Dyeing to Design

posted in: Design, Dyeing | 12

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” –Abraham Lincoln

And that’s all I have to say about last night’s “Great Debacle bate”…most of which I refused to watch.

So, Knitscene put out a call for pattern submissions for their Fall 2009 issue and I thought:  Cool!  I’ve got several knocking around in the old brain pan, I’m sure one of them would work  I think I’ll answer that call! And then I got the submission guidelines:

We’re looking for imaginative patterns for garments, accessories, small gifts, and fast-knitting items for the home. Simplicity is key—the Knitscene reader is looking for easy patterns that result in fabulous knits. Our focus is on stylish silhouettes, intriguing shapes and textures, and simple instructions that are fast and fun to follow.



  • flat pieces with easy seaming
  • simple stitch patterns: patterns with short repeats
  • bigger gauges
  • avoid advanced implementations of cables, lace, colorwork, short-rows…


So basically they want dumbed-down patterns? What’s up with that? Most of the knitters I know like knit patterns that are interesting and challenging, and only occasionally go for the simple, quick knits. And even fewer still knit in bigger gauges. Personally, I like knitting magazines that contain patterns in a variety of skill levels, techniques, yarns used and color combinations. I enjoy having some designs that feature new (to me) techniques that would both appeal and challenge the knitting adventurer in me. While other designs are simple, yet elegant or fun. This simple, easy, chunky, fast knitting will only appeal to a small demographic of knitters, and then only for so long, but I guess long enough, because it’s been in publication for a while now.

So, yeah.  None of my current design ideas fit into the format of KnitScene. So, I’ll have to completely rethink my approach to design if I’m going to submit one to the magazine. Which, in all honesty, isn’t a bad thing. I think it’s good to take a step out of your comfort zone once in a while. I’m just a little torqued that the publishers think that beginning knitting means dumb, boring knitting.

Now that I’m done ranting, wanna see what I’ve been up to?


That’s my sweatshop, and ducking out from behind the mega-swift is my long-suffering over-worked, underpaid assistant/close friend, Michelle, aka FickleKnitter, who’s turned out to be a rather clever and ingenious knit designer. Check her out! Rav it.

You see all that golden yarn there on the table? That’s 2 of these…

…divided aesthetized, and awaiting overdyeing to become “Goldie.”

If all goes according to plan, I’ll be updating my etsy store either Wednesday or Thursday of next week. In addition to the debut colorways, some of which will be going away after this update, I’ll be introducing new colorways: the signature colorway I introduced last week, plus…

Farrah-persp Charlise-persp
Farrah & Charlise

So, stay tuned, and if you haven’t already signed up for my mailing list, leave your request in the comments section and I’ll be more than happy to do so!

Today’s post was brought to you by the number 2 and the colors yellow and brown.

12 Responses

  1. I love fondling other people’s yarn before it makes its way to their stashes. What?

  2. LOL. Maybe Knitscene is doing a pre-holiday “we want easy quick last-minute patterns for gifts” theme?
    Okay, I HATE yellow and I COVET Goldie. What is that about? And I thought it was Charlize…

  3. I thinkg htat the magazines forget that no teveryon eis a beginner. AND beginners learn after a while and are no longer beginners….

  4. WTF is wrong with those people at Knitscene? Is their target reader someone who is not bright enough to move beyond garter stitch fun fur scarves? o.0

    Are you sure it’s a sweatshop, OmaLa? I don’t see any sweating.

  5. On the one hand, reading what Knitscene wants frustrates me. I would love to see more opportunities for challenges and growth. However, before I become too upset, I find solace in the long list of the wonderful things I want to knit or might design on my own. It means I will not have to depend on them for my knitting future. I do not like the feel for their future if this is their direction.

  6. That’s been my frustration with Knitscene for the past year or so. They don’t put out anything that a knitter beyond the basics would find a challenge and then light the FO in such poor light that if you think it looks nice on the model, you must be on crack or drunk or both. But if you dare post anything negative about it on Ravelry, people jump all over you since your not “loving” everything that knitting has to offer. Knitscene used to be the home of the innovative (Central Park Hoodie, Road to Golden, the Stag Bag) but it’s turned into the “Seaming is Hard” mag. Sorry to rant in your comments.

    Love that Farrah . . . but then again, I am a child of the ’70s.

  7. Goldie is purty. But then so is Charlize and Farrah. I hope you’re paying your staff health benefits and retirement funding. Also union dues. 😉

    That depresses me about Knitscene but that could also be the reason why the only magazine I now buy is Vogue Knitting.

  8. Sunnyknitter

    I’ve been feeling the yellow, sunshiny pull for a while and now you’re tormenting me with two! I envy Michelle getting to fondle…

  9. […] too advanced, difficult, challenging, whatever…(insert eye roll here, and check out this post for further opinion) for the magazine. The deadline on that is November 15, so that one I should […]

  10. Hi, please add me to your mailing list. The yarn colorways are gorgeous!

  11. Umm. And yet KnitScene has recently had patterns for a Fair Isle tubetop/vest, an intarsia ON BOTH THE FRONT AND THE BACK pullover, a strawberry tea cozy….I wouldn’t fret/dumb it down too much. And some of those were in fingering/DK weights. They probably wrote it like that to scare away, you know, Staremore-esque cable sweaters or Fair Isle sweaters requiring steeking. So if your designs were those…yeah, knitscene not so much for you.

  12. Oh yeah, let us not forget:

    Norah Gaughn’s Intricate Stag Bag


    Because that’s sure a piece o’ cake pattern.

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