>Pattern Support for Jul

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When Laura and I decided to roll out the new Pedestal Buttons and other Jul Silver closures, very last-minute, for TNNA in Long Beach this January, we figured we would need some pattern support to help show how the things worked and how cool they were. We talked about how we wanted to keep the designs fairly simple, both to offer an accessible project for people of all knitting skill levels, and to best spotlight the hardware. We thought that all that would really be needed was a basic shape in an attractive stitch pattern–because of the transformative powers of the closures (they are movable, removable, reversible, interchangeable, require no sewing, pre-planned buttonholes, or commitment!) a rectangle could easily become a hat, a scarf, a cowl, an earwarmer, or whatever! We wanted to keep the instructions short, and decided if the whole thing could not fit on the back of a large postcard in 10.5 point font, then the pattern was too complex. We half-jokingly said the collection should be called “Barely a Pattern,” and so far the name has stuck.
I rustled up some yarn and got busy swatching, knitting, and writing, while Laura worked around the clock (I think literally!) to finish preparations for the booth display and to get the new products, pricing, and everything else ready. I finished the Infinity Scarf and the Cowl in two Fibre Company yarns. My flight to Long Beach left Thursday morning. It was Tuesday afternoon and I was not sure who my models would be, but we sure did need the photos, and I had said I would take care of it. Out of necessity, I became much more comfortable both asking for help and talking to strangers.

These three lovelies are my first subjects. All attractive, open-minded, and willing to stand outside on a chilly day–great qualities in knitwear models! Seeing Manish in his cowl reminds me that I should work on more unisex designs. Doesn’t he look great?

The first two patterns have done really well, and many shops are reordering, and in larger quantities than their first orders. (yay!) The Buttons are selling the patterns, and the button/pattern combination is selling more yarn for my LYS customers. The same is true for other shops around the country, and even internationally! This is what we had in mind, and hoped would happen. There are additional patterns now, for a super-slouchy hat, and another small, quick, and cute neckwarmer. Soon we will add patterns for a larger stole and a transitional-weather shrug. Stay tuned!

This is Christie’s Swatch. Christie is a very helpful woman who is in charge of sales at the hotel I am staying at this week in Michigan. She happened to be at the front desk when I came by looking for some emergency label printing help on Saturday night. I told her what I needed, and it had to do with the printed patterns, so of course I showed them to her. She told me that she had taught herself to knit and enjoyed it, but had never knit from a pattern before. I told her that in exchange for the labels (Kinko’s was going to charge me a ridiculous amount to do what I needed) I would give her an Infinity Scarf Pattern and give her a quick lesson on working from a pattern. We exchanged info, since I may find my self in need of some meeting space someday (or another model, she is gorgeous!) and so she could SOS me if she had trouble with the scarf. Good for her for doing a swatch–I never did them when I was a beginner, and only reluctantly and quite recently became more disciplined with my knitting habits. I was happy to have a real case study of a beginner tackling a Barely a Pattern project. I forgot to ask her what yarn she is using. I have requested that she keep me updated with her progress and I will share that here in the blog.
Here is Jade, pretending to text, and wearing the finished sample of the Infinity Scarf on another coldish February day (shown with the Spiral Bridge Closure, which has also been a good seller so far–it’s jewelry for your knitting!) At some point, we will have an online gallery of all of the designs shown with different styling options.

In the meantime, there has been some back and forth about the collection name “Barely a Pattern.” What do you think? Do you like it? Does it make you want to knit the pieces? Would you buy the pattern? Do we even need a name for the collection?

I would love to get some feedback in the comments 🙂
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3 thoughts on “>Pattern Support for Jul

  1. >Love the name, and love the accessories. So much versatility. "Barely a Pattern" sounds so easy that it will appeal to a wide range of knitters. Good luck!

  2. >The name is cute, and has a very accessible, DIY/customizable kind of feel. I would be less attracted by the name myself. I'm an experienced knitter and would tend to think if it's that simple I don't need a pattern.But It's the pictures that would sell me. That Spiral Bridge Closure is some glorious hardware! And the scarf/wrap/cowl looks great and sets it off perfectly.

  3. >Hi Cathy, Excellent point…part of what I am hoping is that knitters will be empowered to make their own simple designs that can be embellished and changed for style and even size with the closures. Sometimes I buy patterns that I could probably figure out myself to support the designer, the shop, or because I don't feel like doing the math–I just want a straightforward, quick, pretty knit. And if I say to a true beginner "just knit a nice textured rectangle," they might be intimidated, at least until they see how capable they are after they try one of the patterns, and gain some confidence!

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