I've been holding off and holding off some more, but just can't contain myself any longer. I've been waiting for all my membership details to come through, so I could show off properly, but patience isn't one of my virtues.
I've been assessed and approved as a professional designer/author member of the AKD!
This is dead exciting, as it's no easy task. To apply for professional membership (the highest level) you need to submit a portfolio containing examples of your designs & patterns, evidence of at least 6 patterns published in different places, your knitting CV, examples of knitted work that corresponds to the evidenced patterns and much much more. Membership is then juried, thoroughly scrutinised, before they let you know their verdict.
I won't quote everything that was said to me, but here's the clincher - "We found the hats interesting and well-executed, and the patterns well-written" Did you read that? Check me!
I don't know who my jurors were, but I understand that Going Straight went down well. They gave some feedback, and as you'd expect some constructive criticism. The only point they made was regarding the short row tutorial in GS, suggesting that perhaps I use a slightly lighter colour yarn as it would be more helpful to beginners. Which is rather timely, as GS will be reformatted for wholesale within the next month or so (more about that another time). Still, if they were looking for weak spots, that's pretty good!
The AKD is a worldwide organisation, despite the bulk of the members being in the US. Checking the list, I see no other names from the UK or even wider Europe (I'm the first, baby ;) so would love to see more of our designers amongst the ranks.
Tom asked me why I need the approval of this group to do what I do. It's not that I need their approval, it's because I wanted to know if I was good enough. And now I know I am :D Membership opens up a lot of potential opportunities, too. Personally though, I love the fact that some little indie designer from the UK who makes (sometimes) weird (and I say sometimes as I don't think my work is that weird) and quirky Hats is up to the grade. My ego would like to hug them for eternity.
In other Hat news, the baby collection is ticking over slowly. Only one more design needs to go off to test knitters - the other 9 are done - then the whole lot will go to MLQ for tech editing.
This is a preliminary for the cover:-
I may change the graphics, but this is definitely the shot I want for the cover, unless we take a better one in the meantime. This means that Mrs Fife will get a copy of the PDF when it's ready for making the 'smart covers for small noggins' suggestion, and I'll check back over the comments from the naming post to see who came closest to 'Woolly Toppers'. I'm aiming for the end of September for the collection to be ready (she hopes).
And the bus? She's basically ready. I'll try and get some photos later with all our stuff in there, looking cosy and homely.
Only 2 1/2 days to go 'till we head off for that ferry!