Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Well, I've gone and done it this time.

I've joined some more knit-alongs. Remember how I said that I wasn't going to do Abigail's Sock Yarn Addicts' Club? Because I can't stop myself from buying sock yarn? Well, I joined them anyway. I was inspired by the bag of Koigu sitting next to me along with the fact that I have this giant bag full of sock yarn:

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.


Blogger msubulldog said...

As a Southerner, myself, to have a non-Southerner using "y'all" is only obnoxious if:
a) you use it incorrectly
b) you misspell it (unforgivable)
c) you're using it to make fun of us

I think you passed on all counts! *grin*
*Where did you live, btw?

And lastly, take that designer title and own it! ;)

6:25 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

You are so a knitwear designer. I think it's fair to tell people that right now.

I'm a knitalong ho too. It's too addicting. I'm with you about scratching my eyes out with the PBS kids too. There are days I can actually feel my brain melting.

7:01 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

men with facial hair... don't even get me started! DF has this annoying habit of growing out CHOPS to put Elvis to shame. He even had the sideburns growing into his moustache sans chin hair going for a while and I tried my hardest to pretend like I didn't know him...

Sounds like your design career is really turning out well for you. I'm so happy for you... all your hard work is paying off!

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Helene said...

No february socks for me :(
But I did manage to wip up a pair of march socks :)

Pics in my blog.

3:00 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Wow- you sent 10 submissions to IK? I'd be afraid of what would happen if several got accepted for the same issue- such tight turnaround time. I've never sent more than 1-2 at at time, but then again, I work full time on top of it. Good luck! I'm thinking about some stuff to send to Knitter's myself.

3:07 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

I must say, I'm quite glad Pea has never shown the slightest inclination toward growing a mustache or beard. I think I'd really hate it!!! Hurrah for joining KTC . . . I'm trying to read Life of Pi now, but not really getting into it either. I may give up and bring it back to the library. I knew your design business would take off - your acceptance ratio is incredible!!

4:34 AM  
Blogger Sonya said...

Kevin will occassionally grow a goatee or mustache, but then he'll say it's making him claustrophobic and frantically shave it off. I lament my inability to read and knit at the same time too. I like audiobooks, but they're not quite as satisfying. You are definitely a designer. I really like the KnitNet sweater.

6:04 AM  
Blogger Tina in Wonderland said...

I am so happy for you that your design career is really taking off! It must be great to have all that hard work pay off!

I would have like to see a picture of your hubby with the Amish/Abe Lincoln look! That must have looked pretty funny!

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I so get the knitting during PBS Kids... I don't even hear the TV anymore. Ever wonder why my cowboy calls his bottom a "bum bum" Thank you dragontales!

8:56 AM  
Blogger Ragan said...

Yes...about the PBS...the worst one being Boo-bah, which my youngest loves to watch. Thank goodness I can use my knitting to zone out while he watches the show.

9:51 AM  
Blogger candsmom said...

Congratulations to you on your Knit Net sweater!! It's gorgeous- it caught my eye even before I realized it was yours. And what an awesome acceptance rate!! I'm so happy for you. You are definitely a designer! I LOVE books on CD, too! I got the idea from Amylovie's blog and now I'm addicted. We always go to the library anyway, so it's free, too- bonus! I totally hear you on the PBS scratching your eyes out thing. I almost offed myself when I started laughing along with the kids at Teletubbies. Now that's far gone. ;-) Take care, Chrissy! :-)

11:44 AM  
Blogger Zee said...

Hi, KnittinMom! Here via KTC. I'm a new member as well.


7:05 PM  

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