Friday, September 6, 2013

anatomy of a design OR how many swatches does it take...?

Knit’nStyle magazine is going to have a new look! well, not right away, but soon.
#190, April/Spring  ’14 (on sale date is January 2014 – go figure – how is anyone supposed to keep track of which issue it really is?? – sorry, just my pet peeve!) has a new editor and a new look! They are actually changing the name to KNITstyle (I like it!) but you won’t see that change till then – there is still two issues to come out under the old regime.
This was part of their press release:

In addition to the new title and look, KNITstyle readers will discover fresh new designs, interesting knitting stories, educational technique articles, useful information about local yarn shops, and profiles of today's hottest designers. Packaged with a fresh new graphic look, KNITstyle will be accentuated with a new photography vision designed to inspire readers.

Anyway,  sounds like a lot of big changes in style, content and layout – should be pretty exciting! Cari Clement, the new editor, (spent nine years with Caron International as its first creative director and twelve years as co-owner of Bond America, manufacturer of home knitting machines) has a machine knitting background, really exciting! So, the good news is, there will still be a machine knit article and garment in each issue.
Now, for each issue, we (the designers) get an RFD (request for design) in which they (Cari and her team) give story lines and stitch and yarn ideas and we have to submit a proposal, including sketches and swatches.
This is totally different for me – no one has ever told me what to do – I’ve always been able to basically do my own thing – at first, I thought, okay this will be easy, I don’t have to come up with the ideas. Usually they will give a bunch of themes and I just have to pick one and fit in to it (I think) but this time (for #190), my challenge is to create something using drop stitch and eyelets to correspond with a hand knitting  article using drop stitches – hummmm…this may not be as easy as I first thought – I know what I think are drop stitches on a knitting machine and I did check on-line for a hand knitting reference to drop stitches – not really the same thing – hand knit drop lace seems to run horizontal and machine knit is vertical…maybe I can plead ignorance and just go with my own ideas – I wonder if they have a back-up plan!So I still had to submit a sketch (not my strong point) and a swatch and then they chose the actual yarn…I’ll give you a little bit of it – a yoke, sideways knit of full fashioned lace with the holes filled in and the sleeves and body are made from hem to top with vertical lines of lace, combining drop stitch and transferred lace – well, they liked my proposal, I got a contract for this one and they’ve named my design already – how can they do that? I hope it's not written in stone - this would be a deal breaker!and it’s a sucky title – ‘Lots ‘o Lace’ ??? come on, what is this? the ‘80s?? I’m going to ignore it and put my own name on it (which I always do) and see what happens – right now, I’m thinking ‘Ripples’ or maybe ‘Waves’ – yes, I like the last one…BTW, the title is always a work-in-progress as the design develops and can be the last thing I do...
So, I’ve made 5 more swatches already and still not sure how I want to proceed, so I’m going with my usual plan – you know it – make a sleeve first and see what happens!!


Mary Beth said...

Pretty lace, Mary Ann. I may have to subscribe to the mag now. :)

Linda said...

I LOVE it!
Can't wait to see the finished garment!

Iryna Boehland said...

I like your new design and lace samples, Mary Ann!
I am glad to hear about changes to KnS magazine, but understand your concern too.