On Submitting A Pattern (and taking a little break)

On submitting a pattern...

I’ve made references to my big project (which is actually rather small in real-life scale) as The Project That Ate The Entire Universe, but I haven’t really talked about it. I actually can’t, because the project was a knitting pattern that I submitted to an online publication and I’m not allowed to show or give away any details until it is either published or rejected. I can’t even tell you what the pattern is, or what its name is, but I did want to talk a little about the act of submitting my first pattern somewhere. Partly because it was a very important goal to me, and partly inspired by this post by Rachel at Stitched In Color. In that post, Rachel talks about getting personal on your blog – do you do it? Do you avoid it? In either case, why, and how to you find the right balance for you? I’m summarizing, but it really struck a chord with me. I think about this a lot. I really don’t want my blog to be just an endless stream of show-and-tell, one project after another with no sense of the person that made them or what connects them all. But I find it difficult to inject ‘me’ into my writing – I’m only just now starting to feel like my posts read as if I actually wrote them.

I want to try and make an effort to tell you more about me, let you get to know me better — in the hopes that, just as it is when you meet people in person, you will see something in me that you can connect with (beyond a love of yarn or embroidery floss) and stick around with me. Maybe you’ll even feel moved to tell me more about you. That would be awesome.

So, here’s a start. I submitted this pattern and it was an awful lot of work. More than I expected actually, and very rewarding in a way, but still a lot of work. But I felt like it was an important thing for me to do. If it’s not picked to be published, I can just lay it out in my own style and release it myself, and I’ll have a higher quality pattern than anything else I’ve done so far. But if it is chosen, something I did could be seen by a lot of people, and maybe a few of them would like it enough to knit it, or to find out more about me and what I do. That would be flippin’ sweet.

I really had to push myself to get this done, because I have a terrible tendency to find reasons not to do things. I suppose a lot of us do that, it’s kind of natural, but I’m really trying to stop. I had the idea for this pattern a while back, when I was encouraged by Eirlys of Scrapiana to submit a pattern for a book she had heard about. I would’ve loved to, but the deadline really was way too short by the time I heard about it — like two days until submission of the pattern and finished item by post. I’d have had to time travel back several weeks to make it, but it was the push I needed to give me a design idea that I really loved. I decided to stick with the idea and submit it elsewhere, something I’d been thinking about for a while anyway. I mulled over the pattern details for almost too long, starting the finished pattern and knits a little too late, but I pushed myself to get it done in time anyway. I could so easily have used the lack of time as an excuse not to submit – a true one, but still an excuse – and I knew if I let that happen, I would always feel like I’d been a chicken. Anyone remember my resolution at the beginning of 2011? Stop wimping out.

I barely slept for a week, I snagged some awesome testers who helped me just because they’re awesome, I paid a friend in cookies for her photography services, and still owe another some cookies of her own for her testing and editing input. I discovered a massive mistake just as I was binding off the last sample piece, literally, and shed actual tears. But I fixed it, re-knit, wrote it up, edited, and got it all done with a day to spare before the deadline. Phew! I keep daydreaming about what my reaction will be if it’s accepted, and what it will be if it’s not. I can’t help myself, though I am really, really trying not to get my hopes up too high and accept that the odds are against me. The competition must be so fierce. It’s a cute pattern, if I do say so myself, but I’m realistic enough to know that it’s not going to take the knitting world by storm. But I did it anyway, and I can honestly say that’s all that matters this time. No matter what happens, now I know I have the guts to do it. I’ll have already put myself out there, and you only have to do that for the first time once. Thank goodness.

Of course I’ll let you know what happens but, in the meantime, I felt like it’d be nice to work on a just-for-fun knitting project before I start work on my next pattern. Cleansing the palate, in a way.

Magrathea Shawl WIP

So over the long Jubilee weekend, in addition to being cruelly struck down by a cold that I’m still recovering from, I cast on for the delicious Magrathea shawl by Martina Behm. I’ve been trying to find the perfect yarn for this for about 6 months, unable to accept anything that wasn’t very bouncy and very pink. This is one of those rare cases where I wanted my version to be almost exactly like the sample.

Magrathea Shawl WIP

I found the exact yarn at iKnit: a very sproingy superwash bright pink-with-a-touch-of-coral yarn with silver sparkles. It doesn’t photography terribly well, but it’s perfect. I am so smitten with the yarn, the pattern, the whole thing. Magrathea is an uncommonly clever design and a pleasure to knit – I’m already kind of sad that I’ll finish it at some point!

6 Comments on On Submitting A Pattern (and taking a little break)

  1. Monika
    June 6, 2012 at 13:55 (6 years ago)

    Congratulations on getting a pattern submitted! I have that sometimes too, to want a pattern look almost like the original one, not often, so I understand. This looks like a fabulous pair, color,and design.

    • julie
      June 12, 2012 at 08:11 (6 years ago)

      Thank you for your kind message, Monika, I really appreciate it!

  2. Genevieve
    June 6, 2012 at 17:47 (6 years ago)

    Good for you to put yourself out there like that! You have a wonderful blog that I love following. I always come away inspired in some way. I’ve been writing my own crochet patterns for the last year or so and I’ve been wanting to publish them on my own blog and ravelry. I hope I can manage it someday really soon. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Can’t WAIT to see your project!

    • julie
      June 12, 2012 at 08:21 (6 years ago)

      What a lovely comment, I’m really so touched! Thank you so much, and I’m so happy that you find things here to inspire you. You definitely should publish your patterns – even just on your blog for a start, offer a freebie or something (if you don’t already) just to try it out and see the process. I found that writing up even just a simple freebie gave me such an enormous sense of achievement, it’s almost addictive! :)

      Thanks again!

  3. Hilary
    June 7, 2012 at 14:42 (6 years ago)

    Awesome post, Julie!!! Kudos to you for stepping out of your comfort zone and I hope your pattern is selected. Either way, I can’t wait to see the project. I don’t knit myself … I tried it but crochet is more suited to my personality and lifestyle, but I love looking at all the pretty things others make.

    As for interjecting the “personal” into a blog … I do appreciate blogs more when I get a sense of the person behind the writing. Same holds true for public speaking. When a person offers her or his audience a personal glimpse, I find it much more compelling. Besides, when it comes to blogs/books or whatever about arts and crafts, those without the personal are too sterile since our choice of arts and crafts is based solely on the personal. Not sure if that makes sense! LOL

    • julie
      June 12, 2012 at 08:27 (6 years ago)

      Thanks so much for your comment, Hilary! I really appreciate hearing people’s thoughts on this. I do definitely know what you mean about some blogs being too sterile without a little of the personal – that’s what I’m worried I’m doing here! :) Just discussing it a little has been enough for me to keep in mind while writing new posts though, and I’ve been thinking of other little ways to inject a bit more ‘me’ around here. Thanks so much for the input, it’s helped a lot!


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