Recently, I applied to an independent knitwear designer open call for a fiber company. I was politely rejected and told my application had not been successful at this time after reading my blog post on Rip out and Restart. I follow Tony Robbins and he said Success Leaves Clues and before I start most new venture. I do my homework to see how other’s have done it and made it work. Before the days of the Internet, I spent hours in the library looking at career guides. I was selecting my top career interests and what salary was the highest.
Knitwear design did not follow the same path as my normal ventures because it was a hobby. I had not even fully mastered knitting before I was designing. It’s like every cook thinks they can be a chef, I thought I could be a knitwear designer. In high school I designed and knitted an oversized off the shoulder Flashdance sweater. I knew nothing about gauge or how to pick yarn for a project. I was left with a sweater that had two mismatched arms and the yokes too loose. It was a mess and I stopped knitting for many years.
Once I started knitting again. I still had issues following a pattern. I was always ad-libbing and creating my own patterns with no way of recreating a design. Several years ago I started to really work on my ability to follow a pattern. I spent two years knitting from patterns only. Being honest, following a chart is still a bit dicey. Up until this point only shawls have held my attention. I keep waiting for boredom to strike and I get serious about hats, sweaters and socks. But nothing has captured my attention and boredom has not come.
So I’m designing at my maturity level with shawls. Once I was serious about designing. I studied designers with success. I start to take a few classes and buy all the books I could get my hands on. I was looking for those success clues. However, the reality was I was less than part-time as a knitter and even less than part-time as a designer. So I started to redefine my success factors as follows:
- Take quality photos of my own projects so that meant taking a class.
- Learn how to dissect a written pattern. Then learn how to write and edit my own patterns.
- Get a logo, name and domain.
- Do page layout for my patterns designs because at less than part-time I can’t be paying folks to do work.
- Be responsive to knitters asking questions about my work. Fans will push you. I had a fan ask for this blog and a Ravelry group for knit-a-longs.
- Establish myself on social media with regular updates and interact with other knitter, designers, and re-sellers on social media.
- Keep improving on the above.
- Be consistent with quality no matter time.