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To show…or not to show?

Little Ravens by Erssie Major

Here is my latest project, the four shade version of an earflap hat with simple motifs in colour work. I spent a long time on this, to get the shape I wanted but also the correct style of eaflap. I didn't want just triangles stuck on the side of the head, with a gap just where the back of the ears get cold, so experimented with how deep and how wide I could go and what I could fit onto the earflap itself which is not a lot in a chunky yarn. I am really pleased with the result. It might not look anything special to you but as we are experiencing some very rough weather I can vouch for its usefulness and the size and shape is spot on.

Yes, its a plain and easy crown. I did work colourwork bands right up to the last 8 stitches, and I did include a square design that worked across the top in all segments, but actually...it kept making the hat look really fussy and did not fit at all well with the bottom part of the hat, so after a lot of knitting and reknitting....I just thought, darn it, I just want an earflap hat I can wear now when its snowing so will quickly finish it off. I showed it to non designers, and they didn't get the idea that no pattern right up the crown was a cop out at all....they thought great, its easier to knit but still looks good....so that is the way its staying.

The yarn is Blue Sky Worsted Hand Dyes and in the skein looked quite ordinary but when knitted has a wonderful handpainted effect like faded denim and although wool and alpaca it feels as soft as non mercerised cotton. I had to keep checking the ball bands to see if it really was the fleece I ordered and not the cotton! This yarns crochets like a dream and I used it to crochet a contrast edging around the whole hat and it worked out really neatly around the earflap even though there is an I-cord knitted right down, I managed to find a way of working over the I-cord. No sewing was necessary, even the tassells are tied on.

I am currently working on a two colour version in grey and white, that shows light motifs against a darker background. I also have more elaborate versions with Phoenix motifs, but that is for a totally different hat really.

I also cannot make up my mind if it is good business practice to keep a pattern strictly under wraps until it is released. I always thought so, and have never leaked my own designs really until the pattern is out and on sale. I suppose I imagine that there will be a small flutter of interest for a new design and that those people would have downloaded it had it been available but then later might forget to come back. Later, uploading it as a finished pattern, rather than a WIP in the project pages, means that the flutter of interest has gone.

Some designers don’t pay attention to this at all. Having never worked in the mainstream publishers' world where it is forbidden to leak a design before publication those designers just stick their WIPs up, show pics of it publicly on Ravelry whilst test knitting etc. It doesn’t appear to affect them at all that the design is leaked at the early stages. Neither does it seem to spoil their chances when later they submit it as a finished pattern to a publisher and then retrospectively take photos off their project pages and blogs, with a note saying ‘this design is secret now so have taken it down…..’ They don’t seem to realise that having leaked it already and even mentioning it exists without a photo is supposed to be against a mainstream publisher’s policy.

But I can’t say I have heard of a designer’s work being rejected because it was leaked earlier, it seems that if it is a good design as long as the pattern is not currently leaked and it is not currently up on any blogs the items get published. I also think a lot of the time publishers do not have time to check personal blogs and other places to see if a design they are including is already out there. They are just happy that their design is a good one and being included and it would take a really serious breach of confidence for them to pull it from a publication.

Anyway I was not going to show my latest design. I wanted to get it properly modelled first and decide...do I release pattern myself, or do I submit to a mag. Submitting to a mag might possibly get me around £50 if I am lucky and no more. If I kept it myself and sold it for around £2.50 per pattern....I would need to sell about 20 patterns to get that. But, I have sold more than that of some other simple hat patterns so it could pay off.

So....have decided, never mind here is the finished hat with pattern coming as soon as testing and tech editing are finished. There is a chance to test knit this hat for a fee of $10 payable to one of 5 testers booked. Each tester will get entry into a competition to get enough yarn for one of these hats in addition to their $10 fee. Oh yes, we're currently having IT problems with a slow connection. Cannot wait until Sat when we get the new broadband. This is so slow, I can't even upload pics to Flickr and had to write this post offline, where because of the formatting it won't get properly accepted by Blogger....so apologies for any strange formatting in this post.

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