Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Post in Which I Was Tagged for the Creative Blog Hop

I was nominated by Kirsten (Aphaia on Ravelry) on her blog for the Creative Blog Hop.

So, I'm supposed to answer four questions and then nominate two other people to answer the questions.

What am I working on?
TOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!! My brain is about to give up the ghost if I don't decrease all the things on my plate.

I'm working on a new shawl design that will release on 1-October (this is the one that is the most pressing on me right now, so once I finish it, I think I won't feel so discombobulated). The shawl will be available in both a 4-ply (fingering) weight and a DK weight. It starts with just a few stitches and then continues to increase until you run out of yarn. I love how this pattern came together, but it was a lot to challenge myself with in such a short timespan.

Next, I'm working on the 3rd pattern for the Doctor Who Companions Sock Club - 2nd Edition that I'm collaborating Julia of Pandia's Jewels on. U.S. Memberships will cost $135 USD, Canadian Memberships will cost $149 USD, International Memberships will be $162 USD, Limited Memberships for the club will become available on the Pandia’s Jewels website http://www.pandiasjewels.com/products/doctor-who-companion-sock-club on October 10, 2014 at 10am EST and run until October 17, or until memberships run out. This is a 3 month club membership and packages will be mailed out on the 18th of November, December, & January 2015. Patterns will be sent to you Ravelry Library on the 25th of the same months the club is running.

And lastly, I'm knitting a plain vanilla sock with a Fish Lips Kiss heel for myself out of the gorgeous Outlander inspired colourway, Je Suis Prest, by Jess of Ginger Twist Studio. This is part of the #CountdowntoOutlander and #KiltMeNowKAL. I also claim credit for the amazing colourway because I begged Jess to dye a special colourway for me to knit for the KAL. LOL! If you want your own skein, it will be available for purchase here http://www.gingertwiststudios.com/product/sheepish-sock-je-suis-prest/ when Jess dyes the next batch (the first 2 batches sold out extremely quickly).

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I seem to have found a niche in the Doctor Who world. When I designed my first Doctor Who inspired sock pattern (Rescue Me, Chin Boy, and Show Me the Stars), there really weren't that many Doctor Who inspired patterns out there (most were either dishcloths or the 4th Doctor's scarf). Since then, I've done several other Doctor Who inspired sock patterns (many of those are part of the Doctor Who Companions Sock Club). I've designed other items as well (preemie hats, a cane cozy, a scarf/fingerless glove set, socks not related to Doctor Who, and shawls), but my best sellers continue to be the Doctor Who inspired sock patterns. I have some ideas rumbling around my brain for some other fandom inspired patterns, but those are on the back burner for the time being until I get the current designs finished. I'm thrilled to have found my little spot of the fandom / knitting world and hope it remains successful for as long as possible.

Why do I create what I do?
I originally started designing because I couldn't find the perfect pattern for a specific project I wanted to knit. Then others contacted me and loved my work, which encouraged me to keep adding new patterns to the mix. As most of you who know me in person or via the online world (especially our fabulous Geeky Girls Knit Podcast viewers) know, I have some very severe and debilitating health issues. Designing patterns has kept me going through some very dark days, weeks, months, years. It keeps my brain active as I figure out the patterns, it keeps my hands busy, and it gives me something to focus on besides the pain. Without knitting and designing, I'm scared to think where I would be. It has been a life saver for me!

How does my creative process work?
When I first started designing, I was largely inspired by the yarn I had picked. First came the yarn, then came the pattern. However, now, I am more inspired by the Doctor Who character I am bringing to life in knit stitches or by shapes or stitch patterns. Usually I start with the inspiration thought and then find a yarn that will work (or have the special colourway created) and then sketch out some pattern possibilities (I also utilize stitch dictionaries for inspiration) and start swatching to see if the design element is going to turn out like I want. Most times, it doesn't, so I go back to the drawing board and try different options. I have a basic vanilla format for both a toe-up and cuff-down sock that I usually stick too while adding in the design element on the front, back, or sides. I design all my socks in the 64 stitch size to begin with and then grade it up to the 72 stitch size. It usually takes me a month from the time of swatching to having a pattern ready to be test knit. I then have at least 2 testers per size knit up the pattern (I usually give them around a month unless there's a pressing deadline to finish the test knit). After the testing is done, I simultaneously photograph the project (my daughter Damaris is usually my model) and work on formatting the final pattern. I have a template for my patterns so it is mostly about putting the right directions in the correct spot. 9 times out of 10, I keep the pattern details a secret even from our podcast viewers (I usually share some spoilers, but not the finished project) until it releases. When that happens, it's all about the PR and getting the word out so people can find and hopefully purchase the new pattern. In the midst of that, the next pattern on the list has already begun the design process and may be close to the testing phase already.

I nominate Julia (Nimruse on Ravelry) of Pandia's Jewels and Sam (StealthDragon on Ravelry) of KnitRunDig to answer the questions next.

As always, find all my completed projects plus what's currently on my needles on Ravelry:

And you can also find all my knitting pattern designs (those available for purchase and some freebies as well) on Ravelry:

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