Friday, January 20, 2012
There comes a point, maybe when you see your name in a magazine you've been able to buy in your local supermarket. Maybe when you get your first cheque through for a published pattern. Maybe when you find yourself being told to 'drop an email' to someone for yarn support, someone whose enough of a knitting 'name' that you bought a stitch dictionary edited by them the previous week. Anyway, at some point you realise that the game has changed.
Anyone who does anything creative daydreams about making it their living- digging the escape tunnel from the daily grind so that one day they can drop through the trapdoor and exist in a world with fewer alarm clocks and pairs of work trousers and more cups of tea and beautiful views from that studio you'll need, of course. Depending on who you are and what you do, these might range from out and out fantasy to hard and fast plans. It's funny though, despite my love of knitting, I'd never thought I'd ever make anything from designing- owning a yarn shop was my favourite daydream, as even in the realm of make-believe I was too aware of not having the design background I felt sure was needed for writing patterns.
I imagine I'm among quite a number of newbie designers who have Ravelry to thank for getting them to venture, or in my case, pretty much stumble, into the world of pattern writing. The chance to post your pattern for free or for sale is a lot less daunting than the prospect of sending off a proposal to a magazine, all the while imagining them howling with laughter at your rank amateurism. Of course, toe dipped, and even with the sort of mediocre response my ideas got, confidence grows, a new magazine's call for submissions caught my eye, what I assumed would be a one off turned into a series of commission and suddenly I was looking at my hobby in a whole new way.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not preparing to give up my day job, especially since it took a year of tears and struggle to get one. At this moment, I'm quite happy if I've found a way to pay for my yarn habit, not to mention the fact that it's added a whole new dimension to my relationship with knitting.
It's a relationship that keeps me on my toes of course. There's the sinking feeling and subsequent sorting out if you discover an error, or worse still have it pointed out by a knitter keen to get on with making your design. There's the self-doubt about whether you've got any ideas, or whether any of your ideas are good enough, when you look at the latest moodboards of a call for submissions. There's the waiting for a response when the deadline passes. There's the pressure to get a sample and pattern complete when you're up against a deadline (or in my case this month, four samples and patterns, which is why this space has been neglected lately).
But for all that, you'll hear absolutely no complaints from me about this new phase in my knitting life. The buzz of getting a 'yes' via email? Fantastic. Justifiably saying 'I have to knit?'That's hardly a chore. Getting gorgeous yarn sent to me for free? Wonderful- I've been up to my ears in projects for the last four months and hardly bought any yarn at all. The deep satisfaction of the journey from idea to submission to making and writing? Love it. The thrill of seeing my name in print and getting nice comments about my design on Ravelry? Yes please! Getting money I can justifiably spend on knitterly things? Well, it's no bad thing really, is it?
Progress is definitely being made in my knitting life at the moment. Thankfully, that includes progress on those projects with a deadline, but also in other ventures, all of which I hope to share news of very soon. Knit on, my friends!