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Making Ready To Wear

Alice P Beanie Free Pattern on Ravelry
Has been downloaded 426 times

I am having a short break at the moment from designing stuff for publishing. I am designing knits to be made up for a ready to wear collection. I am thinking of an angle that connects everything in the collection as well as thinking of the season. Thankfully, Julia, a knitter I have worked with before on some publishing stuff has offered to help make some things.
Stashbusting Buster Baby Beanies Free Pattern on Ravelry
Have been downloaded 975 times

This is totally refreshing because the main objectives change slightly.
For publishing, you are always trying to rack your brains for something that is unique and edgy, that fits a brief or story and is tempting for the publisher. Sometimes the emphasis on winning a chance to submit does not fall on the end user, the knitter of your pattern. Sometimes it is the magazines that want interesting edgy patterns, and yet when you sell indie published patterns you might be surprised to find that the simple intermediate patterns do better than the 'clever' ones.

Ribbed Clara Beanie in cotton/Angora
Another design popular with Mums but I didn't
write up a pattern thinking it was too simple and not edgy enough

  • When you are thinking of making ready to wear these are the main objectivesWhat will suit the season and sell
  • What knits are effective but use less yarn
  • How can you use leftovers from one project, to make a complimentary project in the collection
  • How can you design knits that are slightly edgy and unque but above all quick to knit (e.g. chunky hat with a few colourwork motifs, instead of fingering sock weight and a full pair of socks with overall multi colourwork) How can you make really simple patterns that are easy for your knitters to use.
  • Can you specifically design knits that are interesting but use up lots of fragments of skeins e.g. stripy bright beanies.
Of course, if you take something like the stripy bright beanie, I have a pattern like that which is fairly popular but free. 975 people have downloaded, and many have used it. I would never have thought of selling the pattern because it is such a simple beanie to make and I would never have submitted this project, as it is not an edgy design.

A co-ordinated baby set made for friends' babies
Very simple but much appreciated in Cashmere and merino antique Pink for a girl, and faded blue for a boy.
Another pattern never written up as it is seen as too simple

However, it is clear that there are people w
ho do need a pattern however simple and they do want to make this to wear. It seems that designer who make indie patterns to sell on their website or Ravelry, often try to be edgy and unique to attract buyers, but perhaps we should be stopping and thinking.....what is it that mothers will want to make for their kids? What will their kids wear?and Is it quick and easy to make?

In these cases, I think that the objectives of Ready to Wear and making for a Published Pattern actually collide.
So, there are one or two patterns I have put together for the Ready to Wear collection, that I can see selling perhaps as individual patterns. Or, perhaps there is also an expectation that an easy non edgy pattern should be free?

1 comment:

Rowan said...

I think you hit it right on the head. When I wanted a simple pair of booties for a gift because I hadn't made it to socks yet, you should have seen what I had to do to get one. These patterns seem too simple to you, but to the beginning and intermediate knitter, these are the patterns we want!