Start to finish: Straight Maze hat

As I blogged last week, I’ve just had another pattern published, Straight Maze. You can find it in the Winter 2012 issue of Interweave knits. People often ask me “how do you go about getting a pattern published?”, and I thought this little piece would be a great way to illustrate the process. Here’s what I do:

1) I get an idea. I may doodle around for a while–this part is rarely preserved as it often happens in notebook margins or on the back of receipts. Sorry! Initially, the idea for this hat was borne out of some abortive attempts to design a cable motif for the back of a cardigan (that project is currently semi-permanently on the back burner). The cardigan idea wasn’t working out so well, but when I saw a call for aran-inspired accessories, I had a brainwave.

2) I sit down and start crunching numbers or making charts in Excel. For me, this is the part where I really figure out what is going on with the design. I know some people can get a lot done in the initial sketch stage, but I am just much more comfortable with a keyboard, mouse, and screen. Perhaps a sign of my age.

3) Time to swatch! For this piece, my swatch was essentially 1/4 of a hat:
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4) If I’m aiming to get into a book or magazine, I work on some more detailed sketches:
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5) I then typed up a description, put the whole thing in the mail and wait.

If the pattern proposal is accepted, I’ll typically get a nice email a couple of months later with proposed deadlines, compensation, and the proposed yarn for the sample piece. In this instance, Eunny suggested Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock:
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I’ve used this yarn for socks in the past and been very happy with the results, so I was very much on board. Lorna’s Laces sent me the yarn, and I got to work:
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Once the sample was finished, I blocked it, took a few photos:
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And packaged it up to send to Colorado. I also email the finished draft of the pattern at this point. And then I get to wait again, until the preview goes live.

And I can write blog posts like this one! I hope you enjoy the pattern, and this peek behind the scenes.

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