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

New Beginnings

Hi, I’m Kath. Previously a music teacher for 21 years, I became a full-time knitwear designer and knitting teacher in 2018. I love living in North Wales and getting thoroughly immersed in what I’m doing, whether that’s a project, book or border that needs weeding.

This website has been up for a whole week now! It feels as though that was an aeon ago, but when I think that it was 21st August that I registered my domain name and 22nd September (only 32 days later) when I pressed the ‘launch site’ button, I can hardly believe so much has happened in this short space of time.

The theme of this post is ‘New Beginnings’. September has seemed like the ‘New Year’ for me for most of my life – I was either in school, a student, or a teacher. It has always felt like the time to start afresh, create new resolutions and try new things. It’s only been two years that I’ve been out of the classroom so that’s been a well-established habit. On September 1st 2018 I dyed my hair turquoise for the first time as a marker that I was no longer a school teacher.

There are so many things I could say about 2020, but, for now, I want to focus on the recent good bits:

I took a bullet journalling course with the wonderful Felicity Ford in July, and this practice is revolutionising my life (and given me a good excuse to resurrect my childhood obsession with stationery).

In August I launched my first full collection – the March Brioche Shawl Collection. I’m really proud of this one and indebted to my wonderful tech editor, Deb Bramham.

As a result of not being able to sell at craft fairs and pop up shops because of Covid19, and because of the accessibility issues arising from my previous (and still, currently, main) pattern platform, I opened a Payhip shop, which in turn led to this website.

I’m also very excited about the upcoming Craftucation platform for online arts and crafts courses where I have been invited to be a tutor (and my first course is very nearly finished!).

So, there are many new beginnings that I am grateful for, even though a lot of things seem to falling down around our ears right now. My life has its complications as does everyone’s, but there is still enough on the ‘good’ side of the balance and I intend to share some of that with you all in the weeks to come.

Keep knitting, Kx

P.S. The photo is from one of my favourite places – on the Little Orme, looking over towards Penrhyn Bay and Rhos-on-Sea.

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