Friday, February 16, 2018

New Yarn from Knit Picks: Provincial Tweed

The other day I received a lovely package from Knit Picks. Included in this box of goodies were 4 huge 250 yards/100 grams skeins of their Provincial Tweed yarn - 2 skeins each in Caramel and Pumpkin Pie. Both colors are gorgeous. I can't decide which is my favorite, yet!
Of course, like Knit Picks do, they have a massive range of colors for the Provincial Tweed line of yarns that all just seems to go together perfectly. Like you could just pick any 2 or 3 or 4 colors and they would work seamlessly together. Check out all the available colors HERE.

Now about this yarn. First, this yarn is like butter. It's a soft, worsted weight tweed that is perfect for outer wear or even close to the skin. The colors are rich and saturated and the flecks of tweed adds depth and texture to what would be a pretty standard yarn.
Anyway, with new yarn, there is the struggle of what to make with them. I have these 4 skeins, 2 skeins in 2 colors. Should I try to combine the 2 colors, using all 4 skeins for a giant 1,000 yards project? Maybe use 2 skeins of one color for a simple project. Then, there is the question of, should I KNIT or CROCHET the project?
So many options. Now the real struggle begins.
Help me out here:
What should these beauties become?
Should I combine them or use the colors separately?
Leave your comments below and let me know what you would make. If you have a link to a project, even better, drop it in the comments bar.

Until next time... Stitch on!

A rising tide lifts all boats!
Tian Connaughton
KnitDesigns by Tian
Crochet & Knit Designer & Tech Editor
{Simple Designs, Beautiful Results You Will Love To Wear!}
Ravelry: KnitDesigns by Tian
Normal Work Hours: Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm EST

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

How to do scary things in your design business?

Hey there, Designer Rockstar,

Can you believe it's February already? It's just flying by. I feel like we were just celebrating Christmas.

How are your 2018 goals going? Did you set any? Are you hitting them out of the park? I hope it's all going well because I know you can do it! I believe you can AND will because I've seen your designs and know you have something special to offer.

Okay, story time. I want to share with you a quick experience I had at the start about a year ago. So, back in very early 2017 (or maybe at the end of 2016) I sent an email to a big magazine pitching them to tech edit patterns for their quarterly publications. Yikes! Who am I to even want to do this, right? That's what I'm telling myself. Of course at this point I've tech edited for Prime Publishing, Knit Picks, Plymouth Yarns, and others. But still, in the back of my head I'm thinking, "stick to what you have and don't try to go too far". But I have a tendency to not listen to myself and did it anyway.

See, I am a huge fan of this magazine and their parent company. I buy their quarterly issues, and look to them for inspiration and trends in the crochet world. Anyway, I wrote that email. I don't hit send, it says in my draft folder. A few days goes by, I develop a spine (a tiny one), I go back to the draft and tweak it a bit. This is perfect. I'm gonna send it. Nope, that tiny spine I grew shrivel up and falls off. I put the email in my draft, AGAIN. I forget about it, but I don't really forget about it, because it's on my goals for 2017 and I can't cross it off until it's actually done.

A couple more weeks go by and CreativeLive classes is rerunning Tiffany Han's The Easy Yes: How to craft an effective pitch (you can read more about her class here and how she's been an inspiration to me - it's a good one). Without even re-watching the class, I went back to that email draft and finally hit send - no tweaking or anything, because if I messed around with it I would loose my nerves again, so I just sent it. It was so scary, but I did it anyway.

A couple weeks go by and no response. You know that feeling. You are just a puddle of emotions. But I remembered Tiffany emphasizing the need to send follow-up emails (you have to watch this class - there are so many useful tips I still use even today, more than 2-yrs after it's originally airing), and I get a response.

The response wasn't "Yes, join our team now", like I'd hope, but more of a "we see you, we'll keep you in mind". Okay, bummer. I move on with my life. Months and months go by.

A couple months goes by and then, out of the blues when I completely forgot the initial email, I get an email to start the process to test to see if I was a fit in my ability to edit in their style and standards. IT was YAY and then BOOO, then YAY-ish. It wasn't the rosy "yes, you're in" I'd expected, but it was a start to prove myself. At first, I was a bit miffed because I've been tech editing for years with other publications, so why do I have to take a test? But I did it, giving the process the same attention I would for any other project.

The testing process ends. Many weeks go by and no update. Again, I remember Tiffany whispering in my ear to send a follow-up email. I do and I get a response. You guessed it. It's the "we see you, we'll be in touch" email. ARGH! The waiting, which is the worst part of any pitch (especially call for submissions), was frustrating. I wanted answers, and I wanted them now. I was almost wishing they'd just say "no" to just put me out of my misery.

Many more weeks go by and finally, out of the blues, totally unexpected I get the "Congratulation" email. I did such a silly, lame happy dance, my dog, Charlie, and my cats all left my office giving me side-eyes like "momma acting crazy, let's find some place, anywhere else to nap all day" because I was a bit too weird for them at that moment. Me? Too weird for those 4 yahoos?!

Anyways. I just completed my first tech edit for them and now I think I might be even more nervous than the entire process above!

Okay, so why am I telling you this? Why should you care?

Well, it's not a brag, because, yuck! It's not about me. It's about the process. It's about shedding a light on the anxiety and fears we all have, regardless of how long we've been doing this, and having the tools and resources to carry them through. It seems like a miracle that the CreativeLive class happened right when I needed it - right when I needed that extra push to check off a goal on my list. Sure I had the technical editing skills, but I needed Tiffany to help me cross that one big goal off my list. Yes, it took a year, but I had help and that is why I am sharing this story with you.

You have goals you want to achieve for 2018. It might not take a year to get to that "yes", or it might. But stick with it. Seek out people and resources that can help you cross that finish line.

What is your big goal for 2018? Who can you ask for help? If it's me (I'd love to help - just send an email and let me know how I can help), or someone else in your circle, reach out, today. Cross that item off your list.

Talk soon!

Tian Connaughton
Designer, Technical Editor, Coach
Creator Pattern Writing 101 e-Course  
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P.S. I am working on a post that talk about self publishing vs. designing for a magazine/third party publication.
What questions do you have?
Please email me and maybe your question(s) will be answered in the next post.