May I please just say how flattered, pleased, humbled, shocked and downright tickled I am at how much people on Ravlery are reacting to my first pattern?
I just can’t believe the numbers so far. In less than 48 hours there have been 412 unique downloads (which I believe means it’s been downloaded by 412 computers/ISP addresses – if one person downloaded it 10 times at their pc it would only count as one so that means 412 have so far liked it enough at first glance to download it for POSSIBLE future knitting.)
Also, in Ravelry you can ‘favorite’ a pattern or a project with a heart. It’s been favorited 176 times. That’s 176 hearts in 48 hours.
What the heck? I sincerely did not expect this kind of reaction. Not even in my heart of hearts did I think it would happen. I figured maybe 50 people would download it and if I could get 1/4 of those folks to join the KAL that I’ve set up for January – I’d be ecstatic. But now? I’m not sure what to call how I feel. But grateful and blessed are definitely two more adjectives I can think of for how I feel right now.
Being a free pattern didn’t hurt, I’m sure. But people still had to like it enough out of the gagillion patterns that are out there to take the time to download it, right? I’m sure the downloads are going to slow down as time goes on but in the meantime I hope it’s okay to enjoy the accolades, even if just little.
I think many other knitters feel this way too, but I don’t know what I’d do without knitting. It calms me and helps me ‘zen’ if you will. Creating Jorjamae went beyond helping me zen, it allowed me to use the design process and knitting the shawl to grieve for my mom in a way that made sense to me. I could lose myself in the process and that was OKAY.
I had been struggling to figure out how I was supposed to grieve for my mom, my best friend, and angel to so many, for quite sometime. Then the idea to design a shawl popped into my head in what seemed like out of nowhere. I played around for at least a month with different stitches, drew multiple awful drawings (drawing is not strong suit of mine!) in order to see various ways of incorporating what I wanted as the final creation, working the math, and then boom. It just all started to come together. And it became something to help me think positively about my mom whenever I look at the actual shawl, see the pattern and know how proud she’d be of me. I see her smile and feel her hug every time I look at Jorjame in my craft office at home.
The hard part truly came when I had to write it up so others could understand it! My notes that were in my own special shorthand weren’t going to cut it for anyone else.
In the end it became a 19 page pattern. I worried about that while formatting it.
Wasn’t that going to be too many pages? Maybe I don’t need to do charts, just written instructions because that would cut out 3 pages. Well, what’s 3 more pages when you’re already at 16? But some people prefer written, others won’t even look at a pattern if it doesn’t have charts. What about the font? I could make the font smaller. But I hate patterns that I have to find a magnifying glass to read them! So that was out.
ML, my very dear friend and mentor, said 19 pages was fine, whatever it takes to make the pattern was just fine. And she was right. I could have had this done much sooner but it wasn’t ready. My goal was to always look at the pattern while I was working on it as if I were someone who’d never seen it before. And then ask other kinds of questions. Does this description make sense, does that look right? Are things lined up? Did I forget anything?
Fortunately, with a fantastic mentor along for the ride and an amazing test knitter for the blue version who also happens to be a great friend who would ask questions while she was knitting it up, it appears that it was a success.
In the end I feel I created a really good thing. Not just a shawl, not just a pattern. But something that perhaps others can find their own kind of beauty in the process of knitting it themselves.
Their own kind of zen.