About time I blogged again after the last mammoth effort. And this time it's about something wholly positive.
I have a job.
It kind of happened by accident. An online friend from way back had gone on to become a leading knitwear designer, and one day I read her blog. She posted about sample knitters, how it works and what they do, and I was hooked. Well "needled" just isn't appropriate here. I contacted her, and within days was knitting my first sample garment, a pretty shawlette in blue that has since been published.
So what is sample knitting? Well, all the garments you see draped over Knitting Pattern Man don't get there by accident. They are created by designers who either knit the garment themselves, or assign it to one or more sample knitters to produce. The designer checks it over, and often completes any finishing work themselves (eg blocking, sewing in ends etc), and then sends it off to whichever publication has commissioned it. Or they may include it in their own website, or on Ravelry, a huge needlework community.
So this is what I now do. As well as knitting the sample, an integral part of the work is "technical editing" - making sure the pattern contains no errors, and correcting any that are found. It's a very rewarding job; perhaps not in terms of money (the hourly rate is very low) but I get to play with yarns that I probably wouldn't choose for myself, or in many cases, are beyond my purse; I can experiment with new colours; I am learning *all* the time, be it techniques, or tips; and I don't have the hassle of finding a home for the completed garment when it's finished - it sails off into the sunset and the next time I see it will hopefully be when it is adorned on a model whose job is to make my handiwork look its very best.
Best of all, I get to call knitting "my day job".
My first designer deals mostly in fine lace yarn. I have just signed up for another designer who works in the double-knit to chunky range, and in cables. So lots of variety, lots of keeping busy, the odd pay cheque, and loads and loads of knitting.