So, promotion 4 (buy 2 get one free) is in celebration of my first publication! If you have a subscription to Interweave Crochet, great!! You will then see my pattern for “Stone Path Hat” in the winter issue of this magazine, with also more photos from different angles.
Here is a couple photos I took of the hat before sending it in:
This was a grand experience. It was around February (I think) that I sent in a swatch of a scarf to Interweave Crochet. It was my first submission, anywhere. I really did not think it would make it in. It was nice, in that they had their submission guidelines right there on the website, and I figured why not go for it?
So, I sent in on a regular sheet of paper, my swatch, little tidbits about the scarf, etc. I made a 6 inch or so swatch for them. So off it went, and I really did not think about it too much. Soon, I had an email from Kim Werker congratulating me on the design, and they would like to have it for the winter issue, but if I could make a hat instead.
Welp, no problem!!! I think I had about 3 weeks to work it up… I can do this I said… I do not think it really even hit me, as I just dove right in and began working on a pattern. I decided I wanted it to fit tot sizes as well, so I had a broad range of sizing. Pretty much at age 3, the circumference of a child’s head is that of an adult’s, almost… The problem, I ran into though, was my design repeat of the cables was longer than an inch!
So anyway, I developed a technique in order to solve this dilemma. I am sure this is often used, but I thought it was really cool – almost like a crochet revelation that I learned or perfected, in a pinch, to design this hat. It is so neat, as I progress and really try to cultivate my design skills, when these neat little discoveries reveal themselves (wait, that makes no sense, or does it), well, when a discovery is made, or something there choose to reveal itself, that it is as if I reach a new level in my craft.
So, anyway I then had the “outline” plotted it out… I tend to often work backwards, often. For me, and often in my designs, I have to figure out the “end” result, before I can work the beginning.
I wanted harmony with this hat, I wanted perfection. I wanted to have some cabling in the crown and have it almost cascade down into larger cables, and then, brilliantly explode into the figure 8 sequence. That was a lot of math, which will have to be for another post, but I was able to determine and figure out where the increases needed to be, in order for everything to literally “cascade” into place.
Ok, so now, I had a visual reference of my end result, and my beginning, then all the fun stuff in between of precise increases. Then it was time to start the pattern and work it. I would write one rnd from my notes, and then I would execute it, in a sense sort of testing it myself. I would watch to make sure the increasing fell where I intended, and that the cables were “growing” into their adult forms as I had planned.
Once I had the entire pattern written, it was then time for condensing. Yes, here I concur, I was an absolute nuthead.. is there such a thing?
I took my notebook, and I drew out EACH line of the pattern. I then studied it, looking for repeats. Each rnd could be written numerous ways, so I did just that. I wrote each line each and every way I found possible. Yes, it was much to have the perfect pattern, especially for my first publication, my “first” job! But it was also an exercise skill at best. Yes, I was one of those over achievers in school.. yeppers, my anatomy and physiology teacher would hand us sheets and have us label everything.. Well not me. I shredded those papers and DREW each and every system, with labels and colors and everything, to make myself learn each and every part..
Anyway, I learned so MUCH from that little exercise. I learned so much about pattern writing, little shortcuts that could condense, without sacrificing clarity.. and other ways that definitely shortened an instruction, but would make it so confusing.. for example.. (this is not exact, but an idea), having a repeat inside a bracket I have now found to be a bad thing. Even though I know my algebra and order of operations, that does not mean the next lady or gentleman beside me will.
This, I have found is not such a good thing:
Rnd 1: Ch 1, sc in next sc, *sequence of instructions**, [sc in next 3 sc, rep from * to ** once] 4 times.
Now maybe it looks easy, since I did not write out the “sequence of instructions” (And note, this is not an instruction from the pattern with parts omitted, this is like something I came across, but not with same order or numbers)… Testing out a mock operation like this, I found numerous people to get confused! Many first did not know exactly where they were in the instruction, some felt it took too much brainwork, etc.
A MUCH better way and still have it short would be something like this:
Rnd 1: Ch 1, sc in next sc, “sequence of instructions,” *sc in next 3 sc, “sequence of instructions, rep from * 3 more times.
Of course, there are numerous variations, but the first example I now see is a definite turn-off for crocheters.. there must be a balance between condensing an instruction, and still maintaining clarity. And even if one understands and knows the order of operations, why not just make it easier for them and thus less chance of a user error by letting the clarity take the upper hand here.
Ok, so yes, I was a nut, for doing this, I concur! But it was a valuable learning experience for me.
So, what else is in the works?? Welp, I soon will have a leaflet coming out, I think around March or April.. more on that later since I cannot give any detail (yet) on it.. but keep checking back on that!! I will have numerous other publications coming out this coming year… I cannot wait to tell you about! But right now, I can live off the aura that this publication has left upon me.
I really hope everyone enjoys making this hat. A LOT of sweat, energy and time went into it. I really gave it 200% and then some. Working with Kim Werker, and Toni Rexroat, and Jean was phenomenal. They are really down to earth, nice people. I really had editors high up on a pedestal per se, and NOT that they still aren’t up there, but they are now so approachable! Now that I have been working with quite a few different editors, I am learning a lot… And I will talk more about my experiences with subsequent publications as the release dates come. So far, everything has been absolutely positive. And Interweave was just absolutely great…
My winter release of patterns has been put off a little bit longer, but as in my last post, I am hoping for February. Ok, I have written a novel here! Time to go crochet… *walks past the laundry pile.*