From Submission to Publication

Now that my Cabo Cardi has been released in the wild, I thought it’d be fun to look back at how the pattern came into this world.

Back in May 2012, I saw a call for submissions on the Ravelry Designers forum for Knit Picks’ first-ever pattern collection. (Here’s the original post.) I checked out their mood board and thought I could come up with something for them, so I started sketching.

First, I just drew a bunch of black and white line sketches. Because I’m pretty terrible at drawing, I usually print out a croquis and then trace over it on plain paper. I usually sketch about 5-6 different looks before I settle on one. Here’s one of my abandoned sketches from that early stage:


I didn’t hate it, but it just wasn’t really working for me. But when I sketched this one, I thought it looked pretty promising:


The next step was to scan the line drawing and get some color going. Knit Picks had specified particular colors they wanted in the collection, so I went to their site and downloaded the actual color swatches. I set those as patterns in Photoshop, so I could then paint with the exact colors and while maintaining a bit of the yarn’s texture. Here’s what a screenshot of my photoshop work looks like:

Photohshop Screenshot

In addition to adding the colors in, I made sure to point out any important design features and include a few swatch images to show what type of stitch I’d like to use. Knit Picks requires a one-sheet submission, so the next step was to write up a little copy and put it all together on one page.

Here’s what I came up with: (click the image for a larger, more readable version)
Cabo Cardi Submission

So, remember, this was all the way back in May — nine months ago! I submitted my design on May 16, 2012, to be exact, and then more or less forgot about it. Then, on July 3, I got an email from Knit Picks saying my pattern had been chosen for their collection. Woohoo!

The deadline to submit my finished pattern was August 15, 2012. Luckily, this collection didn’t require me to knit up my own sample, so I only had to come up with the written instructions and send it off to their test knitter. I worked on a few swatches, finally coming up with a stitch pattern I liked. That’s when I ran into the first problem with my original design: Knit Picks didn’t have enough of the Cotlin DK in Sagebrush, so they asked me to pick some new colors.

It was difficult to come up with a new color combo without seeing the yarn in person, but I went with “Coffee” as the main color and kept “Celery” as the contrast color. Towards the end of August, the test knitter got in touch with some questions and notes, and I submitted a second draft of the pattern in September. In November, I completed the final edits, and received a PDF proof of the final pattern in mid-January. Then, on February 13, the pattern collection went live, and included pictures of the final product:




I love the way it turned out, and I’m so happy to be included in the awesome Knit Picks First Light collection.

Hopefully this has been interesting to y’all! I know a lot of people who’d like to design but don’t know where to start, so I thought this might be helpful information.

Here’s how to find the Cabo Cardi:

Project details:

Knit Picks CotLin DK
DK / 8 ply (11 wpi)
18 stitches and 25 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch
US 7 – 4.5 mm
492 – 1107 yards (450 – 1012 m)
30 (34, 38, 42, 46, 50, 54, 58, 62)” finished bust measurement; garment is meant to be worn with 0” of ease.
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