I, like so many knitters, love knitting. I love the yarn, the garments, the techniques, the versatility and the stitch-by-stitch process of it. I like knitting so much, I started taking all kinds of classes, soon I was obsessed with knitting and I had to know even more. All the knitting books and glossy magazine, the flashy events and luscious yarns companies transfixed me. I dreamed of becoming a knitwear designer. Oh the “Perfect” job for an obsessed fiber fanatic. All the yarn you ever wanted, doing nothing but knitting all day, the latest yarns, the best needles…. Oh how wonderful
-> POP <-
I have been designing knitwear garments for something like 6 years now… I have sold to my designs to yarn companies, to magazines and now self publish my own designs. I have worked for yarn and worked for cash. I have seen some big bucks but I have seen the prices paid decline. I have jumped thru the hoops, some of them flaming.
I know now I can design, knit and write a pattern in 5 sizes in week and a half, granted I do nothing else, need 2 days to recover and we only eat pizza for 6 days. I have missed holidays due to deadline, and do not know how many times I sat right down and cried.
I hate stress. I did not like stressing out my knitters, I cannot bare rejection. I stopped submitting designs as to avoid all the stress and started selling my own designs. Now instead of a one-time check for around $400 (which I split with my knitter) I now make between $3 and $7 at sale. Paying for my own materials, my own knitter and my tech editor out of my own pocket.
My Meddybemps designs cost
Malabrigo sock $18
Lorna’s Laces $36
Tech Editor $75
A total of $204.00 out of my pocket, not including paying for my time to write it or paying my friend to photograph it.
The pattern has yet to pay for it’s self, let alone make a profit.
I could cut corners and ditch the tech editor, but I do not like to deal with nasty emails about errors. I could ask for free test knitters, but I feel that is not right. I could ask for yarn, but that is hard to come to by these days, with so many other “designers” asking.
-> POP <-
Successful Self Publishing requires a skill I do not have, self-promotion. I was raised not to brag. I had an Aunt who always talked about how wonderful her kids were, I asked my mom why she did not talk about us like that, she replied, “I don’t have to, actions speak louder than words and everyone can see what wonderful children you are.” My mom was right because I never saw all the amazing things my aunt bragged about. I know bragging and self-promotions are different things, but they feel the same to me and in my world that is all that matters.
To say nothing about the time self promotions takes… Yikes all those ads, tweets, facebook updates, on and on… It makes my stomach turn just thinking about it. YUCK.
If you follow me on these social networks, you might think –gees Kate you had been doing pretty good there before Christmas, to which I will respond, I was not promoting myself, I am raising money for others and that I can promote.
I am tired, or as my Mom would say, “I have had it up to here.” We never found out where “here” was….
I am tired of trying to be trendy.
I am tired of cheap knitters
I am tired of self-promotion
I am tired of trying to make any money in this business.
I am tired of editors changing my designs
I am scared to death of rejection
I am tired of having the skills and not being noticed
I am tired of being over looked for a new “designer” who can not write patterns
I am tired of knitters copping patterns and giving them away for free
I am tired of trying to be liked
And I am worn out trying to make money at this crazy job.
I am tired of the industries clique-y ways.
I am worn out from it is not what you know but who you know.
I am so sick of knitting 8 x 10 squares I could puke.
I had this dream, I achieved it, and realized that it is not all I dreamed it would be.
It has been very VERY hard for me to come to this conclusion and even harder for me to actually do it… But designing and selling those designs no longer makes me happy.
I made my hobby my job. I miss enjoying my hobby, I need a new job.