Design Submissions

One of my favourite types of email landed in my inbox last night – a call for submissions. These have the effect of creating a serious case of ‘start-itis’, unless I’m up to my eyeballs in an existing project/design. Fortunately, I’ve reached the border on the shawl I’m currently designing for Yarn O’clock and I’m therefore allowing myself to be tempted.

Submission calls vary greatly. Some just have a word or idea, like ‘growth’, and these are the most open, but can also be the hardest to work with. Some come with big mood boards, showing inspirational pictures that are often nothing to do with knitting, but capture the theme or idea of the call. Some show knitted items in the style that would be welcomed, a kind of “this sort of thing, but not exactly this”. They all nearly always tell you what type of items are being looked for, what size range is needed, what type of knitted fabrics are wanted (lace, cables etc) and usually, but not always, what the ‘compensation’ is – how much they’ll pay.

The one I got yesterday is for ‘advanced lace’ shawls and wraps. This is right up my street and I love an excuse to get all complex! So, today I have begun my process towards submission. There’s always a lot to do, but I don’t mind that as if it doesn’t get selected then I’ll have a design ready and raring to go for someone else or for self-publication.

For the first time (influenced by my bullet journalling course) I have put a list down of all the steps I need to complete for the submission. I’ve done the first two, which might not seem much, but it’s an important start. For example, I try not to use silk anymore, so I’ve gone through the list of yarns available for this submission and selected ones that don’t contain silk. I’ve also rejected superwash yarns as I find they don’t keep their shape quite as well after blocking when working fine, open lace patterns. That left me with a choice of two! Using that I’ve gone through my stash (mostly looking at leftovers from previous designs/projects) and chosen some yarns that are a good match in terms of how they’re spun and what they’re made of (shown in pic at top). Now the fun can really begin. I think I will appreciate my list more and more in the next couple of weeks as there’s often something I will forget to do (like measuring the gauge – how many stitches and rows there are per 10cm).

My design submission job-list

I’ll let you know how it goes!

Keep knitting, K x

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