My First Knitwear Release!

I’m so glad I decided to have the pattern tested with all different weights of yarn, because it really does look strikingly different by just making that one simple change. I feel like that’s really value added to the pattern, because it can be so easily adapted for anyone, any age, any gender, fabulous or practical.

bulky-dragon-lace
Super Bulky Tweed
dragon-lace-scarf
Lace with Sparkles!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I’ve been dreadfully ill lately, so was much delayed in releasing the new pattern to the wild, but finally it’s out there! I’m pretty proud of how it turned out. I loved the process from start to finish, and I had four great test knitters who produced some gorgeous finished objects and provided some very helpful feedback.

I’m so glad I decided to have the pattern tested with all different weights of yarn, because it really does look strikingly different by just making that one simple change. I feel like that’s really value added to the pattern, because it can be so easily adapted for anyone, any age, any gender, fabulous or practical. I personally think I like the medium weights the best, which is funny since my two prototypes were both extremes. You can check out the projects created by my test knitters on my pattern page. You don’t even need to have a Ravelry account to see or purchase it, but if you are a knitter or other fiber fanatic, I’d strongly recommend it. The account is free, and there are SOOOO many resources, patterns (both free and paid), discussion threads, and support for every fiber craft you can imagine.

I’ve already got my second pattern almost ready for test knitting, and at least half a dozen other ideas marinating in my brain. It has been really exciting to envision a finished work, determine what combination of yarn, needles, and stitches I need to make it happen, figure out how to write it so that someone else can replicate it, and then tweak and polish the pattern until it’s shiny.

But the most exciting part to me was seeing other people’s creations. To know that someone else liked my pattern, took time to make it, and will love and use the result for years to come. Of course, the test knitters were supposed to follow the directions exactly, but now that the pattern is out there, people can use it however they like. But even that is an exciting prospect for me. If my idea can serve as a springboard for someone else’s inspiration, just as someone else’s idea inspired me, that’s a great thing. I’m so looking forward to seeing what others come up with.

So this process has dramatically changed how I originally thought I would be running Sleepy Dragon Workshop. When the idea was born, I expected to be making finished objects to sell. And I may still do that, occasionally. But I think I am even more drawn to the designing process. I have several ideas for scarves of various complexities, a couple of shawls, and even a sweater or two.

The best part about designing, in respect to dealing with chronic, unpredictable illness, is that I can work when I am able, and not be obligated to work when I’m not. The only deadline I will have is one that I’ve self-imposed. While that may be frustrating, at least I won’t be pressured because a customer is waiting for a gift. For the items I do choose to make and sell, I can work on them at my own (dead run/full stop) speed, and then put them up for sale when they are finished. I doubt I will do very many commissioned items, for that reason alone.

As far as other things I may put in my (eventual) Etsy store, I imagine I will make more stitch markers (I’ve already made several sets for friends and for my test knitters), and I have a book of beaded critters that mom got me for Christmas that I’m itching to try out. I may sell prototypes of my patterns, but so far they’ve been created as gifts, and I can imagine that will probably end up being the norm.

But for now I’m content with bringing my ideas to fruition, and being the source of inspiration for others. It’s a good feeling. 🙂

Test Knits for My First Knitwear Design

dragon-lace-scarf
Dragon Lace Scarf

I’ve been working on a scarf as a gift for my mother-in-law, and I’ve finally gotten it finished. I originally started using a lace pattern from a book, but I made so many changes to the lace pattern itself, and to the shape of the bottom, that it ended up being its own original design. It’s purely decorative, not something that’s going to keep her warm, but I think she’ll like it.

A couple of days ago, I sent out a copy of the pattern to several people who have volunteered to test knit versions of the scarf, to make sure the pattern is understandable, charted properly, and free of errors. I also asked that they knit the scarf in different yarn weights, because I tend to think outside the box, and I don’t think lace always needs to be lightweight and delicate (as the original prototype is).

I had a mixed reaction to putting my pattern “out there”. It’s super exciting, but it’s also a little nerve-wracking, because I kind of have to brace myself for constructive criticism. Not that I don’t want constructive criticism, of course, because I want my pattern to be well-written and easy to understand. It’s just that it’s my own creation, so I’m maybe a little protective of it. Still, it’s overall a positive, and I’m really looking forward to seeing other people’s versions of what I’ve made.

brown-lace
Bulky Lace

I’m knitting up another copy of the pattern myself, using super bulky yarn, and I’m already liking how it looks.