question answered by Ellen Gormley

I asked a question of crochet designer Ellen Gormley on her on blog www.gocrochet.blogspot.com. She was kind enough to answer me. Here is my question and her response:

April writes:Hi Ellen, this is not really about your post, but I have a question for you. How much figuring out do you do for a design before it is accepted for publishing? Do you complete a finished item first? Just a swatch? Schematics and/or charts? Just a sketch? Thanks in advance!Hi April, I know many people are interested in this topic, so I'll attempt to answer it.The short answer is that I do as much figuring out as it takes to make sure I can deliver on what I promise. That includes swatching, sketching, maybe a second swatch to make sure I understand the increasing and decreasing for the stitch. Extensive note taking on exactly how I accomplished the swatch. It likely includes a schematic for a garment. If it is a small item like a purse, hat or scarf... likely I make the entire project while I'm designing. It's even better if I make it twice, that way, when I send in the hat for example, I have another one here at home to look at when I re-stitch in the editors preferred yarn and I have one to refer to when writing the pattern. I do try to write as much of the pattern ahead of time as I can. It's just such a wonderful feeling when I'm on a deadline and I go to write the pattern and I see some of the work is already done! I do NOT write out the pattern for garments though, because if the editor chooses a different yarn, the gauge will be different, then the pattern is different...When I make a submission, I start a project folder at home. I make sure that I note all the yarns I used and hooks, the color names and numbers. I try to keep a photo of the item or a scrap of yarn and the swatches. Unfortunately, sometimes I need these things to jog my memory on exactly what I submitted (and where). I have many ideas floating around out there and I want to be able to remember what I did. Above is one of my early sketches for the Larkspur Wrap Sweater that was in Interweave Crochet, Fall 2009.
Posted by Ellen Gormley at 6:02 AM 2 comments
Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I found this to be helpful. As a very inexperienced designer I sometimes wonder if I am doing things in the best possible way. I had concluded that it wouldn't make sense to actually make the garment I had submitted a proposal for because the yarn would likely be completely different once the design was accepted for publishing. Nice to see how an experienced designer does it. Thanks Ellen!


Christmas gift for my Sweetie

This is a gift I made for my husband for Christmas. He loves to create new recipes. I bound some pages together by sewing a glueing and then crocheted this cover for his new cooking journal. He was pretty excited about it. I was pleased with how the book turned out. The yellow yarn that I used is called "Arcadia" and I believe it is made by Cascade. It is mostly cotton with a little bit of angora. I bought this yarn planning to make mittens with it. I figured that it would be a nice fiber combination for a pair of mittens for a baby in a not-too-cold climate. Well, don't EVER buy this yarn for wearables. It is by far the scratchiest yarn I have ever used. I've used 100% cotton yarns much softer than this. Fortunately it worked out to be exactly the right amount of yarn for this book cover. I had about 8 inches of yarn left when i finished it.

Handmade Felt Finger Puppets

I bought these adoreable finger puppets for my youngest daughter for Christmas. I wanted to post about them because they are SO cute! The detailed embroidery is excellent and very well-done. I bought them at www.stayawake.etsy.com. I just wanted to share the cuteness!