Friday, June 02, 2006

Knitting designs that "go away"

I've had many designs featured in the many knitting magazines, pattern leaflets and compendium books over the years. For me, it's still thrilling to see a project I designed photographed on a lovely looking model. As a project leaves the studio, I cross my fingers that the knitted item looks good in the photo. I know the editors and photographers work impossibly hard to create an appealing photo that will make the knitter want to make the project.

A few months later, the magazine arrives and the project is either a hit or a miss with the knitting public. I've had both, I'll admit. After the magazine's shelf life is over, the project just disappears into the knitting beyond - wherever that may be. If I'm organized AND not too busy OR under a crazy deadline, I'll rip out the picture and pattern and stick it into "my portfolio" of knitting designs. But I'll admit, most of my designs are just stacked up in magazines in piles around my studio. I can't remember which design was in which magazine - they all become a blurrrrrrr.

And then I'll get an e-mail from a consumer and my memory will be refreshed. The knitter asks "Could you please send me the pattern for that beautiful cardigan published in Vogue Knitting's 1992 Winter issue? I can no longer find my copy of the magazine and I am dying to knit that beautiful sweater!" I love these e-mails - it means people still remember who I am and better yet, they remember the garment I designed. But guess what? I no longer own the pattern - it becomes the publishing company's property. And so, I have to regretfully reply, "No, sorry, I can't send you that pattern. It's against copyright laws."

It's frustrating, this not being to fulfill an enthusiastic knitter's wishes. But the folks at Interweave do make some popular designs from out of print magazines available on their website. Then knitters are happy and I'm happy. Check out their all-time favorite old patterns here. You'll find this fun carry-all made of Montera on that page.

What do you do to organize your "to knit" pile? Maybe you have some good ideas for saving those patterns you'd like to share here.


Liz said...

Thank you so much for posting this about your old patterns, I wrote to you a few weeks ago, asking about just the bag that you shoed the picture of, and another sweater as well. I have always loved your designs, and have many a pattern that you did for Classic Elite, and have made most of them.

Am off to see what Interweave has in their old faves list.

Thanks again!


Cher said...

I stink at this organizing, because my eyes are really bigger than my stomach when it comes to knitting!
For those long-term "I want to knit this but it isn't the right season/I haven't found the right yarn/don't have that kind of time at this particular moment" projects, I've started a spreadsheet in Excel. I write down a description of the project, the yarn weight and requirements, and the isse & page number. That's usually enough for me to recall the details so that when I do find the appropriate season/yarn/time, I can get going quickly.

HVM said...

I always just cut the page of the photo and pattern out of the magazine and file it inside a page protector in a binder. I use dividers to distinguish the type of pattern- baby gifts, toys, sweaters, etc. Then, if I get too many patterns in one section, I'll just subdivide. I usually only find one or two patterns I like AND feel I have the skill to make, so this method doesn't take too much time.

Georgia said...

Saw an image, but no pattern of this lovely bag in an Interweave magazine a little while ago. Interweave is difficult to get hold of in Sydney and I thought I'd never get a chance to make it. Thanks.
PS I do enjoy your blog.

Anonymous said...

Organize? Am I supposed to do THAT, too? Isn't it enough that I organize all of my favorite blogsites and podcasts into 2, yes count them 2, folders on my computer? Organize patterns in magazines? I just save them all and hope to God that the floor in the woolroom doesn't give in under all of the weight!
Sara in WI

bernie said...

I do like HVM above and use page protectors. I print all the online stuff using a good quality color ink, place each pattern in a page protector and put in binders corresponding to design type (ie. sleeveless sweater, long-sleeve, caps/hats/bags, kids, etc) Then, looking for a particular pattern is stress-free when I want to make something. Also, the magazines never get cut up, but get their own areas of the bookshelf next to the knitting books and binders.


Alicia P. said...

Er. . . . Put them all in big stacks in the guest room, and then forget. I don't recommend this method.