Wheat Wrote WHAT?!

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July 26th, 2009 at 00:22 am

Getting Started in Publishing

At least one or twice a week, some version of the question

HOW do I get Started?
pops up in my email or in the many craft/hobby groups.

Rather than continually trying to remember what I want to say – it is time to write the Wheat Wrote WHAT!?!? perhaps less than gentle stock answer in the form of a Sunday Sermon, about Getting Started in Publishing.

To give a bit of context, this is very general, and is really geared to only one tiny consideration in your journey to Pattern Authoring Professional. HOW and WHERE you plan to publish is NOT the focus – The PATTERN itself is.

Each time I see the “Getting Started in Publishing” question, it always seems best to start the answer by quoting the lovely, generous, and by anyone’s standard a rather successful knitting pattern author/publisher and distributor Jackie E-S of Heart Strings FiberArts,

“There is so much more to pattern authoring, than just the design”

I always like to start by asking the aspiring pattern author

Are YOU prepared to educate yourself,
Investing and make the necessary sacrifices of

If you do not want to make the rather steep investment…
If you think this is a quick way to make a few bucks to support your habit


It may be something I can do now, but what I have spent to earn over the years from Professional Pattern Editors is worth every penny it cost to have that experienced counsel.

IMNHO, The BEST place to START is the book that while “apparently” intended for Quilt Pattern Authors, is easily applied to all pattern types…

Nancy Restuccia’s

Publish Your Patterns!
How to Write, Print, and Market Your Designs

For “YARN” users, your second (but only one of MANY ) stop should be is to downloading a copy of the Designer Guidelines PDF offered at the Craft Yarn Council’s YarnStandards.com for information about the most commonly used abbreviations and some help with sizing.

BOTH of the Above you need to read, and keep re-reading “until your heads stop hurting” and then go back and read them again on at least an annual basis.

EVEN if you are NOT a YARN user, you can benefit from reading this document – after all, yarn is use a way to make fabric and other pattern authors for sewing and quilting USE fabric so much the same information “would be a good idea”

Now get some patterns from some of today’s top designers – preferably ones who also teach and/or whose work is often found in independent shops (your local shop) LSO’s Local Shop Owners are a tough crowd and they can not afford to carry what will not sell. Patterns sell because they are well-written, teach and oh yes, show something you or I want to wear or won

Study what is the same in each of them. Look for and make a list of the traits you find “common to all”

Make notes on what you WISH was in a pattern.

Think about how and when it is needed – remember Jean Leinhauser’s comment this past week in her Yahoo Group about some patterns putting special pattern instructions at the end and not up front where they may be most needed – forcing the consumer to “look around” – although if it means the user will have to read the directions before starting, I might have to rethink this one

There are many aspects of “packaging” or the nicer word: PRESENTATION (caps required)

And that is just the start… before you know it, you will be like me, with a 2 inch notebook – at least 1/2 of which is “universal” for craft pattern PRESENTATION – the other half is specific to the craft or at least the primary supplies (Yarn, Thread, Fabrics, etc)

Last but not least – I am told there is something to be learned for both Designers & Pattern Authors from the articles included in this blog’s entries in the It All Just Business category has been helpful to many.

Whatever path you choose, I truly wish you the best of success


P.S. No I do not publish or share my notebook of check lists for pattern editing and preparation, any more than The Colonel is going to share his list of secret spices.

  • 1

    Excellent! Just excellent!

    Kim Guzman on July 26th, 2009
  • 2

    Why thank you ma’am

    wheat on July 26th, 2009
  • 3

    Hi Wheat!

    Again, a needed and wonderful post on an important subject. I read “Publish Your Patterns” on your recommendation from the designer’s biz yahoo group.

    I’ve been going ’round and ’round with some prospective designers regarding whether color is necessary in bead patterns. As you know, color printing or copying can be outrageously expensive. Some have chosen not to kit with me rather than remove the color illustrations.

    The other topic I’ve been having discussions with them about is the need to put instructions on how to do the stitch, even if they think it’s too basic.

    Alas, I probably won’t be able to convince these designers, but perhaps that’s a good thing?


    Joann Loos on July 26th, 2009
  • 4

    very lovely and i enjoy this web site a lot and i learn a lotof new info from this page.

    urmie on July 27th, 2009
  • 5

    On the subject of color, well, that is one where I have met with some interesting opinions myself

    On the need for instructions, “It Depends”

    IMNHO you are BOTH correct.

    But that is a ‘blog-a-mentry’ for another day


    wheat on July 28th, 2009


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