Wednesday, April 20, 2016

100, no 105 knit and crochet patterns

I didn’t grow up with yarn in my house or learn to knit and crochet at my grandmother’s knees. When I first learned to crochet in 2001 it was just a distraction from all the news relating to the aftermath of 9/11. Never had I expected to be a full time designer and tech editor. Heck, I didn’t even know those were career options!

The path to get to where I am now WAS neither linear or easy. But ending up where I am now IS so worth the work.

Like many designers, for me this journey started out as a hobby. At first I was just modifying
existing patterns to fit my specific needs and taste, which later developed into full-blown creating unique designs. It started with self-publishing, discovering Knit Picks’ Independent Designer Program, then working hard to get a few pieces sporadically published in print publications.

What I wish I knew?
Running a design business is more than following my passion. There is so much behind the scene stuff that goes on that is not as sexy as what the outside world sees.

Designing is expensive when first starting out. You have no credibility yet, so you have to buy all your own yarns for the samples.

Don’t go it alone! Having a support system makes life a lot easier. Sure, having family and friends support is important, but having fibery help (a tech editor and/or test knitter) to help work out kinks are essentials.

KNitDesigns by Tian

How did I go from hobby to full-time?
This is not an easy decision and you are never really ready. I wish I could tell you I walked in to my boss and handed my resignation, but that wasn’t it. I made a plan.

I knew my corporate job would be going overseas.  I used the time to plan my new career. It started out a finding my bliss and following my passion, but what I have created today is more than whimsy.

Sure from the outside I am knitting and crocheting for a living, but on the inside there is marketing, promotion, administrative work, contacting yarn companies for yarn support, submitting designs for publication, invoicing/billing, tracking payments, tracking submissions/yarn receipts/sample due dates, and so on.

So, while it might seem like the life of a knit and crochet designer is lazily sitting on the couch watching Murder She Wrote on Netflix and stitching all day, there's a lot more to it than that. Heck, some days I don't even touch yarn. But the bright side is doing something I love which provides me with the flexibility to be a better wife, mother, and steward to our land and all the little creature that come to visit and those who call our backyard "home".

So, there you have it. That's how I've been able to publish 105 patterns, 14 in the last 4 months and consistently.

Until next time...Stitch on!

A rising tide lift many boats


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