Friday, July 13, 2012


In my last post, I talked about coming up with ideas, and then putting those ideas into a format that can be a tool for selling the designs. Now I'm going to expand on those ideas.

This week, I've been working on some ideas for a yarn company. The owners were looking for small projects -- items that could be made somewhat quickly and with 1 to 2 skeins of their yarn.  With that information bubbling in my head, I thought of 2 items that would work well with those parameters.  I got out my sketch pad, and made a few sketches, then set to work with hook and yarn.

For these projects, I stitched the entire piece -- they were small, and a shape I was having fun with, and I wanted to work out any bugs in the ideas before I started working with the yarn the owners had given me.

I don't always stitch the entire project first. I usually play around with a stitch pattern, and/or color work and when I feel comfortable with the results, I go on to the next step, which is to turn these two pieces into something that can be put into a proposal. And that can be challenging.

The swatch needs to encompass all of the important details--shaping, color changes, edging, stitch patterns--AND be small enough to fit into a file folder.  Here is a picture of the swatch included in my proposal for the Sand, Sea and Sky Table Runner that was published in the June 2011 issue of Crochet World.

This one wasn't too difficult, but the pieces that I'm working on now are worked in the round. I'm going to submit this proposal electronically, which means that I'll scan or take a picture of the item/swatch.

In addition to the swatch, I always include a paragraph that gives details about the construction, the yarn, and anything special that relates to the piece. This is my chance to tell the buyer what makes my design worth their attention AND why their readers or customers will find this design appealing. Maybe it's a 1-skein project, maybe it's a great texture or interesting colors, or maybe it's an unusual construction (the Red Twig Knee Socks in the Winter 2011 issue of Interweave Crochet). But this is my opportunity and I don't want to squander it.

Here is the proposal for the Broomstick Lace Cardigan that was published in the March 2011 issue of Crochet! magazine.

Putting together the proposal requires a different kind of creativity.  And, I admit, I agonize over this process.  Maybe I take it too seriously. But, I'm not just trying to sell the design, I'm selling myself as well.  With each proposal, I want to say "I can do a jam up good job for you. Please hire ME" and that means that my proposal needs to be as good as my finished project.

So . . . that's what I'm doing this weekend. How about you?

Stitching' I hope.

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