You may recall that last year I designed a blanket for a friend who had a baby- the Gradient Blanket. It was my first blanket pattern and my third pattern ever. At the time it had been years since I had designed anything. I put it up on Ravelry (a social network for knitters, crocheters, and spinners). Ravelry has hundreds of patterns so, I was excited to see, after a few weeks, people had made the pattern and posted pictures. It was my best response yet and it was respectable, but not overwhelming.
That was almost a year ago. I have been designing patterns since, but nothing is ready for publishing. I am beginning to put value on the designs I create.
You can imagine my surprise when, doing some updates to the blog last month, I saw a HUGE spike in my statistics. Usually I get about 10 hits to the blog when I publish a post, which is obviously not regularly. Suddenly I had almost 800 hits in one day. That was a Sunday. By Monday I had almost 1,500 views. The vast majority, if not all of them, came from Ravelry. As I explored what changed, I found myself on a list of hot patterns, a list very visible for Ravelry users.
I have yet to find the origin of the spike, but I am thrilled with it. Knowing my pattern is getting out there and that people like it really makes me happy. It prompted me to make some adjustments to the patterns I have up. Over the course of the week not only were there hits here, but the pattern was downloaded 500 times once I put it in a Ravelry store. Things have quieted down since then, but the pattern is still being downloaded.
As a budding designer, it was very encouraging. My knitting friends gave me feedback on why this happened. The pattern is simple and I did a good job writing the pattern so that people can understand what to do. I made edits to encourage personalization. This has created a bit of a jump start on my designing. I am feeling more confident about designs I have been working on as well. I am even learning more about running a store.
It is interesting what can happen so suddenly and how it can push forward ideas that are sitting the back of a brain. When I think of how vague I have felt about plans for the years, I am realizing that there are parts of ideas in my head, but they are things I am not ready to move forward. With the first half of the year almost passed, it is weird for me to not have concrete goals. I am simply moving forward on momentum from things I have already started: tenure, publication, and traveling for example. To have this happen allows me the chance to taking a vague dream and move forward with it. I can’t wait to see where it takes me.