Happy Stitches

Keep your stitches smiling!

Digital Rescue February 17, 2012

Filed under: General Musings,Pattern highlight — happystitches @ 14:54
Sea Lettuce Scarf

Sea Lettuce Scarf on the rocks of Tancook Island

Just to make February interesting, Patternfish has this week revealed its top selling patterns in all categories. It is a really interesting list to look through. I’m delighted to now be able to reveal that our Sea Lettuce Scarf holds the overall #1 slot! (Julia gave me a hint about that a while ago.)

I want to thank Julia and her team for the incredible job of promoting knitting designers Patternfish has done. (Even the website name is fantastic!)

I recall eating lunch with her at TNNA in Columbus (in 2009?) and suddenly losing my appetite mid-chew when she cheerfully suggested that I should digitize my patterns, with a view to putting them up on her new pattern sales site.

I was newly (and happily) converted to Mac by then, but all my 80+ pattern files were in Wordperfect with .bmp diagrams (the ugly little squares). This would not be an easy task. I’m sure I made a tremendous effort to change the subject.

However, in the subsequent weeks, Julia’s gentle but insistent persuasion (she even offered to scan older patterns for me) won me over and I decided to take a serious look at the situation.

The patterns didn’t scan very nicely; in fact, the scans were horrible! So, gradually, one pattern at a time I began to redraw, revamp and overhaul a few patterns. This meant making a sudden intimate acquaintance with Adobe Illustrator and InDesign. Both have a steep learning curve. Discovery of the tutorials at Lynda.com saved my sanity.

A phrase that floats around between my web mistress and me: “How do eat an elephant? One mouthful at a time.” I began to eat my pachyderm. I recruited help to lay out the words, but painstakingly began drawing all the charts and diagrams in Illustrator myself. Fortunately I found that this was a task that I enjoyed doing whilst on the road. I have survived many flights entertained by the giddy delights and challenges of creating diagrams. It’s more productive than doing crosswords!

Almost all of my patterns are now completed and bejeweled with new digital photographs. Some of my earlier gargantuan multi-page 11 x17” hand-charted designs, such at the Fish Wall-hanging, Andean Vest, and Garden Path Vest just don’t justify the time that it would take to convert them, so they may never get done.

It’s been really fun working with Julia. Patternfish is generous with tech support and patient with those that accidentally upload really huge pics! They’ve even invested the time to make DVD clips of my Modified Conventional Bind-Off and Sock Toe Chimney available for download. A company that comes back to you and increases your percentage of sales payment of their own volition gives you a warm fuzzy feeling!

We now also sell our digital downloadable patterns on our own website as well, but I will always remain eternally grateful and loyal to Julia and Patternfish for encouraging me and helping me up the gangplank to the digital boat, as the pattern sales scene has changed so dramatically and so fast.

Congratulations, too, to the outstanding leaders of other pattern categories: Knitting Pure and Simple, Knitting at KNoon / Chris de Lampré, Red Bird Knits / Robin Gallimore, and old friends such as Cabin Fever. Take a good look at the list, you’ll find some gems.

Please note: both Patternfish and I will be donating a proportion of the February sales of any of my patterns to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Thank you, Patternfish, and Thank you, Julia.

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