Friday, July 6, 2012

Nice vs Professional

There is something so warm and cozy and friendly about being considered nice. It creates a warm fuzzy glow about the heart. Being called professional on the other hand seems a bit stand-offish, a bit more reserved and severe. But it is not necessarily so.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Submission Pitch for Mythology DAL

To start off my submission pitch work, I decided to try to do my sketch in Illustrator - to practice drawing and creating larger shapes so that I can eventually create sketches and schematics online. I am sure there are more efficient ways to do it (I basicaly used it like a glorified Paint program), but I persevered and came up with something maybe approaching halfway decent:

I then used the InDesign file I used for the last submission call I responded to as a template for the current pitch (though I removed my contact information as I planned to post it here on the blog. Initially I used the .pdf version of the sketch in the submission pitch, but I realised that I had read somewhere that if I link to the .ai file, then any changes I make in the Illustrator file will automatically update into the InDesign file if I open it and re-save. Seeing as I have already changed the file to simply read "Ribbing" instead of "SlStBlo Ribbing", because I want to experiment to see which sort of ribbing works best, I think that mutual updating ability will be key!

I stopped by Knit and Stitch in Bethesda looking for some Habu yarn for another project and also hoping for a summery sort of yarn to try with the headband. I found a linen cotton blend by Araucania called Lontue and purchased the green-blue colourway. I am hoping it looks good and reads as more green than blue when worked up *crossing my fingers*.

Here is the picture of my swatching:

Finally, I have put it all together into a one page submission pitch document:

What do you think?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mythology Monday : Summer 2012 DAL Inspiration and Submission

I am going to try to actually participate in and complete a project for the Ravelry Group Design-A-Long (DAL) for Summer 2012. The theme for this quarter is "Mythology" and the Mood Board, assembled by Alyoops can be found here.

 I wanted to participate this go-round as I am trying to generate some self-published patterns and this seems a great way to practice those design processes! I am in the process of preparing some article and design submissions to various submission calls as well, though, so I am aiming for a relatively quick and easy project. An accessory of some sort should do nicely. I have decided to use an illustration of "Idun and the Apples" as my inspiration - specifically the crown of leaves she is wearing in her hair. I will design a full-circle headband with a branching leaf lace pattern in crochet - joined at the top (or bottom) with some ribbing to give sizing flexibility.

  "Idun and the Apples" by James Doyle Penrose via WikiMedia Commons 

 First, I took a quick look through Ravelry at some of the headband offerings and crochet leaf ideas - both to gather inspiration and ensure that I am not reinventing a recently created wheel. Now - off I go to sketch and swatch...


 That is my original sketch and my initial swatch to work out the leaf lace pattern using Aunt Lydia's Fashion Crochet Cotton Size 5 in pine and a G (4.00mm) hook. 

My next step will be to use InDesign to create a submission proposal in my design submission format... (practice makes perfect... or at least better... hopefully!) I will post on that process another day!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Design A Long 1: Garden theme pattern idea

You have probably heard of a Crochet-A-Long (CAL) and a Knit-A-Long (KAL), but have you ever heard of a Design-A-Long? A group has been formed on Ravelry sponsoring a Design-Along. Basically, they have gotten members to cooperatively choose a theme, then contribute pictures for a mood board. Then members can submit sketches and discuss their design process over a few months. The goal is to have a written pattern that has been edited and tested and is ready for publication by the DAL deadline. I think after that point there will be some voting (and maybe even prizes!) for qualifying designs(i.e. those with ready-for-publication patterns that fit the theme and mood board).

The theme for Summer 2011 is "garden" and I have been mulling over what I might have to offer on that them (and whether I have time to work up a design and pattern in time for the end-of-August deadline). I am toying with the idea of a net market bag crocheted from cotton that folds into an attached strawberry - shaped pouch crocheted from thread.

I am moving at the speed of cold molasses, so will probably not make the August 25 deadline but at least I am getting my toe in for the future :')!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pattern Template Redesigning

Today I have been switching my pattern template from Microsoft Word to Adobe InDesign. I am taking it from a double-half-portrait-page landscape orientation to a full page portrait orientation. Whilst I am keeping my purple and green colour scheme, I am limiting the use of large blocks of colour and photos to the cover page and possibly the additional information and project gallery pages at the end of the pattern, so that the pages that NEED to be printed out are relatively simple and print well in B&W or grayscale.

I am starting the process with my Gathery Up Scarf pattern, then I will try to format my free snowflake patterns and my Tea Set pattern. I will attempt to make charts for these patterns on Adobe Illustrator... a new challenge for me to learn how to orient the charts in the round and then attempt to indicate multi-level (as for the Irish Rose) or 3-D (as in the teacup) stitching in diagram form... So much to learn!

Old Format:

New Format:

What do you think?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Marketing: Blog design and Pattern Reclamation

Today I am thinking a bit about marketing.

I think that my pattern layout design may not be ideal, based on threads I have read on Ravelry as well as my own gut feeling. One thing I do like about my pattern layout choice is my colour theme of purple and green. With that in mind, I thought a redesign of my blog was in order, to bring it more in line with that theme and to freshen it up. With that in mind - any former readers feel free to weigh in on the new design (new readers, I'm also happy to hear from you about my blog design - what works for you, what doesn't?)

I also realised that my Tea Set pattern should be out of its exclusivity period with Yarn Magazine, so I am looking at what I need to do to release that as a self-published pattern.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Child's Chevron Waistcoat - Entering the Self-Publishing Zone

Over the last year I have been dipping my toe into the garment design pool by designing a Chevron Waistcoat for my 5 year old son. (He was 4 when I started, but who's counting?) It occurred to me that the design did not have to be for boys alone, so, for my first attempt at grading a pattern, I worked up 5 sizes on paper and am using those numbers to make a sample for my 8 year old daughter.

In my excitement at having a real live garment pattern (in 3 to 5 sizes, no less!) in the works, I worked up a proposal for publication. Sadly, *violins softly playing* my proposal was rejected. Disheartened, I lay the project aside for a time. Encouraging comments from a crochet buddy got me thinking that perhaps I could also use this as a first effort at completely self-publishing for sale. I have free self-published patterns and am selling my Gathery Up Scarf pattern through Ravelry, but that was initially published by Inside Crochet magazine in the UK, so was not run completely through a self-publishing process.

As part of the process, I will try to track my progress via this blog and perhaps dip a toe into the social-media self-advertising sphere as well. Wish me luck!