Design Story: Comfy Cape Polishing

Saturday, March 21, 2009
It's amazing how much work goes into creating a pattern from start to finish. For the Comfy Cape (now available in PDF form for $4!), it took me a good three months to envision the project in my head, knit up a demo copy, write the draft pattern, get it tested, photograph the demo version, and then polish the pattern until I was happy with it

After Moilulu did her version (in a non-ribbon yarn, and still very cute), she sent me good feedback on confusing instructions and some math issues. You may not realize this, but getting the math right is probably the most important thing a designer can do on a project - and one of the most critical pieces of testing the project.

After that it took a while to get the cape photographed. For those of you not longtime readers of the blog, I am due to have my second child early next week - making me not an ideal model for a cape that is supposed to lie flat along the body! I had to wait until someone else was around who would be willing to model the cape. This turned out to be my mother (thanks Mom!). And then we had to find a time when the photographer (my husband), my model (Mom!), and I were all available and the weather was cooperating so we could get good outside shots.

Photography is one of the hardest things to get right (after math) on a pattern - and it can make or break whether people buy the pattern initially. Poorly shot photos don't grab you, and more importantly, they don't show how the finished garment looks and feels.

And then I had to finish up the layout, check everything for errant periods and spaces, write the blurb, etc. This takes me a couple of evenings, usually, since I like to go through it once, make changes, and then let it sit for a while before doing it again.

The easiest part of this whole process is posting the pattern to Ravelry and the blog! That should happen early next week (the weekend is generally not a good time to post to Ravelry, since traffic is low but a lot of the magazine editors do their posting then). The most nerve-wracking part? Waiting for people on Ravelry to add the pattern to their queues, favorites, and of course to purchase it. I love getting comments from people, and hope that if something is odd in the pattern that people will ask.

The place to do that is here on the blog, by sending me RavMail (KTLV), or by joining the Katherine Vaughan Designs Ravelry group. See you there!

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All content in this blog, including patterns and photos, is the intellectual property of Katherine Vaughan. All rights under US Copyright Law are reserved. Teachers, please direct your students to download/print out their own copies of patterns used in class. You are, of course, welcome to use items knit from any pattern for charity or sale, with the statement "design by Katherine Vaughan" appreciated.