Monday, August 18, 2003


After the good news of several pattern & kit sales, interest from a few magazines in some of my designs and yarn company interest, too comes the down side of BEING EXCEPTIONALLY BUSY for a few days straightening everything out so I'm ready to sit and work.

That, plus submissions to VK and FCEK (due on Friday, but due to 'brownouts' in our area I couldn't really get any computer work done until yesterday...) which are time consuming. That's the zen aspect of this work - doing so MUCH of the legwork before the design is accepted, it's rough.

But, as I tell my husband, the benefit is that when I return home from vaca to find 4 of my designs purchased I don't have to re-invent the wheel to put my mindset back where it was when I designed the darned sweaters.

I keep copious notes, make my charts and graphs at the time I design the sweater and always do a rather complete swatch (the swatch is what I use to finalize my stitch charts) I always do a schematic, too - but I don't always work out the specs for the schematic (every magazine has different ideas of what the 'average' or 'fit' size should be...)

Here's a swatch I worked up late last week. It's an idea I'd had for a few weeks, but I was having a hard time getting the cables to run diagonally without skewing the sides of the swatch or making the hem bow in an odd way. I finally succeeded - and if I'm lucky you'll be seeing this in a completed incarnation as a sweater in some magazine in the next year or so.

There's such a long lag time between design concept and actual printing of the magazine - sometimes several years - that when folks ask me about a 'new' design I am quite often sincerely confused. The stuff coming out in the mags is old to me by now, and I have to think hard to remember that it's not old to EVERYONE else, too!

For those of you who are interested, here's a pdf file of what my submissions tend to look like. You might find it useful to see how a designer thinks a concept through.

I do most of my 'sketching' by either filling in a line-art schematic shape or by starting with a sketch and scanning it and THEN filling it in using the photoshop 'define pattern' tool. To my mind a design sketch is more about communicating a concept than it is about making a beautiful piece of art.
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posted by Annie at


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Alison's Scarf
Link to pdf file of cable/trellis lace scarf

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Link to pdf file of multi-sized poncho


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