Working, working, working on this sweater. I finished the sleeves earlier in the week and have attached them to the body. I’ve got enough decreases worked that it’s starting to resemble and actual sweater and I JUST WANT TO BE DONE WITH IT. I thought starting from the bottom would make the process seem a bit faster since the parts are more broken up and I don’t have to do the sleeves last, but endless gray stockinette has become a chore.
What I have realized while working on this sweater is that I rarely make something only for myself anymore, and definitely not anything quite so big. I’m either making something as a gift, or making something as a design sample, or testing for someone and I really do love all of those things but I can barely remember the last time I just knit for the sake of knitting or to make something just for me that then doesn’t need to be edited or photographed or published.
I started this sweater as a pallet cleanser and maybe it’s reshaping my thinking along the way; Knitting doesn’t always have to be work.
Oh and that Ravelry/charts in the photo business has resolved itself without fiasco. The woman removed the photo’s without issue and I was able to answer a few questions she had about the pattern. So thank you everyone for the encouragement and advice! 🙂
I have maybe a weird question and need a bit of advice. The other day I got a Ravelry notification that someone making one of my designs had added a photo. I was super excited because it seems that a lot of the people purchasing my patterns don’t really use Ravelry to keep track of projects. I went to look at the photos, which show the lovely beginnings of a project but the knitting chart is clearly visible in two photos.
My heart immediately sank. My first thought was how to go about asking her to crop her photos or blur out the chart. But I’ve let it stew in my brain too long and now I’m not sure what to do. Knitting patterns are my primary income source, and I’d like to believe most people wouldn’t take her photos and try and use the chart, but I know some might – I probably would.
Is there a kind way to go about bringing this to her attention? It’s probably not an intentional thing, and they are lovely snapshots of her work. I would hate upset this person or lose business from people using her image in place of a purchased pattern. Or is this not a big deal at all?
Well it’s been a month in the making, but my latest pattern has finally gone up on Ravelry. My test knitters are finishing up (a blog post for a different time…) and the pattern went live yesterday morning (my computer ran out of battery before I could blog about it and I got into the celebratory vodka…).
Anyway, my Marka Mittens can be found here if anyone is interested. Lots of people worked hard for all of this to come together and I’m always humbled and amazed that literal strangers take an interest in what I make.
Knitting Blog Challenge Day 28
Do you do any other crafts besides knitting? What are they, and did learning to knit come before or after learning these other crafts?
These kinds of prompts are fun for me because I get to spend half an hour digging through all the photos on my computer (wishing they were actually organized..) and relive a bunch of memories and shitty hair cuts.
I have been creative from very early on in life. I spent a lot of time playing with Lincoln Logs and Legos and was lucky enough to get piles of art kits as gifts for most of my life. I was also fortunate enough to go to a Montessori school where my creativity was not only encouraged but fed with new skills. We were taught to make crochet chains with our fingers by age three (what an excellent way to build fine motor skills while also keeping a group of preschoolers quiet), we also learned to do basic running stitch embroidery by age 4. From there I hit the ground running. My mom tells this story of me around age 4 that I vaguely remember; she walked into the kitchen to find me sitting at the table where I had traced, cut and was now sewing an entire outfit for my doll by hand without help. I remember not being able to get the shirt over her giant doll head so I cut up the back of the shirt and used yarn to lace it back up for an edgy and decorative and reusable closure. Textile things have always come easy to me, and I’ve always enjoyed them. Lanyard keychains and friendship bracelets were basically my shit in the late 90’s.
I majored in art in high school, mainly paintings and print making but I did crochet myself a full human spine out of plastic bags which was pretty cool. From there I went to art school and fully developed my love (obsession) with all things fibers and textiles. The main philosophy of the school was to teach you from the ground up. So for textiles we learned to dye our own yarn and fabric, we learned to make our own yarn and fabric and from there we basically could do anything we wanted. I really really liked weaving. The meticulous threading process, spending hours hunched over the back of the loom threading hundreds of threads through the reed and heddles. During my weaving course I taught myself how to knit (we didn’t really have a knitting course at that time, and by the time they added one I far surpassed the knowledge range of the teacher on that particular subject). I also learned to quilt at the end of my senior year. This class was only offered once a year and each year I never seemed to have time for it in my schedule. I’m so grateful I was able to fit it in, but I wish I could have learned sooner, if I had my trajectory might have been very different. These are some of my favorite pieces from the end of art school. The top two are from my senior show in which my partner and I studied the duality and dichotomy of silk moths and wool eating moths. One moth is lauded for created fiber and one moth is loathed for consuming it. (Top Image is a silk grid on a silk screen with a projection of silk moths spinning cocoons, middle image is a woven wool screen with handspun wool grid covered in different food stuffs used to encourage different larva to eat the screen – we were NOT ALLOWED to bring wool moths into a fiber department for obvious and disappointing reasons).
This image is of a very large quilt I made and cherish. It’s a lone star quilt with a hand dyed gradient and hand quilting with hand dyed matching thread. My sister still has the actual images she took for me but I’ve never seen them.
Since then space has been a little limited, so its hard to produce large works and life gets in the way of spending 200 hours laboring over one project. I’ve made some smaller wall quilts and other little things, but mostly focused on knitting. My new house has a tiny extra bedroom that I’m using as a sewing/craft room but my loom is definitely not going to get in there. We have a mud room with great light that I might end up using once we get the giant couch out of there. I would love to be able to weave again. I do have some quilting and sewing projects lined up in the mean-time.
Knitting Blog Challenge Day 24
Have you ever made your own pattern or dyed your own yarn? How did it turn out?
About three years ago I started to get bored with making other people’s patterns. I think it came about from having mostly weird sized yarn and not very much money to buy more. I designed a few mitten patterns for holiday gifts and just kind of whipped them together. Over the next few years I started making a few socks and baby sweaters just based on gauge and measurement standards. Nothing too fancy, just the basics. Then in the summer of 2016 I made these Daisy Socks and the rest, as they say, was history.
I got a lot of positive feedback on instagram and tumblr so I figured why not write up a pattern for them, how hard could it be? I already had the charts and the construction really isn’t that difficult to explain. I even found someone who wanted to test knit them (it only took her like five months to get around to finishing). I didn’t publish this pattern yet because I was hoping my test knitter would finish knitting, but in the mean time I was already working on another pattern. I ended up publishing two different patterns that October and decided to just go for it and publish the daisy socks without the test knitter in November.
It’s been about a year since I started and I now have 13 patterns available on Ravelry. I honestly can hardly believe it- people I don’t even know making things that came directly out of my jumbled brain garbage. There are definitely aspects I need to improve on this year as I take designing into a more and more professional realm, but I’m learning things with each pattern and always working to get better.
Once I make it through the holiday knitting rush I’ll have time and hopefully be bored enough of vanilla-ass socks to start designing patterns for next year. I also have every intention of maybe getting an etsy shop up and running. Lucky for you guys, you’ll probably be the first to know all the new things.
Knitting Blog Challenge Day 3
Do you have any other WIPs (works in progress)?
In my last post I mentioned I usually like to stick to one project. But that pretty much only applies to knitting.
I tend to keep a lot of creating things in my brain, in my studio, on the floor, on the coffee table, in my purse. They’re everywhere. I’ll just talk about some of the big things though.
I’m going to include this one as a giant kick in the butt to work on it. I honestly kind of forgot about it until now. My best friend got married in 2015 and I decided to make them a quilt as a wedding gift. I of course never finished it because I’m a garbage human and shitty friend and I never finish anything on time. I mean actually there were some major problems like a lot of white fabric being mislabeled so half of it was a slightly different color white, resulting in tearing out a lot of very meticulous seams. Then I got overwhelmed by a new very stressful job and my mother wanting her dinning room table back. So no it’s in a giant bucket in my studio. Maybe I’ll do something with it.
Earlier this week I started a Bullet Journal. I don’t even know why besides I had a dot paper notebook and a bunch of cool pens. I almost never keep up with a sketchbook or an actual written journal. But I’m kind of obsessed with the stupid thing. It’s basically like data collection porn to me and I can’t stop. I’ve filled like 20 pages in only a few days. There’s something satisfying about feeling more productive than I actually am.
The most exciting (for me) thing I’m working on is a Tech Editing course. I realized that Tech Editing for knitters is like an actual real job a few months ago and something clicked in my brain. It’s literally the perfect job for me. I won’t have to have children screaming at me or kicking me. I won’t have to come home covered in nasty coffee shop syrups. I can make my own hours, which works out great for my newly adopted third shift sleeping schedule, and I can do something I genuinely would be good at and give a shit about. I should be ready to start taking clients by the new year so stay tuned!