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Friday, December 30, 2011

last post of the year (probably)

Well, I thought I'd cap off my round-up with the last post, showing what I've knit and designed this year.  It was an adventure.  I had a child start high school, and another one start Kindergarten...all in the same year.  I started teaching the Senior Primary class at church, during a time when my life couldn't take one more responsibility, and surprisingly I've excelled at it (and had a wonderful time, I might add).  I took a great e-course from Kelly Rae Roberts that encouraged me to spread my wings and fly!  I've submitted projects to Interweave Knits, Twist Collective, Knitty, a few independent book proposals, and Cascade Yarns.  Most did not choose to go with my design but all were encouraging and kind, and asked me to try again.  Cascade published my most popular design ever (thus far...you know...the blanket).  And I sold dozens of patterns at my LYS during the first annual Great Rhody Yarn Crawl, which did wonders for my designing moral.

I started working with a very talented graphic artist who has helped me to create my brand.  I've got a new logo, a new facebook page, a pretty new Etsy shop (which is still a bit empty, but will fill up), a pretty new layout for my twitter account, and a brand spanking new blog which I'm going to start using first think next year!  The rest of this blog will be slurped over in due time.  I'll have new business cards to match soon, and labels for my custom work. 

This year was not very lucrative in terms of online pattern sales, but I was able to see from the reports that I sold more sock patterns than anything else, and this year my Night of the Lepus was by far the most popular.  I think that The Bride of Frankenstein is going to give it a run for it's money in 2012.  I've already got a pretty new ad that will start cycling through your Ravelry project page on January 1st, so you'll probably see it there!  I sold more patterns directly through the shop, so next year I'll continue to overhaul my current body of work and focus on getting hard copies printed, and contacting a sales rep to help me get into some of the area shops.  It will probably be an easier job, once I've graduated from school in the Fall :)

I also took on quite a bit of commissioned knitting this year, and at a fair price.  I realized (thanks mostly to the Ravelry Design forum group, and the Flying Lessons course) that if I charge what I'm truly worth, I'll only have to take on projects that I want to do, and the ones I'm not as excited about won't be nearly as bad because I'm being paid a fair price to do them.  I won't get stuck doing something I don't truly enjoy doing.  I've also learned the need to provide a quote in writing, so customers don't forget what we discussed going in, and that I have the right to refuse work if I know it won't be worth the time or cost to myself or the client.  I've gotten much smarter about it, and my self-assurance translates to customers, which makes them feel comfortable paying me what I ask (and I always try to be fair...because I know what it's like to have to work on a budget and I could never afford me).

Finally, this year I learned that other people see me and my work differently than I see myself and my work.  I've had the opportunity to 'talk' to other designers who I admire through Ravelry, or in person, and they're regular people just like me.  They have flaws that only they can see, and they hate some of their early work just like I do, lol.  They have all been encouraging, and have told me that I'm much better and I really am...which keeps me going ;)  I've had a chance to work with a very talented photographer who literally makes me look good, and recently a tech editor contacted me and asked about working with me on my latest collection.  She has worked on some of my favorite patterns, and with some of my favorite designers, and I was honored that she asked to take a look at my collection.  Maybe she sees something in my work that I can't see yet. 

So, now that I've reviewed what I've learned and what I'm still finishing up from this year, here's a look at what I managed to finish.  I hope you enjoy :)  There are photos for everything except the Rococo shawl, and the Owls sweater (which I'll be ripping out), and they are presented in no particular order:

Bride of Frankenstein

Crescent Park Beret (matching handwarmers not shown)

Effortless Cardigan, by Hannah Fettig

Heritage Silk Lace mittens, for Cascade Yarns

my Julissa test-knit, for Knit Rhapsody

freestyle striped Noro sweater

Night of the Living Sock

Alexander's Purple Sweater

Quilt and Cable Blanket, for Cascade
Regia socks
Rhodes Stranded sock (currently touring the Stitches conventions)

Shelby- A Handknit Tie for Little Boys (and Alex's go-to tie for church)

Takoma in-the-round

Vlad
Brambles Beret, and my Brambles Mittens