Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Multifarious, a problem of self-promotion.

I uploaded my first pattern  for sale on Ravelry yesterday: Multifarious Scarf

I'm proud of it, and some of the comments have brought a happy little tear to my eye, but I still have a problem to solve.

To me, the design is only one part of what I'm offering for sale. And not even the most important part. I want knitters to enjoy making this. I certainly don't want them pulling their hair out, gnashing their teeth or having to beg for help because they can't understand it.

But, how to prove this, as a new designer? 

There have been suggestions to offer a free pattern. But is a free pattern for a simple headband really going to convince anyone that I can describe lace in both written and charted form? I suspect not.

So I'm trying out a little experiment. Below is a link to a pdf I created from the actual pattern. It includes all the materials, notes, and schematic, but just a couple of lines from the written pattern and chart. 
Multifarious Sample Update 18/1/2013, the file is now hosted by me. No more google-docs.

I'd love to know people's opinions on this. Does offering a free view of part of the pattern make you feel more confident in the actual pattern? Is it a waste of my time and hosting space to do this?

If you care either way, let me know with a comment here or PM on ravelry. 


  1. cant see your sample of pattern i am using firefox

    1. Aggh. Technical hitch. I'll see if I can find another way to host a pdf other than google docs. It works fine with Chrome, but that's not a lot of use for you!

  2. Looks good! Clear and consise. My only worry would be the small font size on page 3 as I find it harder to read even with my new glasses on!


    1. Interesting. It's the same font size on the first pages, so I wonder if that's a result of the google docs interface.

    2. It's because the 3rd page is in landscape and the first 2 or not google docs dispalys them on the same width

  3. ignore above can see it now durr lol

  4. I do think it's helpful from a customers perspective.
    As a designer I have considered the options for reassuring customers to the quality of my work as well, it can be a tricky one.

    I think it's a lovely solution, my only comments are;
    - Find somewhere to host a pdf, so that people can open/download as normal (most knitters are used to pdf's and how pdf reader works) instead of using googledocs which I personally think adds nothing to the situation and is a nuisance for many.
    - I think the blocking diagram would be improved by using some other method than the dotted/dashed lines, I realise you have tried to keep it all monotone, but readability shouldn't be a compromise. Schematics can take considerable time, but I think it adds a lot to your pattern and is worth it.
    - I'd also like to see a photo of the item on the sample as you would with the real pattern.

    It looks like a fantastic pattern, so please don't take my comments personally - I'm just trying to give honest feedback. :)

  5. Thanks for the feed back. I agree with you, just not sure right now how I can host pdf outside of google docs (and somewhere that allowed bigger files so the photo could be in the sample).

    I'll have a think about schematics. The only reason I avoided colour was that I've used my Kindle to read pdf patterns. I think some more market research is required on colour in pattern documents!

  6. Read sample & am purchasing it CathiBea on Rav, Found in LSG thread on patterns that no one has seen

  7. I think it is a great idea and I totally agree that as a new designer it is very hard to get your style 'known'. By their very nature people tend to go for what they know and in general are more comfortable buying patterns from designers whose patterns they have previously used. I agree that offering free patterns doesn't help much unless it is a similar type of item of similar complexity.
    Good luck with Multifarious - it is a great scarf and I'm sure it will do well.