question answered by Ellen Gormley

I asked a question of crochet designer Ellen Gormley on her on blog She was kind enough to answer me. Here is my question and her response:

April writes:Hi Ellen, this is not really about your post, but I have a question for you. How much figuring out do you do for a design before it is accepted for publishing? Do you complete a finished item first? Just a swatch? Schematics and/or charts? Just a sketch? Thanks in advance!Hi April, I know many people are interested in this topic, so I’ll attempt to answer it.The short answer is that I do as much figuring out as it takes to make sure I can deliver on what I promise. That includes swatching, sketching, maybe a second swatch to make sure I understand the increasing and decreasing for the stitch. Extensive note taking on exactly how I accomplished the swatch. It likely includes a schematic for a garment. If it is a small item like a purse, hat or scarf… likely I make the entire project while I’m designing. It’s even better if I make it twice, that way, when I send in the hat for example, I have another one here at home to look at when I re-stitch in the editors preferred yarn and I have one to refer to when writing the pattern. I do try to write as much of the pattern ahead of time as I can. It’s just such a wonderful feeling when I’m on a deadline and I go to write the pattern and I see some of the work is already done! I do NOT write out the pattern for garments though, because if the editor chooses a different yarn, the gauge will be different, then the pattern is different…When I make a submission, I start a project folder at home. I make sure that I note all the yarns I used and hooks, the color names and numbers. I try to keep a photo of the item or a scrap of yarn and the swatches. Unfortunately, sometimes I need these things to jog my memory on exactly what I submitted (and where). I have many ideas floating around out there and I want to be able to remember what I did. Above is one of my early sketches for the Larkspur Wrap Sweater that was in Interweave Crochet, Fall 2009.
Posted by Ellen Gormley at 6:02 AM 2 comments
Labels: Become a Designer
Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I found this to be helpful. As a very inexperienced designer I sometimes wonder if I am doing things in the best possible way. I had concluded that it wouldn’t make sense to actually make the garment I had submitted a proposal for because the yarn would likely be completely different once the design was accepted for publishing. Nice to see how an experienced designer does it. Thanks Ellen!

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