Friday, March 12, 2010

Garter Stitch Love

I've been working on a couple of special garter stitch items lately that have really been a challenge to keep entirely seamless and properly proportioned using percentages and key number measurements. I wonder if I am unusual in my obsession with seamlessness and elegant shaping? It seems like a logical necessity to me, but clearly patterns have long been written in pieces to be sewn together later. Knitting in that manner (piecing together) certainly isn't easier on the knitter. Does it give a more desirable outcome in certain cases? (Seams lending structural integrity, etc? I often add phony seams where they seem to be helpful...) I recall a couple of knitting misadventures when I was a beginner that must have turned me off the idea of separate sleeves and fronts and backs (etc) more than most.

In any case, I have been on a mission to figure out the most efficient/"proper" way to write these designs out and cover the majority of probable sizes, etc. I think they might even be finished before the baby arrives (imminent hopefully!) but I am having trouble deciding how to publish. I feel like this type of shaped garter stitch knitting is "important" to have available, probably to just a few strange people like myself. When I discovered ribwarmers, and Sidna Farley's peaked baby cap, they were revelations to me. The mobius concept, or Zimmermann dickeys, etc, etc, inspire me with thoughts of origami and continuous unfettered knitting along until I hold in my hands a magically shaped finished garment. Puzzles!

Of course my 2 latest creations are not going to approach the puzzle garments of Zimmermann, etc, but I still feel that the concepts of shaping within a certain structure, maintaining symmetric stitches, seamless garter stitch in all it's glory, will be appealing (and I hope instructive) to a specific demographic, but how to reach them? Is it through submitting to a large magazine (Interweave or Vogue?), something widespread and free like Knitty (to "give back" as it were, but woe to you who long for economic validation...), self publish on Ravelry, try KnitPicks and hope things don't get lost in the deluge of newly available indy designs? I've submitted a couple of ideas to Twist collective,  I think they would be my preferred venue for certain designs and of course, to be accepted would be quite an ego boost, but a bit unlikely in view of their popularity as well.

I like the quick (relative!) turn around and communication promised by online publishing, certainly preferable to submitting to a print publication and hoping and waiting for months, only then to (possibly) be accepted and wait another several months to a year for actual publication. Sigh. Then there is always the idea of actual printing on paper (I know! Revolutionary!) through a POD publisher, or magazine style place to either market on Amazon, wholesale to LYS, etc, etc. How does one decide which designs will do best in which venue? I'd guess a series along a certain them/style would be good for a book, (I have some ideas...) but what about a specific 1 or 2 "special" themed items?

Another consideration is the fact that most publishers will not accept something that has been previously published, no matter on how small a scale, which make me hesitant to self publish in hopes of someday getting accepted by a major magazine, etc. I guess you just have to suck it up and submit to somewhere and hope, without too much stress or breath holding? Theoretically the design will be just as good and marketable whenever you eventually get word back or rights revert, or whatever is going to happen happens.

So that is what I have been pondering as I knit and knit and knit along. I hope to come to some sort of decision (and hear back one way or the other from certain publications) soon so I can get on with working out the actual pattern writing and post about everything!

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