(Featured Article) “Taking the Leap: A Designer’s Journey”

(Featured Article) “Taking the Leap: A Designer’s Journey”

How did I move from thinking about designing crochet to actually doing it?

Crafter and writer, L’Tanya Durante interviewed me for her blog, Craftnicity. She asked me, “How did you finally shift from being an information gatherer to submitting a design?”

Want to know what I said? Well you can read the article here.


Crochet Submissions: Tips from a Professional Designer

Lisa Naskrent of Crochet Garden has written a step-by-step article about how she does a submission that includes an evaluation of an actual submission she has done.

Lisa takes it from the beginning to final product.  We are privileged to actually see her critique her own work product, and she includes photos of her actual submission.

This is invaluable information.

8 Ways to Create an Attractive Crochet Submission Package – Part 2

Tips from a New Designer


This is Part II of yesterday’s post.


5.         Photographs

If you already have a completed version of the design you are submitting, you may choose to include photos in addition to your swatch and/or drawings.  Be sure they are clear and show your design at its best.  Try photographing your design in natural light for the best pictures.  There are some great tips here if you need help with your photos.


6.         Contact Info

Include a separate card with your name, project name, the submission request for which it is submitted, all your contact information including email, website and telephone number.  This allows the editor to have access to all your information without having to carry around your entire project.  It also gives the editor a place to quickly jot notes on the back when reviewing your design.  Be sure that your name and contact info (at least email and telephone number) are on EVERYTHING, including your swatches.  My biggest fear is always that my swatch would become separated from the rest of my submission package, and there would be no way to determine where it went so I always make sure my information is firmly attached to my swatches.


7.         Packaging

Think carefully about how you can make your package concise and compact.  Make sure you package everything in a way that will allow it all to remain together.  Also think about what might happen if your submission gets dropped or tossed onto a desk with a bunch of others.  You want to be sure your items don’t easy fall out of your packaging.  I’ve submitted projects that were inserted into plastic sleeves that were put into a binder.  If you choose to do this, be sure to include a cover sheet for your binder, and don’t forget to label the spine too.


Even if you are submitting online, don’t skimp on your “packaging.”  Some designers are fortunate enough to have developed relationships with editors/yarn companies so they only have to submit a photo/sketch and say here’s my submission for XYZ.  If you are starting out, you need to put more into your submission.  Like I mentioned above, be sure to include well-done photos of your swatches, your sketches and an adequate description, but also if this is someone you’ve never worked with, include a brief intro about yourself.  Include your contact info in your email signature, and don’t forget to add a link to your blog or website.  Invite them to “check you out.”


8.         Be Unique

Finally, think about ways to make your submission packaging unique without being outrageous or obnoxious.  Think about yourself as a brand and try to come up with a signature concept that would be a representation of you.  That way whenever your package arrives, they will know it is yours.


I hope my sharing this has answered some of the questions I’ve been asked.  If you have submission tips you’d like to share, comments, opposing thoughts or other observations, your comments are welcome.

8 Ways to Create an Attractive Crochet Submission Package – Pt 1

Tips from a New Designer


I am a “new” crochet designer.  I am new because I just started submitting designs to publications in 2008.  I have been having some success with it, too.  I was blessed to have my very first submission accepted.  That turned out to be my Mulled Spices Afghan, which is in the Winter 2008 issue of Interweave Crochet.  Since that first submission, I have had several designs accepted for publication.  I’ve also received positive feedback about my submissions.


Lately, I’ve been getting questions about how to submit a design to be published so I wanted to write this list of tips to share what I have been doing as a brand new crochet designer.  I truly encourage anyone who wants to do a submission to please give it a try.  The more of us that submit the better.  The greater the chances are that we will see more crochet patterns that are innovative, fresh and exciting.


In the past, I’ve been a victim of “analysis paralysis,” and I spent time researching and contemplating how to submit for years without having the courage to take the leap.  I asked lots of questions and also read a lot about “how do I prepare a submission to XYZ Magazine.”  I studied how artists, authors, writers and other non-crochet creative people prepare their submissions.  I’ve also looked at submissions that some bloggers have shared that included pictures of their drawings and/or submission packages.  Did all that help?  I don’t know, but I suggest you not do like I did.  It’s better to get started and learn as you go along.


I’ve also had some rejections of my own, and while acknowledging that my designs just might not have been what was wanted, I also reevaluated my submissions and compared them against the ones I’ve had accepted to see what made some winners and others not.


I sent my first submission on my own without having anyone to consult.  I just tried to make sure I followed the guidelines to the “T.”  Since that time, I’ve gotten a mentor(s) through the CGOA mentor program, and I now have their expert advice to tap.  I want to share my observations and information that I’ve collected on creating a crochet submission package for publication.  I know there are many who have been doing submissions for years, and I’m sure they may do things differently than I do and know way more about this, but I hope this is helpful to at least one crocheter.


Without revealing exactly what I do because I think we should all be unique and also because I don’t want to be copied (ha!), below I’ve listed the steps I take to prepare my submissions.


Before you begin to compose your submission package, be sure to read over the editorial calendar, submission guidelines and application form several times.  Make sure you understand every component that you are asked to include.  After you’ve digested the guidelines, you are ready to begin to put your package together.  These are the components of my submission packages.


1.         Cover Letter

Start with a brief note or cover letter introducing yourself, indicating for which publication you are submitting, and a detailed description of what you are enclosing.


2.         Describe Your Design

Descriptions of your design concept are probably the most important part of your submission.  Remember you are selling the idea of your design because they won’t be able to look at a complete physical representation of your creation.  Your description of your design must include what it is, what is your design’s purpose, are there any alternative uses, who would use your design and why, how is it made (what stitches, what techniques, what hook, what yarn, what additional materials are used), and what degree of difficulty.  Be very descriptive.  For example, when I submitted my proposal for the Mulled Spices Afghan, I described how the afghan was lightweight and perfect for curling up in front of a fire while sipping hot cider.  Try to create a visual image.


3.         Swatch

It is better to send a larger sized swatch.  Don’t only send a 4×4 square that shows the main stitch pattern used for the body of the garment, unless a 4×4 square is what is requested.  What about the hem, the waistband, the neckline, the button closure, or a special flower?  Be sure to show how you plan to finish your design also.  If you have more than one stitch pattern being used in your design, swatch for all of them.  You can make one large swatch that includes your different stitch patterns and any edge treatments or you can make separate swatches.  Don’t forget to weave in your loose ends.  You want your swatch to be a miniature, finished representation of your design.


4.         Drawing

Sketches are important.  Even if you cannot draw, attempt to approximate what you are proposing.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  Croquis are quick line drawings of figures that can be used for fashion drawings.  If you cannot create your own, you can trace the outline of a figure, draw on it and color in the design.  There are many places to find croquis online.  Just enter a search for “fashion croquis,” and you will see websites dedicated to creating croquis, both for free and for sale.  Taunton Press’ Threads Magazine has an entire set called the “Croquis Family” that is available as a free download.  The set includes croquis for an average woman, a petite woman, a plus sized woman, a man, a child and a toddler.  If you are doing a geometric-type design such as an afghan, graph paper or an Excel spreadsheet are good ways to sketch out your design.


I will continue Part II tomorrow.