In Honor of Free Patterns (without ads)

From 12:00pm to 7:00pm EST today, Friday, April 26, I am going to make all of my patterns available as free downloads on Ravelry.

You fucking heard me.  Use the code TheTangledDouche to get the pattern of your choice for free.

Check out my patterns HERE and don’t forget to grab your free pattern today and come back here to post which pattern you picked!

A little ditty on criticism

Indie designers, who are typically very casual and accessible, get a great deal of critiquing.  I wouldn’t go on to say that indie designers receive more criticism than your headlining, Vogue Knitting contributors, but they certainly receive a fair amount.  Criticism is inevitable, both good and bad, when you produce something made available to the general public.  These critiques reach far and wide with the enormous following on Ravelry.com as well as personal blogs.  So, how do designers handle dialogues amongst knitters and crocheters?  What’s the appropriate avenue to take with the positive and negative feedback on their work?

Let’s use the Ravelry.com forums for an example.  When a person or group praises your pattern work in a forum thread, would you enter the conversation to thank them for their support and kind words?  It’s a matter of opinion.  Personally, I do.  Establishing a presence is important to me for creating positive relationships with pattern patrons and letting them know that I am readily available. 

But what about the negative feedback?  Let’s use the same scenario as before, but now the person or group is negatively criticising your pattern work.  It appears that when there is negative critiquing involved, it is either ignored by the designer or perhaps handled through private messages.  Why is it different here?  What do you think makes it taboo for a designer to step up publicly and refute or remedy the situation? 

You can’t please everyone, that is true.  I believe in the 10% Rule, which means that 90% of a designer’s clients are generally good, well-mannered people with tact.  The other 10% are not as level-headed, emotional, and in some rare instances, combative.  Do you engage them?  I guess it depends on whether or not they engage you.  My take on it is that if they rage publicly without directly communicating with you, take it in stride.  Read their thoughts, determine whether or not it is a warranted criticism, and leave it be.  However, if they communicate with the designer about the grievance they have with the pattern and begin a public dialogue, it becomes a sticky situation.  Do you ignore it or call them on it?  The designer should put forth their best effort to help the person through the problem, privately or publicly – it’s their call.  If the negative review remains, at least you would know that you had done your best to make thing right. 

What’s your take on knitting and crochet designer criticism?

Contest Giveaway!

I haven’t hosted a contest in a while, so let’s have a little fun.  In honor of publishing my newest pattern today, the Celeste capelet, any purchase of any of my patterns (through Ravelry) will put you in the drawing for a free pattern of your choice.  The contest begins today and runs until February 28th, 2010, at 5:00 pm EST.  There will be FIVE lucky winners!

Celesté

You must be a member of Ravelry to buy patterns from my pattern store, which is right here.  Each individual design purchase will get your name put in the drawing.  If you are the selected winner, you can choose any pattern for yourself or, if you like, I can send it to the person of your choice as a gift.  Good luck!

Mrrrphmrrf Cowl

August was my last post, eh?  Shame on me.  2009 ended up being a rough year for a lot of people, I’m glad it’s over.  I’m ready to make the most of 2010 and I’m starting it off with a new design:  Mrrrphmrrf Cowl

I see couture knitwear and while yes, it is someone’s work of art, I also can’t help but think what a waste of good wool (or cashmere, alpaca, silk…).  I like functional, wearable art.  This cowl works for me.

Pattern Recommendations

I’ve been slogging through the Ravelry pattern library to find patterns suited for the yarns I carry in my Etsy shop.  When you have a colorful, one-of-a-kind skein, it’s best to work it up in a pattern that A) uses up a healthy portion of the yardage and B) has stitch work that doesn’t get lost in the color changes (or pools).  I’m going to share some of my finds (and feel free to suggests some of your own).

Uber Sock

Uber Sock now has even more yardage, going from 460 yards to 500 yards per skein now.  You’ve got even more options than before, but here’s just a few of my favorites:

Jaywalker Socks

Simple Yet Effective Shawl

Razor Cami 

Celestine Sox

Organic Merino and Extra Fine Merino (fingering weight yarns)

This yarn is relatively new at an amazing price.  With 400 yards per skein, you still have plenty of patterns to choose from.

Ribbon-tied Wool Vest

Nutkin socks

Francie socks

Bellatrix socks

Organic Merino and Extra Fine Merino (DK weight yarns)

Again, these are new and each has 400 yards per skein for quick socks, shawls, etc etc etc.

Forest Canopy Shawl

Child’s Placket-Neck Pullover

Oolong Socks

Bulky Alpaca

This yarn comes in 110 yards per skein.  I try to dye at least two identical skeins, but sometimes there are singles.  You can knit them alone or combine them together to make a vibrant, super smooshy project.

Meathead Hat

Trinity Stitch Hat

Aran Gauntlets

Plain or Flowery Slippers

Dolores Park Cowl

Rachael Neckwarmer

Anthropologie-Inspired Capelet

There’s plenty more where those came from and I’m tossing around a few design ideas for the bulky alpaca yarn.  I’ll  dedicate my next post to crochet projects.  You can find me at the Savannah Market Bazaar (at the Robinson parking garage on Montgomery and York Streets), again, this Saturday, May 9th from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Come say hello!

Patterns now available through Etsy

I was informed that those without Ravelry access would like another purchase option for my patterns.  I’ve made the Elfin Cable Cardi, the Darkwood Cardigan, and Little Nelson available for purchase through my Etsy shop (link in the blog roll).  Hope that helps (and thanks for the heads up)!

Darkwood Cardigan

It’s nearly November, but doesn’t mean you don’t have time to knit yourself a new layer.  The Darkwood Cardigan is worked seamlessly with super bulky yarn.  If you start now, you’ll sure to have a new addition to your wardrobe before Thanksgiving.

The yarn I used, Rowan’s Chunky Print in Rage (100g/110 yds; 100% wool), is now discontinued, but you can work this pattern in a similar weight yarn, you will still have excellent results (12 sts = 4 inches in St st on US 13 needles).  This cardigan is sized for Small (Medium, Large), [36 (40, 44)” bust] and is available through Ravelry, here.

*Pattern also available through my Etsy shop.

Domestic Arts, I haz ’em

I cannot eat another bite, for the rest of my life.  The past two days have been devoted to food.  Not just any food, though, Greek food.  Thanks to Savannah’s annual Greek Festival, I’ve eaten more baklava than any one person rightfully should (and spanakopita… and dolmathes…).  I must have been Greek in a previous life and the love of their food has carried on into this one.  I’m not complaining.

It wasn’t all Greek.  Tonight, I made a special little dish:  Cherry Tomato, Bocconcini, and Zucchini Pie…

Nom nom nom (if anyone is interested in the recipe, just leave a comment and I’ll be glad to post it).  We topped it off with (what was left) fresh Greek pastries (couldn’t be helped)…

Note to self – Run an extra mile or two tomorrow morning, possibly Monday, too.

I should add hand calisthenics to my exercise routine, because my knitting has been non-stop.  I’m working on The Yarn Bearer pattern booklet, exciting, yes?!  It will be just a small collection, a handful of various patterns by me, hopefully out by January. 

I’m aware that not everyone wants to purchase an entire booklet, therefore the individual patterns will also be available via Ravelry.  I’m quite fond of the option to do so these days.  Why spend $15-30 for one pattern (and others that you don’t want) when you could just spend $5 (or more, seems like individual prices are going up a bit lately) to get what you want.  Hmmm, it’s late, I’m babbling, and there’s entirely too much sugar in my blood stream so I’ll leave it at that.

Knitting and Planning

Autumn is nearly upon us, sigh, you know how happy that makes me…  And crafty, too.  There’s another super, secret knitting project on the sticks that I just cannot wait to finish (if I can just get my hands on either US 13 dpns or a 16″ circular). 

It's under that fluff somewhere

The sewing machine was pulled out not two days ago (grant it, I had to sew the name tapes on Mr. Yarn Bearer’s uniforms, but still, it counts) and I am determined to finish the log cabin quilt I started exactly two years ago. 

Thoughts on Christmas presents, I have yet to decide about the extended family.  Last year, I made a batch of lavender cookies for my two neighbors.  The neighbor on the right was appreciative while I heard nothing from the left.  I’m not at all offended, but I don’t want to do the same thing every year.  This Christmas, I was thinking about the sewn coasters from Last Minute Patchwork Gifts.  As the title suggests, I probably will wait until the last minute.

A family jaunt to Pennsylvania coming in November has me focused on the warm and cozy knits at the moment.  I hope there will still be some of those fall colors in early/mid November.  Exciting still will be the visit to the Summit Yarn Studio in Clark’s Summit, PA.  When we visited last (about three years ago), I was still such a new knitter that I was overwhelmed by the shear glory of all that yarn, floor to ceiling and just pouring out the shelves and the owner was such a joy to talk to.  I ended up leaving with twelve skeins of Rowan Denim, six skeins of Cascade Pastaza, two skeins of Farmhouse Yarns Silk Spun Cotton (that’s where we first met), and a MaggiKnits book.  Oh, what will I come home with next time…  The possibilities!