I’m knitting a combination of the 4th and 5th sizes of the Emerald Top, using some Sirdar DK in Terracotta. The colour is fabulous, a rich Autumnal (Fall) shade which I love.
I’ve added some additional increases to the lower body to get the ease I want at the hips. I’ll also be knitting wider sleeves to fit my upper arms comfortably.
I still need to duplicate stitch the missing garter rows to the left front and the back, oops, my bad! But that’ll be fine. It’ll drive me nuts if I don’t do it, but it’s tempting to keep it as a talking point.
I’m knitting Emerald by Isabell Kraemer. It is such a pretty summery top and I’ve been meaning to knit this one for absolute ages. I chose some Sirdar Cotton DK in Terracotta, a rich, burnt red which suits my Autumn colouring.
Sizing and Fit
I chose the large size, with no ease at the bust, but as the sleeves are knitted top down I made the armhole to the depth I wanted and will knit wider sleeves to cover my meaty upper arms.
The lower part of the body (it’s worked top down) will be in the XL size to allow ease at my hips.
Mistakes and fixing
I made a mistake on the left front (as worn) and the back. Oops, I missed a garter ridge before the pretty pattern on the bodice. I’ll duplicate stitch it later, shouldn’t be too difficult and you’re not going to tell anyone, right?
I haven’t found buttons for the front placket as yet, but if I can’t find one, I may make some dorset buttons to match with the same yarn.
Wheatsheaf Poncho is out now, check out our Test Knitter’s projects
I was late released the Wheatsheaf Poncho Pattern but it was finally released the day before my birthday. I am so grateful, as always, to the amazing Test Knitters who ask questions, knit beautiful items and help to make the pattern the best it can be. It does make a real difference to the end result and I love, love, love to see their photos, close ups of buttons and their yarn choices. Karen used her handspun yarn in a jewel toned heathered pinks. It is stunning and I love the yarn she made just for this pattern. How totally cool is that?
This is the second birthday I’ve spent in full lockdown, which seems a bit weird, but I won’t be the only one. Last year, my son ordered us a pizza each and garlic bread. As we both had Covid at the time, neither of us tasted a thing. I’m happy to say that this year, we had a Chinese meal and it was delicious, no cooking or washing up for me! YAY.
I’m having a birthday sale that ends tonight, all my individual self-published patterns are 30% off with the code Birthday
The code will work in our Ravelry store and our Payhip store, but sadly not in the Lovecrafts store. If you need to wait until payday, you can get 20% off the Wheatsheaf Poncho with the code Wheatsheaf until Sunday night BST.
Following on from an excellent blog post about Pattern Pricing by my friend Ruth Brasch, it got me thinking about pattern pricing and the way the industry is moving. I’ll add links for Ruth’s post and also a post she references which goes through survey results of how long it takes to carry out each part of the pattern development and it’s a scary number. (links to all sources below on this page).
Like Ruth, I’m against the pay what you can model. Why? Because it appears in many cases to be a stealth method to up the lowest price (which is higher than the norm) and then add more expensive options. I like that it gives people choice, but 𝗶𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂’𝗿𝗲 𝗴𝗼𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝘂𝘁 𝘂𝗽 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗲𝘀, 𝗷𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝗱𝗼 𝗶𝘁. I’ve put my prices up and I’m happy to have made that choice. My work has value, I have value and if you want the pattern, then buy it. If you don’t, that’s cool too. I’m not out to please everyone, it’s not possible.
I’m all for being flexible, but I did have someone give me a sob story about not being able to afford the pattern, gifted it to them and saw photos of them knitting it while on holiday in Barbados. I sat at home in Cumbria with no holiday. Did I get some exposure? I suppose I did, but not from anyone who buys patterns.
Looking at the figures in the article by Thread and Ladle, the minimum number of hours involved in creating a good quality knitting pattern for a sweater is 53.1 hrs, the maximum in her survey being 113.65 hrs. That’s NOT including yarn, the cost of Tech Editing, needles, notions, tools, website, email service, marketing the pattern, graphics, Ravelry fees, Paypal fees, models, schematics, time spent testing and answering testers questions.
To cover all that, and have some actual income for me, that means a minimum number of pattern sales of 350 to 760 per sweater pattern.
Sari Nordlund has an interesting chat about pattern pricing on her YouTube channel, what income she makes and what patterns are worth designing for her.
She’s very open and honest about it, so give it a look. Link below.
I appreciate money is tight for many people, but designers also need to make a living and cover their actual costs. There are lots of free patterns, sales and other promotions and we always discount a pattern on it’s launch with a bigger discount for email subscribers.
The amount of work is considerably more than most people think and to market your pattern effectively, you should spend double the time it took to create it. Adding more time to the calculations.
As someone who loves to knit garments, to wear and for pattern designing, it’s a sobering thought.
It’s not like I take the easy route out, I always go up to the larger plus sizes and add tips on how to upsize even more. It doubles the Tech Editing costs because there are more numbers, measurements and stitch counts to be checked. As a curvy woman, it’s important to me that I produce patterns that a woman of any size can wear, but it comes at a price.
Do I stick to accessories for a quicker win, or plod on with garments and hope that at some point, more of them will reach that magic number of sales?