Long time no e

I'm trying to get back on my blog after a long, long break.  The economy and the rest of the world interfered with my goals.  So, now I'm trying to get thing back in order. Onward and upward.

Designing knits for babies, young children, tweens and teens

As I am working on developing pattern books for babies through teens, I am thinking about what makes a good pattern. As a knitter, I look for different things than others do.  I see that at yarn stores and at my local knitting group.  Clearly what appeals to one knitter doesn't always appeal to another.  I welcome your advice and suggestions.  

Here are some of my questions:

What do you look for when knitting for a child?  Do you look for something classic, funky, easy to knit, or easy to wear?

When does the child’s opinion come into play? What are your likes and dislikes?

What patterns do you knit for gifts vs. knit for your own children?

Any other suggestions, contributions or help would be great.

What do you like in the photographs? Eye candy, technical photographs, or a combination?

Of course, your advice is always welcome.

Submission update

 A couple designers have asked me for more information on submitting a pattern for the book series.  This is getting very exciting.  I've already met some very nice people through this process and it's only the beginning.

To note some milestones and answer some questions, I have spelled out a few more details on the submission process:

The deadline is for submitting a swatch and sketch.  Full samples are welcome, but not required at this point. This saves us postage in case your design is not selected.   If your design is accepted, you will then have to have the item knit and sent to me.  During this time, I will also have the pattern test knit and have the pattern checked by a pattern editor.  We may make some suggestions or changes such as consistency of abreviations used and techniques explained for the harmony of the book.

Notes, suggestions, and warnings are welcome at any time, but required for the final pattern submission.  An example maybe that they yarn tends to worm if you aren't careful with using consistent tension.

Your pattern is not due until a month after your design is accepted. 

I hope this answers your questions!  Please feel free to PM me if you need more information.

Submission Requirements

Series of Pattern Book details:

Send me a personal message for my contact details.

Series submission 

Volume 1 preemies and multiples
DEADLINE: November 1, 2008

Volume 2 babies and toddlers 
DEADLINE: January 1, 2009 
PUBLICATION DATE: August 30, 2009 

Volume 3 pre-school and school age kids 
DEADLINE: March 1, 2009 
PUBLICATION DATE: November 30, 2009 

Volume 4 tweens and teens 
DEADLINE: May 1, 2009 
PUBLICATION DATE: January 30, 2010

Accepted designers will be notified by one month after the submission deadline. Early submissions are welcome. A contract that specifies the terms of acceptance and payment arrangements will be emailed or mailed to the designer. This contract is open to negotiation based upon the complexity of the design and the reputation of the designer.

(Original work only: You can cite an inspiration, or mention techniques or skills picked up from other referenced works.)

• A clear sketch (This can be done by hand or computer. We will be re-drawing sketches that match in the book series.)

• A gauge swatch of the pattern using the yarn specified in the pattern

• A copy of the yarn label or details on the yarn company

• Detailed description of the project. Patterns must be written in three sizes (more are welcome) unless they are one-size-only projects like blankets or bags.

• Charts and schematics are encouraged.

• Any notes, helpful hints, warnings or suggestions about the project.

• Your contact details including your name, address, phone, fax number, and e-mail. Please include the best time to contact you by phone.

• The details of your design history, yarn shop, portfolio, blog and/or websites are encouraged but not required.

Complete garment samples are not required as a part of the submission process, but photographs are welcome. If your design is photographed on a child, please make sure you get written permission for this from the child’s parents. Upon acceptance, a sample is required. These can be digital or traditional photos.

All accepted patterns will be test knitted and technically edited. If questions arise, we will have to collaborate on the pattern clarity. All content will be copyedited and proofread by the publisher.

We will arrange for all the samples to be photographed.

Patterns will be typeset and sent to designers as proofs to be reviewed and corrected.

Three months prior to publishing, the books will be marketed and promoted. Designers are expected to promote the books on their websites, blogs, and other media. A sales sheet will be developed that will be sent to each contributor.

Questions and discussion are welcome.

Designs wanted

I am looking for designers who need exposure. I have worked in publishing for over ten years and it's time I used my skills for a craft that I love. I'm pulling together a collection of designs for a new series of books.

The first in the series is for preemies and multiples. The second is slated for babies and toddlers. The third is for preschool through school age designs. The fourth is for tweens and teens.

The design must never have been published before, and the designer must assign the copyright to the publisher. 
EDIT:  Due to some very helpful Ravelry feedback, I have changed the copyright assignment requirement to first publication rights, exclusivity, for 2 years from publication and rights to republish in the future. The designer can sell his or her pattern on their own site, as well after the 2 years, then they have a chance to get back some of the hours invested in the pattern.  

Accepted designs will be compensated in advance of publication a minimum fee of $150 per accepted and published design.(This is double what Knitty.com pays) Designers can also accept 10 copies of the book in lieu of compensation. Each contributor will receive 2 free copies. Designs must follow yarnstandards.com for sizing. Swatches, sketches, yarns, and photos are welcome.

Yarn support can be arranged. I have a strong preference for natural fibers that are reasonable and readily available, or easily substituted. No $120 cashmere baby sweaters please.

I'm also planning to include some essays so if you can write a short essay (1-2 pages) about your craft and your journey through the creativity. Is there anything you wish you could tell the knitter? Plug your blog and your other patterns!

Give it a go--now's your chance!

PM me for more information.

Bad knitting press

Normally I am big NPR fan. I usually trust their stories and agree with their thoughful commentary. But the recent non-news story on Marketplace got my blood going. The story claims that knitting has peaked and is no longer hip because one store closed. Give me a break.

Do you think that one store closing is indicative of a trend? Maybe is was not financed appropriately? Maybe it was not managed appropriately? Or, maybe the 155,000+ members of Ravelry just found other places to shop.

People do flit in and out of hobbies. I tried scrapbooking but hated it. No offense to the croppers, I just prefer to knit. I have knit for decades and will continue until I am unable to. (God knows I have the yarn stash already!)

Cutest knitting bag EVER and other updates

Since I can't have a cat due to my husband's cat alergies. I have to have virtual cats. I love this bag. Do you like it? I want to buy the entire stock.

We attended the Durham Bulls Stitch and Pitch last week. It was fun to be back in a ball park. We haven't been to one since our many trips to Fenway. It was a very rainy start, but a rainbow emerged and we got to play ball. We all received goody bags with the needles that light up. (Our son Owen thought that they were light sabers.)

We were soggy but excited. Owen was chosen to run the bases with Wool E. Bull. Cool name! Owen was all set to do it until the Bull character scared him and then he chickened out. Poor kid, we should have prepped him with that trip to Disney World.

The kids pooped out early and we had to leave before I was ready. I only got to drink about half that beer. I guess the kids had too much junk food and not enough beer. I did enjoy the crowd and hope to go again soon. With any luck, next year will be a dry day.

As for my knitting, I'm still working on socks. They are so portable and easy after the first couple of pairs. I'm enjoying the process and the results. I'm knitting every chance I get. I even knit during the intermission of the Tom Petty concert on Saturday.

Update...I am still here

I am still here, just not doing much blogging. I recently purchased a large lot of sock yarn on ebay, so I've been knitting socks.

Thuja available on Knitty. My husband has LARGE feet. And Supermerino doesn't have enough yards, so I added black toes.

I really like the yarn, the colors, and the fast pattern that works very well for me. I get very frustrated knitting socks on tiny needles. The stitches are so small and they take so many stitches. Here's a good example of tiny stitches.

In other news, we're finally going to a Durham Bulls game to attend the Stitch and Pitch. I promise to post about it with pictures next week.

Lastly, I just signed up for a full class load at Stitches East. I went two years ago and learned so much. It was not in the budget last year, so this year I used my $600 economic incentive money for the fees (Thanks, Republicans! Forget about the future, the war debt, the deficit, just spend, spend, spend.) It did cost $575, which leaves me $25 for yarn to spend at the market. Yeah, right.

Little Red Mittens

After a long hiatus, I'm back to blogging about knitting. I've still been knitting, but not blogging, so I have some catching up to do. Are my knitting buddies are missing my posts? I did get some encouragement from the Tuesday Night knitters. Well, they are a friendly, encouraging group.

Of course this is just one finished mitten. The other is on the needles, as you can see. I hope to have it done by next week. I love the color. This yarn is slightly scratchy to me. My skin is very sensitive, so I hope it will be okay for my daughter Zoe. I do find it less of a problem after I wash the yarn.

Glad to be back.