Aspring Designer Advice

Well, in a way I hardly feel like the person to be giving out advice to aspiring designers, since I still don't get published nearly as often as I would like.  However, I was emailed a question yesterday by a woman that has done some knit designing and is trying to get published.  She said that she has designed some clothes made to fit the American  Girl(R) dolls.  She said that she has also designed some adult clothing items.  She tried submitting the doll designs to both the American Girl doll company, and to Interweave Press and was rejected by both.  She was wondering about the idea of submitting the doll designs as individual patterns to Interweave Knits and wondered what I thought about that idea and if designing for them paid well enough to be worth it.

Here was my reply:
"I would guess that doll clothes wouldn't be their style, however they did publish one just recently along with a matching girls jumper in the most recent Interweave Crochet.  I don't look at Interweave Knits often, but the few times I have looked it seems that their primary interest is women's clothing items.  The same is likley true for their knit books.  If I were you, I would go to a book store and look at knitting magagzines and books, and find one that seems to be publishing the sort of things you are designing.  Then submit your designs to them.  Different publishers have different areas of focus.  If you wanted to submit your adult clothing patterns to Interweave you might have more luck with those.  I have published two children's clothing items, a scarf, and an afghan block with Interweave and I felt that I was well-paid for it, though I think any designer will admit that it isn't a business that pays extremely well.  I have heard from other designers that Interweave is one of the better publishers in terms of designer pay.  I was paid $325 and $375 for my two children't items.  I know that one other crochet designer once told me that an experienced designer could expect to get $500 for an adult clothing pattern.  You could also try self-publishing and selling patterns on Ravelry, Etsy, Artfire, or Patternfish.  I have only worked with Ravelry and Etsy myself, but there is a pretty good audience there.  Good luck to you!!"

Maybe this will be helpful to others that are interested in publishing patterns.

Are any of my blog readers aspiring designers?  What have you designed?  What craft?

Just for fun, here is Baby with a stash of crochet hooks she swiped from me.  She LOVES to get into my hook case and take all the hooks out.  That is Princess in the background...and my kitchen floor.

Have a lovely day, and happy crocheting!

April :)


Vote Now for the 2011 Flamie Awards!

It is now time to vote for the 2011 Flamie Awards!  I am especially excited about this year's voting because one of my designs is a finalist -- "Spring Creek Jumper" is one of the finalists for Best Crochet Design for Children.  Laurie Wheeler, Fearless Leader of the Crochet Liberation Front, has put together a voting reference guide with the help of some lovely assistants.  You can look through all of the information about the nominees before you vote, thereby allowing you to educate yourselves prior to casting your votes.  When you're finished looking through the reference guide you can cast your votes by clicking the "Vote Now" link at the top of it.  I hope you'll go cast your votes!!!  And it wouldn't bother me at all if you voted for my design ;)

Since my last blog post I've been still working on designs #1 and #2.  You might wonder why these are taking SOOOO long.  Well, design #1 is kind of a first for me, and I have completely ripped it out, made significant changes to the pattern, and hopefully will be near completion soon.  As for design #2, it's been taking a backseat to my work on #1, though there has also been some ripping out and re-doing there too....one of the hazards of the job.

I don't think I ever shared a picture of this on the blog.  I made this sweet baby dress for a friend of mine who is having a baby this week.  Her baby shower was a few weeks ago...
This was not my own design.  This came from Crochet Today May/June 2010.  It is "Sunshine Baby Dress" by Linda Permann.  I altered the pattern quite a bit to make it a 3 month size.  The smallest size in the pattern was a 6 month size.  The yarn is Hobby Lobby's I Love This Cotton, the softest 100% Cotton I've ever felt.  I thought it turned out pretty cute!  What do you think?
Have a great week, and happy crocheting!

April :)


I got what I asked for...

I posted earlier today and said that I was anxious for some exciting news.  Well, I got some.  I knew that some of my designs for children had been nominated for one of the Flamie awards, but for some reason that category was missing on the page that announced the finalists.  I brought it to the attention of the Fearless Leader of the CLF (Laurie), and she fixed the problem.  So, the exciting news is that my "Spring Creek Jumper" is one of the finalists for "Best Design for Children"!  YAY!  Voting takes place March 15-30.  I hope I win...fingers crossed... :)
Copyright 2010 Interweave Crochet

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

 I know it's been a few weeks since I posted anything.  I've had a dry spell of exciting news lately -- I myself am a little anxious to hear some exciting good news on the crochet front.  I sent in 2 submissions over the past month, and I will hopefully have some excitement soon. 

These are some pictures of the "Cat in the Hat" hat that I made for Drama Queen.  Her class is celebrating Dr. Seuss's birthday today by dressing up as characters from his books.  She of course is Cat in the Hat.  She told me that was what she wanted to be.  I said, "but we don't have the right kind of hat."  Now, it had already occurred to me that I could make her one, but I was hoping she wouldn't ask me to do that since I was already busy with design project prototypes.  However, since she knows that her mommy is crafty and capable she said, "you could crochet one mommy!"  Since I didn't want to let down my girl, I made the hat.  I'm not going to bother writing a pattern for this.  You just begin by making a circle with the same circumference as your child's head, then crochet the stripes by working the same number of single crochet as the last round of your circle.  Then when you get to the brim, just continue the circle where you left off until the brim is around 1 1/2" wide.  Some random increasing and decreasing through the stripes can give the hat the wonky look of the original.  Just make sure that you end up with the right number of stitches at the bottom just before starting the brim so it isn't too big or too small.
She also wore a black shirt, black skirt, and black leggings.  She also has a piece of black "feather" boa hanging from her back belt loop for a tail.  She looked pretty cute!

Switching gears: Do you know about the Crochet Liberation Front?  This is an organization that encourages crocheters to not be ashamed of their craft in the face of strongly-biased knitters.  They encourage yarn companies to market to crocheters by providing crochet pattern support -- not just knitting patterns.  You can find the website at http://crochetliberationfront.com/.  They will soon have open voting for the best designs, designers, magazines, companies, etc. in the crochet world -- the 3rd annual "Flamie" awards.  They are called the Flamies because the "mascot" if you will, of the Crochet Liberation Front is the flaming hook of justice.  I enourage you to go check out the website and see the finalists.

I have been dwelling a lot in the last few weeks on things that I would love to buy for my business.  I know that dwelling on wants is not the way to feel positive about things, but it has been in the forefront of my mind because the two design projects I have been working on would have been, or would be SO much easier if I had these things: blocking board (design project #1 is currently blocking on my bed, and due to the size of it is taking a long while to dry. A big thanks to Mr AC. We both sacrificed for the sake of my craft last night by sleeping in the living room), computer and 3-in-1 printer/scanner/copier (I already have these things, but having another set just for business would be really nice.  I could keep it in my room away from the mischevious fingers of my kids.  That would also allow me to buy ink and paper with business money since I would know that all that I used up was used for business), Garment Designer (a software program that I could use to generate schematics for designs, thereby giving myself a lot more confidence that the finished item will actually fit well.  Currently I base these measurements on schematics from other similar crochet designs, or on a sewing pattern).  I would be making some headway on this wish list if I weren't saving up to attend the Knit & Crochet Show this summer in Minneapolis.  I'm really hoping to get some more design contracts before this summer so that I can pay for it all.  And then some more design contracts after that so that I can attend to my wish list.

Sorry for being pretty quiet lately.  I just don't like to bore people by posting about "nothing" just for the sake of posting something.  I hope that you all have a marvelous rest of the week.  Feel free to drop me a line!

Happy crocheting!

April :)