Thursday, October 15, 2009

New pattern, new prices

I must be a grown-up now: My first professionally tech-edited pattern is up and ready for download from Ravelry. You can buy it right now for $3.00 with the button below, in fact! Adelaide took some extra effort, because the construction method is a little unusual (worked from the borders inward, and then up from the hem, with no seams). Having convinced myself I had the math right, I wanted to make absolutely sure.

Hadley (on Ravelry: hadleygetscrafty) came highly recommended, had reasonable rates, and was available when I contacted her, which might be the most important thing. She turned the job around quickly and did really terrific work. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship! Hopefully, you all will benefit from her efforts without ever being truly aware of it. You'll just think I'm an awesome pattern-writer who's naturally perfect with math stuff. Riiiiiiiight...

Some of my older patterns will get the professional tech-edit treatment in the near future; they'll also be updated to include suggestions and improvements from folks who have worked from them already (things like new charts and schematics, technique refinements, etc.). Rest assured that if you've bought a pattern from me in the past, revised versions will always be available to you AT NO CHARGE. The way I see it, I'm not giving anything away (after all, you already bought it), and I'd rather my best work was available to everyone--not just whoever wants to shell out twice for the same pattern.

Last but not least, after having a "back to school sale" in late August/early September, I've decided to drop all my pattern prices to $3.00--permanently. Go crazy!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Placid, and full disclosure

Here I am, starting the day off right: With my knitting, the New Yorker, and a cup of coffee on the deck of our cabin by the lake at the Sherwood Forest Motor Inn near Lake Placid, NY. There were ducks and herons, and we went canoeing every day while we were in town for a friend's wedding. (A certain quantity of maple-nut fudge was also consumed.) It was a timely break, falling as it did in between submission of my written qualifying exams and my oral defense, the last stage in the qualifying procedure for my PhD. I passed my orals last week, and am pleased and relieved to report that I have now advanced to candidacy. Yay, me!

So, that at least partially explains the long gap between posts. That, and the fact that it's STILL getting up into the 90s around here. Knitting must be done indoors, and even then anything bigger than a sock will give you a seriously sweaty lap. I have, however, been kind of cranking them out lately--I finished the Vera-scarf-inspired Adelaide in time for Amy Singer's visit to The Knitting Nest (OK, all except for two buttons. Which I finished day before yesterday--that still counts! Final FO pics coming soon for that.) I think that pattern's just about ready for posting now, too--we'll unveil it for the Hill Country Yarn Crawl. Maybe get a KAL going for it or something...

I also finished Myrtle 2.0, with improvements made to the all the little things that bugged me about the first one. I mirrored the lace panels on either side of the front and back, inserted more lattice panels where I had ad hoc stockinette sections before, simplified the shaping, and worked out a more reliable way to keep the stitch count right on the set-in sleeves, which was difficult originally because the stitch count for dayflower lace changes pretty much every row. I even worked up the chart for the lace pattern, so I'm about halfway done writing up the pattern for multiple sizes, too. Whew. But that's not all! I've also written up instructions for Agatha and charted THAT lace pattern, too (getting to be an expert at this here charting stuff). Which leads me to my most exciting update...

FULL DISCLOSURE: Agatha will quite likely be the next pattern I release--and the first one I release as a sponsored knitter, with yarn support from KnitPicks! I was approached by a representative of the company several weeks ago with this generous offer--and after I got over my initial conviction that they must have me confused with someone else, I was thrilled to accept. It's probably clear from my Ravelry project page that I'm already a KnitPicks fan (especially of the oh-so-soft Alpaca Cloud: there's the shawl I made for my MIL, and the Laverne sweater I just finished for my pal Lisa--plus a dozen or so hats for friends in the late, lamented, lovely Panache, which they don't sell anymore). So it's not like I'm compromising my values here. In fact, I think KP really helps me knit in harmony with my values--for instance, I chose Shine Sport as an alternative for Decimal because it was a way more affordable option than the Rowan Cotton Glace I worked the original in. Life's too short to knit with cruddy yarn, but when you're talking about shelling out $100 for materials just for size XS, you know you're going to be pricing a lot of people out across the entire size range. And they have organic cottons, too!

Not all my future patterns will feature KnitPicks yarns. I support my LYSes faithfully, and those who know me know I'm powerless to resist good fibers, whatever the source. When I do design with KnitPicks in mind, though, you can be sure of two things: 1) I truly think that it's the best yarn for the project, and 2) KnitPicks was generous enough to provide me, an independent designer, with the support I needed to make it. Thanks, KnitPicks!