Saturday, September 20, 2008

What next?

I've just finished knitting and writing up a pattern to be published this winter. In the last three months or so, I've pretty much been working solidly to get out three designs. The Mongkok Cardigan was published by The Inside Loop last month, and the other two will be out sometime in the next few months, probably.

Everything I've done has either been self-published and offered for free, or been published elsewhere with a one-time nominal fee. I'm proud of these designs and feel incredibly happy and lucky that various sources have been so kind as to publish them.

Essentially, the "real" payment is to get my designs out there and be seen. This is great because I, unfortunately, do a crappy job at self-promotion.

Because of my dithering over linking my blog to my real name, I haven't ever provided a link to my blog when I've been published on-line. So my readership -though dear to me and loved!- is small. At any rate, I've failed in keeping the two separate, because my blog now turns up first when you Google my name, anyway. And I've found I'm okay with this. (Especially since I'm no longer job-hunting. What about the next job hunt, you ask? I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.)

As well, I'm terrible at networking. I've been in the London yarn stores many, many times, and never have I exchanged more than a hello/good-bye with the owners/workers/other patrons. I just browse, buy or not buy, and leave.

One of my vague plans for the IKnit day was to introduce myself to the stallholders and other yarnies there and get to know some people. I failed miserably. (Actually, I did meet Kate and Diane, the duo who run The Inside Loop, which was really cool. They were both really nice and sweet to me.) Another vague plan was to ask various yarn purveyors about possibly designing for them. But that involved putting together a portfolio to show them, which of course, never happened. Anyway, the stalls were so busy the whole day that I doubt there'd have been time to talk much anyway.

The upshot of all this blather is: what next for my knitting and designing? Is there an obvious or logical next step, even? Should my eventual goal be to self-publish and charge for my patterns? To get a job in a yarn shop? To be a Knitting Superstar?

I don't know. I do know I have lots of swatching to do, though.


Kate said...

It was lovely to meet you. :-) And you didn't run away from the big scary woman accosting you, so you are also sweet. ;-)

Nicola said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicola said...

Hmmm. That's a tricky one. You certainly are talented enough to be published for actual money. And I believe in people being properly paid for what they do - tho' this can also be be payment-in-kind, barter, yarn exchange or as you say, just getting your name out there has a purpose too.

Whatever direction you decide to take, JUST KEEP KNITTING! Your readership will be right behind you!

(Sorry! I deleted previous post because it wasn't finished)

Woolly Stuff said...

Do you have a kind of in-the-best-of-all-possible-worlds 'big picture' in mind? Where, in an ideal world, do you see yourself with knitting? Will it replace your science work? Or will it be secondary? Even if it's a dream, just having some sort of idea of where you want to go, will help you figure out the next step.

I'm very shy in yarn shops. I wouldn't know what to say!

Diane said...

It was lovely to meet you!

My goal has always been to get well-known enough to be able to self-publish successfully. The 'big' magazines are great exposure and you're right, the one-off fee is not the only thing we get out of that. But ultimately, a per-pattern fee is the only way a designer is going to make proper money I think.

Keep at it - and good luck!

jacqueline said...

well, I'd certainly say your talent and creativity has grown more in knitting than I ever expected it to. You've really embraced it, and I say go with it!!

It is something you are naturally talented at, and are intellectually stimulated by...

plus the patterns you've invented are just derned attractive pieces!

Not that I'm really endorsing you to go a path similar to hyeran (albeit woolier and warmer)... but I see it as a healthy "professional hobby" if you can find some way for the knitting to ineffect financially support itself. I would see that goal as any "next step" in a knitting hobby progression. Yarn can be expensive.

WorstedKnitt said...

I agree with woolly stuff - in an ideal world, where would you like to go, to be with your designing?

But the key point is, keep knitting and having fun with it!