Tag Archives: community

The Indie Design Gift-A-Long 2015 is almost here!!

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It’s that time of year again! The Indie Design Gift-A-Long 2015, known to its friends and participants as GAL2015, starts tonight in the Indie Design Gift-A-Long group on Ravelry! The group is already jumping with participants planning which patterns to buy, what projects to cast on first, which KAL/CALs to join, and which prizes they hope they will win!

I posted a bit about what the GAL is in my last blog post and newsletter, but for those of you who are not familiar with it, it is basically a huge party for 6 weeks, where hundreds of indie designers will be putting over 5000 of their patterns on sale for the first 8 days (Thursday November 19th 2015 at 8:00 pm US-EST through Friday November 27th 2015 at 11:59 pm US-EST), followed by 6 weeks of KAL/CALs in which all patterns designed by all participating designers are eligible and all paid patterns by those designers are eligible to win any of the thousands of prizes. We have lots of games, and lots of community and lots of fun. Basically it is a wonderful 6 week party that ends with a bang with our big New Year’s Eve party!

This is the third year that the GAL has been in existence, and it has gotten bigger and better each year! As of this writing we have over 5700 participants, and in fact have more of everything: 335 participating designers, 2300 electronic pattern prizes, almost 150 physical prizes that range from books to kits to yarn to stitch markers. We have designers from 30 countries, participants from all over the world as well, over 5000 patterns available in the sale, and almost 16,000 patterns (no, that’s not a typo!) that are eligible for the KAL/CALs and prizes!

GALstatsSmallerLook at these wonderful stats put together by the Gift-A-Long stat queen, who is also one of our participating designers, Kimberly Golynskiy. There are a lot more of her wonderful GAL2015 stats to see here at this thread in the GAL group on Ravelry. If you want to see a larger version of these fun stats click here.

So which of my patterns are eligible for GAL2015? All of them are eligible for the KAL/CALs, all the paid (not free) ones are eligible to win prizes, and if you want to know which of them are eligible for the sale you can look at the bundle called Gift-A-Long 2015 on this page or check out this graphic:

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These 20 patterns will be discounted 25% from Thursday November 19th 2015 at 8:00 pm US-EST through Friday November 27th 2015 at 11:59 pm US-EST with the special code available in the GAL group on Ravelry along side almost 5000 other patterns by these fantastic 335 designers.

So grab a few patterns, join a KAL/CAL (or several), stop by the Chat Thread and introduce yourself, and join the party. I promise you won’t regret it – we have an absolute blast prepping for the holidays as only fiber people can!

See you there!

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P.S. Another sneak peek from my upcoming vintage hat collection in this week’s newsletter so if you’re interesting in seeing sneak peeks, special sales, new releases and what I am up to in general sign up here!

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Bits and Pieces…

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Full fledged fall is here in western MA! Woolen accessories have made their appearance, along with duvets and wool blankets on the beds, soup in a pot on the stove, and lots of cups of tea! If you follow me on social media you saw this beautiful photo of a local farm where we went to get our pumpkins, but I love it so much I had to put it here for those of you who hadn’t seen it. It so captures this time of year in the beautiful Pioneer Valley.

At Rhinebeck with good freiends, including my fellow designers Simon Kereit of Owlcat Designs and Jennifer Dassau of Knitting Vortex

At Rhinebeck with good friends, including my fellow designers Simon Kereit of OwlCat Designs and Jennifer Dassau of The Knitting Vortex

Since we last spoke, the once a year fabulousness that is Rhinebeck (aka The NY State Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck NY) has happened, and as always a grand time was had by all! I saw good friends, and squeezed an amazing amount of gorgeous yarn, the most swoon-worthy of which jumped into my shopping bags and came home with me – Neighborhood Fiber Co., Tess Designer Yarns, Miss Babs, and Dragonfly Fibers:

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My mind is so filled with new ideas for designs inspired by the new beauties in the studio that I can hardly stand doing anything other than knit and write up new patterns, but there is much to do before I can do that, including finishing those pesky patterns already in the works. Luckily some of this new yarn is for samples of designs almost finished (hence the fact that 2 skeins are already rolled in balls ready to go) so I am in a state of yarny bliss at the moment.

But there is a lot going on these days that is keeping me busy – the most exciting thing being that the 3rd annual Indie Design Gift-A-Long 2015 (aka GAL2015) is coming!!

GAL 728x90_JoinusWhat is the Gift-A-Long? It’s a multi-designer event to help you kick your holiday gift-making into high gear! The Indie Design Gift-A-Long is a 6 week long KAL/CAL of holiday gifts made from patterns designed by a rather extensive list of independent knit and crochet designers. From Thursday, November 19th at 8:00 pm US EST – Friday, November 27, 2015 at 11:59 pm US EST tons of indie designers (last year we had 300 participating designers) will be discounting between 5 – 20 of their patterns 25% for this event. Once you’ve got your Gift-A-Long patterns, we encourage you to join one of the KAL/CALs which run from Thursday, November 19th at 8pm (US-EST) through our New Years Eve party, Thursday, December 31 at midnight (US-EST). All designs by participating designers are eligible for the KAL/CALs  (last year that was over 11,000 patterns). We have games, tons of prizes (literally thousands if you count electronic pattern prizes as well as physical prizes of yarn, kits, project bags, stitch markers, books, and so much more amazing stuff!!!), great conversation, and a LOT of fun. So pull up a chair and come join us in the Indie Design Gift-A-Long group on Ravelry!

So why does this make me busy? I am, along with my fellow designers Lindsay Lewchuck and Simone Kereit, one of the Admins who, along with the best team of mods in the world, put this event together.  So if you are looking to get some holiday knitting or crocheting done in an atmosphere of great fun and camaraderie, along with winning a few prizes come hang out with us!

Lastly, before I go, I wanted to talk a little bit about a new collection of patterns by a friend of mine that I am very excited about! It is the LINEAR Collection by the always brilliant Ruth Garcia-Alcantud, done in collaboration with Malabrigo Yarn (one of my personal favorite yarn companies to work with) as part of their Malabrigo Freelance Pattern Project.

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What a gorgeous collection Ruth has put together! The 3 garments and 2 accessories included in the collection are “based on mathematical concepts and spatial geometric ideas” which as a math nerd I love. But even if you are not a fan of math these designs are absolutely beautiful, interesting to knit, and very, very wearable.

My absolute favorite is Parallel Planes, a beautiful worsted weight swing jacket, loaded with texture and style, that would work well with so much in my wardrobe that I want it in several different colors …

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I also yearn for Lightning Ray, a lace shawl that looks like my idea of a perfect project – easy enough to knit while socializing or watching a movie, but interesting enough to never be boring.

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21704341469_80a19c3a69_zRuth’s patterns are so well written (no surprise since she is a stellar tech editor) and she has also included a number of photo tutorials and other extras in the eBook version, so it’s well worth picking up the entire collection, although the patterns are all available separately as well.

My To-Do list is crazy long, so I’m out of here until the next time! Until then, keep knitting, join us in the Gift-A-Long group on Ravelry, and most of all enjoy this gorgeous fall weather!

Happy knitting and XOXO,

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P.S. – If you want to see another sneak peek from my upcoming Vintage Hat collection (and get a coupon for 25% off one of my patterns) subscribe to my newsletter by clicking here!

 

Competition vs Community plus a great giveaway!

I do a lot of teaching and mentoring of newer designers, something I enjoy a lot and get great satisfaction from doing. I really love watching new designers grow and push themselves to be the best that they can be, and I love sharing with them resources and skills that result in creativity, professional quality, and ultimately satisfaction for them as they translate the ideas in their heads to their needles, their patterns, and ultimately to sales.

But as our field gets more and more full, and the choices presented to knitters and crocheters gets greater and greater, I get a lot of questions about competition. “How do I make my patterns stand out?” is relatively easy to answer – make them the best that they can be, with professional looking photographs, clear and accurate instructions, and most of all create beautiful original designs. But sometimes I get questions from designers that want to support their fellow designers, but are afraid that if they support them by talking to their followers about them that they will lose sales that would have come to them had they not pointed their followers to these other designers. These questions always make me sad, as I don’t see my fellow designers as competition, but rather as community which, by my definition, is the antithesis of competition. To me it’s a source for inspiration and support, and there is no better learning tool that knitting (or at least reading) other designer’s patterns. I only compete with myself, continuously pushing myself to be the best I can be, and I celebrate my friends and students successes right along side my own. Just because someone loves and buys a fellow designers patterns doesn’t mean that they also won’t love and purchase my patterns.

This field is full and the choices vast but so are the customers, and just because we design the same things (be it shawls, cowls, hats, sweaters or whatever) doesn’t mean that our customers are choosing one or the other or choosing one designer and rejecting the other. This mind set can lead to unhappiness, and a loss of community which, if you read my blog regularly you know I value highly in the process of creativity. There is room for us all in the marvelous big pie of knit and crochet design, and we can all have a slice even when sharing the other slices with our peers. I find it impossible to not get excited about other designers work, and when I get excited I want to share that excitement!

So in this blog post I am not talking about my designs but about one of my fellow designers work that I am really excited about.

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One of my fellow designers, the wonderful and very talented Ambah O’Brien has recently released the most gorgeous collection of shawls and wraps inspired by the songs that the Aboriginal peoples of Australia used to map their land, called The Songlines Collection. I get so little time to knit from other designers patterns these days, but I will definitely be making a few from this collection and I can’t wait to knit them and to wear them!

This collection is full of interesting construction and shapes, and the patterns are full of my favorite kind of knitting – meditative enough to knit while talking or watching something , but complex enough to hold my interesting from the first stitch to the last.

A few of my favorites are:

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songlines_wrap_lace_7_brighter_medium2Carinya Wrap

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Alinta Wrap

Oh how I love these two – stripes, texture, color –  totally swoonworthy! I want them both so much that I can’t decide which to make first. So many possible color combinations! And a unique and interesting construction that I am really excited to knit.

And Palana Shawl:

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Look at that interesting construction! I am a sucker for stripes, but also for a unique construction. I love finding different ways to put things together, and this pattern just draws me in. I need to make this shawl!

And those are only 3 of the 5 gorgeous patterns in this collection! And here’s the best part: Ambah has generously given me a copy of this eBook to give away to one lucky reader of my blog and/or newsletter! On October 9th I will randomly choose one winner from all the entries to win a copy of The Songlines Collection eBook. Here’s how you can enter to to be that lucky winner:

1 – If you already subscribe to my newsletter you don’t have to do anything – you are already entered! Every current subscriber to my newsletter gets one entry just for being a subscriber!

2 – Not already a subscriber? You can subscribe to my newsletter by going here, and after you confirm your subscription you will be automatically entered to win.

3 – Not interested in my newsletter, but still want a chance to win? Leave a comment on this post below, and be sure to include either your email address or your Ravelry username in your comment, so that I can get in touch with you if you win. If I don’t have a way to get in touch with you I can’t count your comment as an entry, so be sure to include contact info!

Easy peasy! I’ll randomly select the winner on October 9, 2015 so you have 8 days to enter before I choose a winner. If you win, I’ll be in touch; if you don’t win watch my social media on the 9th and 10th, and I’ll let you know where the next stop on the Ambah O’Brien Songlines Collection eBook giveaway blog tour is, so you can try again to win a copy of this beautiful eBook!

Now, I’m off to look at color combos to start knitting my Alinta Wrap. Or maybe the Carinya Wrap….Decisions, decisions, but such yummy ones!

Happy knitting!

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