Today's post is from Warren Agee, first time Twist contributor, and designer of the lovely square-necked cardigan Dulcia from our newest issue. You can also find this post on Warren's blog, and check him out also on Twitter @wageeeeee
I am happy to announce the publication of my brand-new pattern in the Fall 2016 Twist Collective: Dulcia.
Dulcia took a long and winding road to reach the public. I originally started designing this cardigan back in late summer of 2013 after I came across an unusual shade of Madelinetosh Tosh DK at my LYS: a pale gold shade called Winter Wheat. It was lonely sitting there on the shelf so I took it home. After doing a lot of swatching and digging through stitch dictionaries, I fell in love with a simple honeycomb stitch. I came up with the basic design and started knitting. And ripping. And knitting. And ripping. OMG so much trial and error to get it right! As I knitted the prototype I scribbled down the pattern. Then I went back and did all the calculations to grade the pattern for all the different sizes. I use a spreadsheet for this. I then hired a terrific technical editor so that all mistakes could be corrected and wording rewritten so everything made sense. The entire process (knitting, ripping, writing, & editing) took about a year (!!) due to other stresses in my life and the fact that I do this in my spare time.
Near the end of the tech editing process I ran out of steam. I decided to change directions completely. I put away the pattern, left the design world, and studied portrait photography. Roughly a year later, after attending Stitches West in Santa Clara, CA in February 2016, I realized how much I dearly missed the warm and fuzzy knitting industry. I gave it another chance. My day job had changed, creating more space in my life for knitwear design. So I dusted off Dulcia and cast about for a way to publish it. I didn’t want to self-publish Dulcia; I wanted something different. I had never submitted a design to a major publication before, even though I had designed a few things for yarn companies, and a couple of those ended up in magazines. I knew the competition would be tough and the likelihood of getting accepted was slim, but I went for it. About the same time I noticed that Twist Collective had posted a call for submissions in the Ravelry Designers forum. “Oh boy, wouldn’t it be great to get into Twist – my absolute favorite knitting publication,” I thought. I wrote up my proposal and included photos I had taken of the sweater prototype (seen above). I was nervous and readied myself for rejection. I waited. And waited. And waited….
And then in late April I got an email from Kate Gilbert, Editor-In-Chief and Publisher of Twist. It started with the words “Dear Warren, I’m pleased to write you to accept…” That’s as far as I got. My heart stopped. I had been accepted! Joy! My mind raced, and in the next moment I was filled with panic: I’m gonna have so much work to do! What have I gotten myself into?
There was nothing to worry about, I would later discover. I received the yarn directly from Madelinetosh: Tosh DK in Prairie Fire, the most beautiful shade of pink I’d ever seen. And I’m not a pink person! I knitted up the sweater in about 4 weeks (with a couple days to spare), shipped it off, and worked at getting the pattern into shape according to their specifications. A couple months later, it was published in the Fall 2016 issue of Twist Collective!
I’m thrilled with the styling and photography, expertly shot by Crissy Jarvis.
You may view and purchase the pattern by visiting Twist Collective. I appreciate your support!