This post is part of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week.
The past year has been more about gaining skills and confidence in knitwear design and pattern writing than about gaining any one knitting skill (I'm pretty good with cables, lace, and my stranded work improves, but I have yet to tackle entrelac, and socks just don't drive me wild). And I think it's safe to say I hit my big goal of getting published. Having Knitty publish Turn of the Glass hasn't changed my life in an obvious way (no one is beating at my door with a big contract to sign, hehe), but it affirmed my decision (alright, my falling into this) to pursue knitwear design, to even think it was an option. It's also so exciting to know other people like your work, and I love seeing everyone else's version of the sweater, since knitting is such a personal hobby.
This was pretty huge for me. For years and years I introduced myself as a whatever-my-current-title-in-publishing was, and then for a while it was as a "temporarily retired person". Since reaching adulthood I've worked, and worked hard, to make things (and make them more appealing). I've liked doing it, and it was difficult to let that go when I had to. But knitting was a saving grace there.
And now I usually say I'm a knitwear designer and waggle a shawl in their face!
As for my skills, pattern writing has been an interesting challenge. The other day I was working on the hat that's coming soon and just before I sent it off to my tech editor I realized that I hadn't mentioned the two different needles called for in the materials list at all. So, what would a new knitter do? "Why did she make me get those two different kinds of needles? I've never used one of those before. Ack!" These are the kinds of things I have to remember. An experienced knitter would probably know to cast on with the circular needle and then switch to the DPNs as decreases make it difficult to move the stitches around. But a newer knitter, perhaps one who had never knit anything in the round before, would be stumped. Just as in my days in academic publishing I had to learn about the different ways people take in information (fascinating stuff, seriously), now I have to remember that knitters may come to my patterns from all different levels of experience and skills.
I've also become more willing to rip things out (see my recent frogging post) when they're not right, re-knit, drop stitches and repair things on the needles, and just plain being confident that I can manipulate the stitches and fabric to become what I envision. I'm also working on my vision being realistic as far as what the yarn/fabric can do.