Kristen Burnett Fairhope, Alabama, United States
I can clearly see with my Etsy knit and crochet business, that all the ideas I had would have never brought me any success if I hadn't planned well and kept track of those ideas. Some concepts I have in mind, seem like I can alter an exisiting ( free, no copyright) pattern from a website, to get the end goal that I want. Since I've wanted to offer historic and reenactment pieces, I felt it a very neat idea to come up with a shawl/ cape crossover that would have a peter pan collar and wooden buttons along the front. I already knew what I wanted it to look like because I came up with the idea from an old show set in the late 1800's. First, I watched youtube videos about making a single peter pan collar. It was my plan to attach the premade collar to the exisiting cape pattern. So I took pen to paper, came up with stitch counts I'd need to change the existing size to be able to wrap fully around the chest. Then I made sure to write down everything I did. Finally, I made the collar so it was the same number of stitches as the top/ neck part of the cape so all I had to do was whipstitch them together. I even have detailed notes about how I did that, because after not visiting a pattern in a long while, you can completely forget! Because my orders can be infrequent in today's climate and because the pieces take a week or two to make, I tend to keep a "prototype" always on hand so that if someone orders that piece, I have a template to go by. But what I've found is that it can be hazy trying to go back and count stitches and figure out what I did on a finished piece. It ALWAYS requires my handwritten or typed step by step pattern, or else I'm just fumbling my way through. Without a definite guide, I don't feel confident in my work.
I was so proud to have the finished product that I did. Though I wanted to experiment with different yarns, colors, buttons and other pattern adjustments, I had a great starting point that I wouldn't have had without all that written planning and revising. From an original plan, you can always adapt it to make it better with each new attempt. But without the starting plan, it's hard to go upwards.
It always takes a lot of papers in the bin and revisions to get somewhere good, but you will always have a wonderful sense of pride and accomplishment looking at your goal coming into focus and seeing all your tangible planning and revisions it took to get there. Then forms a cycle you don't want to ever quit.
Thank you so much to Michael and Linda Dlouhy for this mastermind each week and thank you to all participants in MFF for lending what's on your mind, always inspiring me.
KRISTEN B. /// FAIRHOPE, AL