Well, I've gone and done it this time.
There really isn't a reason for me to buy more as long as I have this sitting around. Plus, one of the rules is that you can be given sock yarn, so any designing that I do will have to involve me getting yarn supplied or using stash. I can live with that!
Next, I finally realized that I don't have to actually READ books in order to join Knit The Classics. I can listen to books on CD! So I've finally gotten on board over there. For those of you who don't already know, the literary gene is sort of in my family - as in, I'm the daughter of a librarian and two voracious readers. It kills me that I'm not able to knit and read at the same time, so books on CD are going to be my savior. They're reading Life of Pi right now, which I tried to read awhile ago with no success but I'm hoping it will go better listening than it did reading.
Finally, I discovered that Jennifer is doing the coolest little vacation swap and I had to join up. It's such a neat idea, how could I resist? I'll admit it - I'm a knit-along ho.
I made it until 8 pm last night without knitting. It was tough, but I did it, and my wrist is thanking me. I spent the day putting together sketches and proposal letters for the Knitter's Fall '06 issue and for Blue Moon Fiber Arts. For Blue Moon, I ended up including eight different designs, including two socks, a sweater, a tank top, a jacket, a shrug and two felted bags. Whew! I sent it in along with a sweater and sock pattern that are already written (for other pubs, but I sent them as examples of my finished work) and my knit resume, and about two hours later got a response thanking me for my great proposal! No acceptances or anything yet, but she said that the big cheese (Tina Newton) would be taking a look at it and getting back to me next week sometime.
It's pretty interesting, because when I talked to her on the phone, she wasn't all that encouraging. She was nice enough, but she was a little bit distant. After she saw my proposal, her tone completely changed (at least in my mind). The same thing happened with Jill at Y2Knit, and it made me realize how important it is to be extremely professional in my dealings with people to whom I'm trying to sell my designs. That this is a business, but there are many people out there who treat it as a hobby and of those, there are some (not all, but definitely some) who are not reliable. It kind of struck me when I was doing the design for Knitter's. Yeah, I send in a sketch and a swatch. But at that time I didn't really have anything published. I don't think Ziggy was out on Mag Knits yet. But Rick, the editor, accepted the design, sent the yarn to me, saved me space in the magazine, and waited for that sample to come back. It could've been horrible! He had to have more than a little blind faith that I could actually design something that looked anything like my sketch. It will be interesting to see if it's a lot easier to get designs into magazines once they've worked with you and know that you can actually deliver. So my advice to you, fledgling designers, is to present yourself as professionally as possible.
I just recalculated my acceptance:rejection ratio. Out of 42 total designs that I've submitted since I started designing last July, I've had 14 accepted and 16 rejected. That's a 47% acceptance rate (14 out of a total of 30 designs I've heard back on), which is incredible (I was told to expect 10%)! If I want to be really optimistic and take the designs that were rejected but subsequently accepted someplace else, I've had only 10 designs rejected which ups my acceptance rate to a whopping 58%. Of course, I don't have high hopes for the ten designs I submitted to Interweave Knits in December since I haven't heard back yet, but if they all get the boot, that still leaves me with a 35% acceptance rating, and that ain't bad. (Bill, please correct my math if I'm way off - a math whiz I'm not...)
I'm right on the verge of being comfortable telling people I'm a knit designer when they ask me what I do. Once Cast On and Knitter's come out, I'll really feel legit. Thanks to all of you who are my support network and cheerleaders out there in blogland. I love all y'all (is it totally obnoxious for a native Midwesterner to affect a Southern colloquialism after only living in the south for a year?).
Bill decided to shave his beard into a goatee last night:
I was not impressed. I think he looks like either a bartender, or a professional wrestler. Then, just to mess with me, he shaved the mustache part off and just left the chin hair. Finally, he shaved it all because I wouldn't let him leave the house looking like that. What is it with men and facial hair, anyway?
And on that note, I'm off to watch Dragon Tales with Sydney. Thank god for knitting, or I'd have to scratch my own eyes out after an entire afternoon of PBS Kids... Sock updates will be in my next post.