Melody's Cowl is live!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I'm thrilled to present my first test knit and tech edited pattern, Melody's Cowl. designed this cowl for my friend Melody, a non-knitter who accompanied me on my visit to Yarns Unlimited in Sewickley PA last summer.  She chose this worsted weight yarn, Berocco Vintage in “Pool Party,”  and asked for a design that wasn't too wide, and that could be worn long or doubled.

I classify this cowl as an advanced beginner project. The only tricky skills needed include  provisional cast on and kitchener stitch. I use the provisional cast on Aredna Holladay teaches on her blog. If the kitchener stitch is new to you, I highly recommend the free (as of this writing) Craftsy class “The Ins and Outs of Grafting.”

Preparing a pattern for sale

Monday, November 10, 2014

Over the past month, my previous two patterns have been downloaded more than 900 times (!) which is very exciting, and lets me know that people like my designs. However exciting that number is, though,  I've learned that this is pretty common for free patterns. Knitters will download and stash free patterns but may never cast them on.  When people pay for a pattern, they intend to knit it. But they also expect a good pattern - one that is clear and helps them achieve the expected result. That's where testing and tech editing come in. 

My next pattern, Melody's Cowl, is currently being tested by some lovely volunteers in Ravelry's Free Pattern Testers group. As a new pattern writer, I was offered some valuable feedback by a tester who lives in Eastern Europe, which not only helped make my pattern better, but reminded me that knitters are a global village and I shouldn't expect only to be writing for North American knitters. 

Once the testing is complete, I'm going to send my pattern to a tech editor for a final look over. Knitting tech editors make sure that the instructions make sense and that nothing is left out. Most importantly, they check the designer's math. I'm starting my designing adventure with one-size accessories, but this is especially important for sweaters and other garments that need to be presented in a variety of sizes. 

I'd like to give a shout-out to Laura Nelkin's Design Your Own Cowl Craftsy Class. I've designed and knit three cowls using the information in this class, and am working on design #4. I'm not a Craftsy affiliate and will get absolutely nothing if you order this class, but it's been amazingly helpful to me on this journey. It's worth every penny of the list price of $49.99, but Craftsy is known for its sales.