Four small pumpkins of different colours and shapes have googly eyes stuck on and mouths drawn with black pen sit on a wooden cabinet. Behind them is an acrylic painting in shades of orange and red.

Sometimes as an independent designer you get no feedback from customers, especially if a pattern is bought online and you never see their finished project.

At other times though, there is lots – and it can be thrilling! I’ve had really useful feedback from people who’ve asked questions because something wasn’t clear to them, and it’s helped me tweak the instructions or notes in a pattern to avoid that confusion arising again for someone else.

Sometimes knitters need more help and I try to break the instructions in the pattern down further for them. In some cases, of course, the help they need goes beyond what I can provide by email, so I might recommend a book on a particular technique or even suggest they book a 1-to-1 online or in-person tutorial session with me.

(Occasionally I do get emails from folk who expect a bit too much and can be rather ‘direct’ in requesting it – the one with “It doesn’t make sense. Write this pattern out line by line in my size” without even mentioning what size they were trying to make – was a particular highlight. You can guarantee the emails stop immediately when they’ve understood and they rarely acknowledge the help or say thanks…Thankfully these are rare!)

The feedback I love best is when a knitter proudly shows me their finished item, especially in person, but a photo and message can be just as exciting.

Three days ago I had a lovely message from a knitter showing me their finished Meg March brioche shawl – and it was their FIRST EVER brioche! It’s stunning, even before being blocked to size. It’s quite a thrill to see other knitters take your instructions and follow them, to create exactly the piece they wanted. And to be thanked for “such a beautiful and well written pattern” made me really happy.

The same day I also got an email from a knitter who had made Marianne Half Hap Shawl. The edging had initially caused her a few issues, but she cracked it and finished the shawl quickly from there. This was the shot of it blocking:

I knew that Ella had wanted to enter the finished shawl in her local show (Berwickshire Scottish Women’s Institute) and this weekend she won first prize in the Half Hap class! It’s the one on the bottom right – the colours look different from the pic above in different light and with the shawl folded up. That red sticker? That’s the First Prize label! I’m so delighted for Ella.

Something beautiful arrived in the post today. I had a RiverKnits voucher from one of my friends for my birthday (thanks Julie!) and, perhaps surprisingly, I chose something that wasn’t yarn! It’s an item I’ve had my eye on for a while, calling to me every time I see the RiverKnits stand, but it had always felt too much of a ‘treat’ before. Now though, with a voucher? That’s exactly the time for treats!

This is a handmade pencil case / notions bag, made with hand-woven fabric using RiverKnits’ hand-dyed yarn. It’s gorgeous and I can’t wait to use it!

There’s not a lot of my knitting to show you this week, for two reasons.

The dull reason is that I’ve had a bit of a cold (no, not Covid – I tested twice) and I haven’t done a huge amount. I am definitely on the mend and expect to be fighting fit by Thursday evening when I have the first part of the Twisted workshop.

The more exciting reason is that much of the knitting I have been doing is swatching for a submission and I can’t show you that!

Speaking of Twisted – the moebius brioche cowl workshop, here is the front page of the pattern:

We’ll be making the small DK version (top left pic) in the workshop, but the pattern folk get as part of the workshop includes all the options. Once the second part of the workshop is over (on 16th November) I’ll be publishing the pattern on all my usual platforms. If you want to book a space on the workshop, it’s not too late – ring Anne at Yarn O’clock on 01352 218082.

Tomorrow sees Part Two of Barragán Shawl being published in Issue 195 of The Knitter. I’ll be knitting along and sharing my progress on here and on social media as I did with Part One. Part Two contains the stripy borders and buff coloured sections of the lace shawl.

And next week (Monday 6th) I’ll be self-publishing the whole Branwen pattern.

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Today is Hallowe’en and my lovely wife, Sue, is hosting Top Tweet Tuesday all day on Twitter. She’s getting to read lots and lots of spooky poems – it’s well worth having a look.

We may or may not get many trick or treaters as the weather is very changeable at the moment – the rain keeps suddenly starting and then stopping again – but we are prepared with sweets if we do. We haven’t carved any pumpkins this year. Instead, we have a range of cute small pumpkins and the googly eyes and sharpie pen came out to play! This way we get to eat the pumpkins as well as display them on the windowsill – no waste!

That’s all from me today. Stay safe, and do some stuff that makes you happy. K x

2 thoughts on “Thriller!

  1. There was so much in this post, I really enjoyed reading it… but it’s the googly eyes that have stuck with me 😁

  2. Some wonderful photos and a talented designer and knitters. Wow!

    I wonder if there will be some of those wonderful moebius scarves that we can buy ? I can’t do it myself sadly, trigger fingers have – at least for a while put paid to my knitting – Heyho!

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