page showcase of your idea and how it would come to be. It should include, at minimum, a sketch of the idea, a swatch, suggested yarn(s) and a little blurb about the pertinent details of the design. It’s also helpful to include a schematic showing the dimensions of the piece, a bit about the construction, and short bio of the designer with some examples of previous work.

So what are you  hoping to gain by submitting a proposal to a yarn company, magazine, publisher, etc? Almost always you’ll get yarn support, that is, yarn provided to you at no cost, to knit the sample. Sometimes the company will provide editing, photography, layout and promotion, or any/all of the above. In return for your design and written pattern you may get paid a flat fee, royalties, or sometimes nothing at all, just the promise of “exposure”.  Some deals are better than others and you must really weigh all your options and consider just what it is you’re looking for from the arrangement.

Here is an example of a successful submission (with a few details removed.) One very similar to this was submitted to and rejected by Knit Now magazine. But, not accepting defeat, I modified it slightly to fit the format requested by Knit Picks and resubmitted the idea to them. This time I had success, and you should be seeing the new pattern within the next few weeks.

That’s about it for this phase of the process, next up – Math and Grading!

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Feeling Supported

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I received my very first yarn support today!
I found out last week that my next pattern has been accepted by Knit Picks for their Independent Designer Partnership (IDP) Program. What that means is that they send me yarn, I write the pattern, knit and photograph the sample and send them the pattern and photos. They sell the pattern on their website and I get 100% of the proceeds. I get great exposure for my pattern and another venue for selling it, they get a good opportunity to sell more yarn. Great deal all around.
So in the mail today I received 5 balls of Knit Picks Stroll Sport, 4 in the whisker colourway, 1 in peapod. The yarn is lovely and soft, I can’t wait to get started knitting.
I have been on a bit of a knitting hiatus for the last few weeks. I have submitted some design ideas to a couple of magazines and am pondering a couple of others. After the flurry of activity to get the submissions together I’ve taken a bit of a breather in the hopes that there will be another, bigger flurry of activity if some of my ideas get accepted.
In the meantime, I’ve got a sample to knit with some pretty (and free) yarn!