I still can’t quite believe I am writing this, even though I have spent SO much time over the last few month quietly working on it.. but on Wednesday (13th July 2022), issue 144 of Knit Now magazine will be released, and I have a design in it!!! An actual magazine publication!!
Over The Ocean
Over the Ocean is a seamless, top-down children’s raglan sweater worked in the round. The unisex design features a twisted 1×1 rib and a three stitch cable which runs with the raglan increases. The neckline can either be worked straight (handy not having to worry which is the back or the front when throwing over kids heads!) or with shaping using German short rows to drop the front neckline slightly. The all-over texture is created by alternating rounds of cabled slip stitches which creates an ‘undulating’ effect, representative of the flowing tides of a calm ocean glistening in the sun.
This pattern has been a long time coming. In fact I first posted about it on Instagram in November last year. It was the first design I played with after the Garter Squish Jumpers. Like Garter Squish Kids, it took many attempts to get right. It has undergone a few name changes and spent quite a while in the naughty corner whilst I deliberated whether it was worth pursuing..
Obviously it was and I knew I would finish it eventually, and this was the kick up the bum I needed to get it done! My tech editor is one of the freelance tech editors for Knit Now, and suggested submitting a design proposal for them. First of all I thought she was mad, I had self published only a couple of designs at that point so didn’t honestly imagine that I was good enough or would have designs interesting enough to be published in a magazine… But then I thought, you know what? I may as well give it a go, what have I got to loose?
Magazine deadlines are tight so it made sense to submit a design that was well on it’s way through the process. With two young kids I never know how much is feasible to get done in any given period, sometimes they are nice to me and I get knitting time but at other times it’s not uncommon for me to struggle to knit a row/round in a week!
It was a great idea to use a design already in progress but I had also forgotten why it was spending time in the naughty corner. Like I do with most of my patterns, I wanted to release the design with options. For this one it was neckline shaping. It’s a kids pattern so not everyone is bothered about neck shaping as childrens body shapes generally lend themselves to simple necklines (as I said in the pattern description). However, my preference would be to have the back of a jumper higher than the front. I just think it looks nicer and generally makes a yoke sit better on the upper body… regardless of body shape!
This was so so much easier said than done for this pattern though. I really dislike short row shaping which is obvious at the back of the neck when a garment is patterned or textured. I just think It looks weird. If I was to offer short row shaping as an option I wanted it to be invisible.. or at least as invisible as humanly possible!
I managed it, and I am so proud of how it looks, but it was SO SO MUCH work. I wouldn’t like to know how many hours it took to get right and how many times I frogged. But it was worth it. It was all a bit brain befuddling and unfortunately there are a some errors in short row section and the sleeve/body split sections of the final printed pattern. An errata has been published both here on my website, and on the Knit Now website. I am really gutted about this and wish that I had noticed before it went to print. I did see the pattern post tech editing before it went to print but it wasn’t enough time to knit it again and the errors are small so weren’t obvious to see from a read over alone. Often when I am in the midst of something like this I get to the point where I cant see the wood for the trees. The reason I noticed is because I am knitting another sample for my son as I didn’t have time to take finished photo’s before sending it to the magazine. I also thought this would be helpful as the original sample is styled on a very cute little girl, but it is intended to be unisex so I figured putting a few more photo’s out there with it shown on a boy wouldn’t be a bad thing! I do get the sample back, but 4m after publication and it wont fit Pippa by then. Despite being 4yrs old (the size the sample was knit in) she is very much the height of a 6yr old.
I could write a whole seperate post about test knitting. Maybe I will soon, but for now I will just say that unfortunately there wasn’t time for testing for this pattern. It was tech edited, I believe twice, and the primary tech editor was the lady who I usually use so I know she is great at her job. The errors that have been picked up would only have been done so by people actually knitting the pattern so I don’t feel any animosity towards them, only annoyance at myself that I was not absolutely perfect. When I realised that errors had gone to print I was absolutely devastated, my first thought was to lie low, not post about it, hope no-one knits it and make sure it’s perfect for when I have the rights back to self publish…
But you know what, I love this pattern and I am proud of what I have achieved. I still can’t believe that something I have written is in print. Knit Now is sold all over the country, they are stocked by the likes of Morrisons, Tesco and WHSmith. It is also available digitally on the Knit Now website. I am still proud of what I have achieved and pride myself in being open and responsive to anyone who may reach out to me for pattern support. No-one can be absolutely perfect all of the time. I am only human and even the biggest of designers have to publish erratas from time to time. I am not going to let it ruin what is still a really cool thing.
I have also learnt so much from this experience and it has made me an infinitely better designer. This design is now out of the magazine exclusivity period. It has now gone through a full regrade. It will be re-tech edited and most definitely tested before I release it myself. It will also be available in a full range of adult sizes too!
This is what you call a real labour of love!