Okay, let's pretend that two weeks or so have passed since my last post. After a couple of weeks of non-frenzied knitting, the lower portion of my Dayflower Lace top has been completed, and I can't put off deciding how to decrease any longer. Typesetter and I had the same thought, namely that decreasing all at once would create a gathered look, which would have the effect of bunching up the lace, so instead I swatched a single lace repeat and tried various ways of decreasing each repeat from 17 to 11 stitches. (After completing a stockinette swatch to get gauge for the underbust band, I had decided that this would be how much I had to decrease to get the proper underbust circumference.) Pictured at top is just one of the rejects; at the top left of the lace section, the pattern does not maintain the clear faggoting outlines, which I realized were dominant features of the lace.
I swatched a decrease I thought would work, but after working a few rounds, I realized that the "flower" in the center had become boxy and vertical, rather than curving (second photo).
Eventually I decided that the best looking solution was to end the lace pattern on a row near the very top of one of the two "flowers," or on Row 6 or 14 of the lace pattern. On the last photo, I've drawn a line across the lace to show approximately where these pattern rows fall. More photos of the final version of the lace decrease in my next post!
now, a couple of other matters. First of all, I wanted to thank
everyone for their suggestions and encouraging comments. I noticed
several comments along the vein of "...all of us who have designed have
been rejected " (Marnie), "keep working on those designs" (Emily) and
"Never give up!" (Edna). It's worth stating that persistence and a high
tolerance for rejection are very valuable qualities for a
telemarketer...I mean for a knitwear pattern designer! I myself
cultivated those traits during a year or two spent writing mediocre
short stories and trying (unsuccessfully) to get them published; I've
had much better success with knitwear patterns. Still, there can be a
sense that you are only as good as your last acceptance, so here are a
few helpful things to keep in mind when facing rejection on a regular
1) Even if your design is good and your pattern well written, the magazine (or book or yarn company) may already have three hats (or two top-down raglan pullovers, or six pairs of lace socks) in the running.
2) Your design may be original and beautiful, but may just not fit with the general aesthetic of that particular magazine, etc. etc.
3) If one entity rejects a design you can always submit it elsewhere, or self-publish it on your blog or website.
On the subject of sketches for submissions, Monica asked in an email, "Did you take a sketch or illustration class? Is there a source for fashion illustration templates?" I did take figure drawing--in high school. And as for templates, I've actually flipped through catalogs or magazines until I found a model dressed in something skimpy or form-fitting (Victoria's Secret works!) so I could see the outlines of the body, then traced it, to get a natural-looking pose for a sketch. If you don't feel your sketches are very good, it's better to keep them minimalistic--faces and hairstyles and hands are usually not required! Clean, simple lines can then be a design style, not a lack of drawing ability.
(Cross posted from Create Along.)