Monday, 11 May 2009

project update

Oh, I really need a proper name for my project. Especially now that it's taking shape. I'm still on a steep learning curve mind you.

Thanks to Ravelry, I've now got a number of knitting pattern designers who have offered to donate patterns. Originally, I had posted on the charity knitting forum which gave me ideas but also made me realise that there are very different knitters out there. People who knit for charity are doing this with simple and quick patterns, and aren't excited about a book with new patterns. They also tend to use cheap yarn and do squares for baby blankets or baby hat. This is all nice, but considering that my project involves 90 different patterns and should be sellable, they also gave me constructive criticism, as in what they would and wouldn't buy. For instance, Ravelry has so many free pattern that it's unlikely charity knitters would buy my book. Fair point. It made me think of my market and determined that I really need to keep production costs low in case I fail. I'm not sure it's going to be a massive success, but still think it could be.

Moving over to the Designer forum (apprehensive move, I'm not a designer) was a good step. I got some help from the moderator who introduced me to the concept of Calls for Submissions. Sounds familiar, I once was an academic. Now that I've followed the format, I've got a fair amount of contributions flocking in from designers and my spreadsheet of pattern donations is filling in. I also found out about the world of pattern publications - normally, there would be a theme. I have none, and not sure if that's good or bad. I guess, having a kid's theme or a simplicity theme sells, but as I aim to get 90 patterns, can I be fussy? I know I should be, but can't get myself to limit contributions by a self imposed theme. Then there's the issue of pictures. Of course, I need pictures of the implemented pattern, and I assumed that designers would supply them. Apparently there are lots of options how this works, and for the sake of my time and limited resources, I've gone for requesting patterns with photos, and no help with writing up patterns.

So far I've not gone down the route of asking designers for specific patterns. I'd love to do that, because it would mean that I can actually pick my favourite patterns. However, I'm aware that popular designers must get requests a lot, and not being so well connected with the knitting community, I'm not sure of etiquette. Nevermind the time effort - if I need to contact 3 designers to get one free pattern, that would make 270 emails sent out, each of them involves going through even more patterns/designers on Ravelry (lovely to do, but I do also have other things on my to do list!). That doesn't mean that I won't consider complementing my list with this approach.

So for now, roll on the patterns!


Flavaknits said...

"Hi Steffi , since it is for charity , why don't you also request (Ravelry, Glasgow Knit n Stitch) for volunteers to knit the patterns and see if there are any flaws etc., or if an experienced knitter can offer a better way of presenting the basic pattern info.
The theme is important for knitters - I have a book called Knitting for Peace , and it is beautifully written with simple patterns and stories provided by Charity organisers. The organisations are profiled , so a knitter can knit selfishly or send in donations of items to the charity mentioned , websites are also provided.

Knitting for Peace covers themes such as War Domestic Violence, Cancer , Orphaned chidren , Homeless Animals - and about bringing a sense of peace to each of these situations.

Hope this helps a wee bit - Pop by Knit n Stitch if you have time and I'll bring the book - it may inspire! lol

cartside said...

Mhairi, I agree, a theme would be good. Must put my thinking hat on. There's also a new book called knitting for good, I haven't got it but tempted to buy it some time. My idea was to provide some case stories of Save the Children's work across the globe but they would not be knitting related as such, and photos of the knit one save one campaign that was run last year.



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