Worth Waiting For

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Well, Spring is here and the Painted Plumes knitting pattern is ready! This Thursday it will go up on Ravelry, Etsy and Craftsy but until then, here are some teaser images of the long-awaited Painted Plumes Shawl. Continue reading

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Don’t Panic – a good lesson to remember

Yesterday I published my second knitting pattern, A Modern Victorian Shawl. This time around I wanted to get a better feel for where sales come from – does time of day make a difference, are they coming from the New Patterns feed or forums I’ve posted in?

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Photo by Lili Vieira De Carvalho

The strategy I devised was to post the pattern in the morning to catch both European and North American viewers instead of eagerly adding the listing at 12:03 am when North America is sleeping. Secondly, resist the urge to post it in forums, on my blog or anywhere else (other than the JahDoily Knits sites, Ravelry, Etsy and Craftsy). When the attention slows down, then it post to other areas but allow enough time to pass that I can try and determine the source of the sale. A strategy, isn’t it nice to have a plan.

Up went the pattern at around 10am – admittedly a little later than I originally intended but I still felt like a good time. Almost imminently little hearts started to accumulate and it was added to a few queues. Obsessively I’d bounce back and forth between the pattern page and my designer’s page watching to see the numbers change. As captivating as this was, missing was the little double chime of two emails coming in – notifications of paypal payments and download receipts. Silence. For hours, more hearts, the occasional queue. No sales.

Looking for some friendly encouragement I posted an image to Instagram. My fellow instagram knitters are good source for a boost.

By 6 pm my heart was sinking and I was beginning to second guess all the time and energy I’ve invested in these patterns – in myself. I was in need of a distraction, something that would remove me from close proximity of the laptop. So out for dinner we went and I agreed to go on Craigslist excursion to Richmond (totally different story but I now have a bike). The entire time we were out I left my iPhone in my pocket, that my data is running low added motivation to remain offline, but the second we walked through the apartment door out came my phone, safely back on wi-fi.

Bing, bing, bing, bing.

Two sales, four minutes apart. One originating from Ravelry, the second an Instagramer who had just begun following me earlier in the week. Just like that, mood lifted. Life is good. I only took two sales to validate endless hours.

A few more sales today has me on the “hot right now” list. Not in the top 20 mind you but in the top 100. My design was sitting directly above a Steven West shawl and not far below the Holden shawlette which I thought pretty awesome. It has dropped back a few pages now but is still in good company.

So, I’m resuming my resolve to refrain from posting to the forms yet. Things might not happen quickly but there is movement. Keep designing, publish often and when I do, get out of the apprentment and enjoy the day.

Knitting down the days

On Thursday I shall be reborn as a knitting designer! After four months of designing, knitting, researching, planning, building, branding and all sorts of fun JahDoily Knits is (almost) ready to launch. A few things have changed along the way but I’m feeling like I have a solid plan for the coming months and some great designs to offer.

On Thursday, June 27th my first design, Rosemarie’s Garden Shawl, will launch with the site jahdoilyknits.com. The original plan was to publish 3 – 5 patterns on the get go but after chatting with designers this was amended to starting with one pattern and adding additional designs every 4 – 8 weeks.  If you haven’t already done so, please join my mailing list for pattern announcements and news of upcoming projects. Below is a little teaser for the Summer 2013 JahDoily Knits collection.


June: Rosemarie’s Garden Shawl
July: A Modern Victorian Shawl
August: Painted Plumes

The support and encouragement from my friends and family has been invaluable but a few wonderful women deserve a special thank you. Natalie Gagnon of Nattypat Crochet was one of the first people I contacted when I started this venture. She graciously shared her experiences of crochet design and put her branding expertise to work and develop a beautiful logo for JahDoily Knits (she also solved the “but doilies are crochet not knit” conundrum by condensing Jah Doily back into its original JahDoily form). Next up we have Renee Picard whose eyes have double and triple checked website content and will give patterns the final edit. It is no small task for a non-knitter to wading through knitting jargon to find the grammar. While I’m the master of instagram and iPhone photos, when it came time for professional shots I turned to Grace Morris of Grace Photography. Oh my, she captured some beautiful images and I can’t wait to share them with you! I am so blessed to be surrounded by such creative people.

Last but definitely not least, there are the test knitters who dedicated hours and hours of their time to testing my designs. With every project I’ve been overwhelmed by the volume of total strangers who sign up to test designs. Watching their projects take form has been perhaps the most rewarding part of this journey to date. There is something so surreal about seeing my designs come to life on the needles of others and the knowledge that there are people in the US, England, Ireland, South Africa and Australia wearing something I created blows my mind.

So let the countdown begin!

 

Looking for a Name

I’m usually good at coming up with titles and find the process fun. The inspiration can come from life, some personal significance the pattern or painting has to me; from nature, the textures, colours and smells of life on the Pacific West Coast; or even from other artforms – I have been known to take lines from songs, poems, of reference to paintings. With all this in mind, it is odd that I am at a total loss of what to name this shawl.

The working title is A Modern Victorian, referencing the origins of the lace motifs, but it was never meant be stick. The problem is, for almost a year not it has been A Modern Victorian to me and I can’t get past it. It isn’t a horrible name, it just isn’t what I want to conjure.

A Modern Victorian Shawl_detail1_medThe pattern uses a dk cotton yarn giving it weight and structure but keeping it cool enough of summer evenings. I envision it worn around the waist on the beach as a swimsuit wrap (you know those skirt like things used to hide our bums and upper thighs when walking around, I love those!). I see it around the shoulders and tied in the back like a bolero over a dress or loosely draped around the neck as a scarf as summer is ending and through the fall.

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It deserves a name that is catchy and enticing, that is easy to remember and conjures versatility. A name that is both romantic and urban. Is that too much to ask? I for one am stumped.

What would you call this pattern?