Sample Knitting Pure and Simple
TRUCKEE, Calif. andamp;#8212; In the world of knitwear designers andamp;#8212; the niche of folks who create the patterns sold to home knitters andamp;#8212; Truckeeandamp;#8217;s Diane Soucy is a rock star.Fans seek her out at national knitting events, her distributor shipped 100,000 copies of patterns to about 1,000 retail locations last year, and her Knitting Pure andamp; Simple is seeing solid growth in online downloads of knitting patterns.Soucyandamp;#8217;s career serves as an inspiration to a growing number of knitwear designers in the region.She was working in a variety store in Truckee that sold yarn when she began developing simple patterns for knitters.Soucy began self-publishing the designs in the late 1990s and was scratching out a living between her own sales and whatever deals she could strike with knitting magazines.A distribution deal with Bryson Distributing, an Oregon company that caters to independent retail yarn shops, provided a major break for Soucy.Today, the pattern cards sell for $5.50 at retailers across the United States and Canada. Downloads from knittingpureandsimple.com are $7, and Soucy maintains the price difference in an effort to encourage knitters to visit retailers. Sheandamp;#8217;s found success with her trademark technique: Garments that are knitted as a single piece. Unlike other patterns that call for knitters to sew individual pieces together, Soucyandamp;#8217;s creations are knitted from the top down as a whole.The first pattern to use the no-sew style, a sweatshirt-type sweater, is still selling. A pattern for a poncho for little girls once was selling 1,000 copies a week through Soucyandamp;#8217;s distributor.Creating 10 or 12 patterns a year for more than a decade, Soucyandamp;#8217;s catalog today contains patterns for dozens of garments, accessories and specialized items such as Christmas dcor. (Family members, including grandchildren, serve as models for many of the photographs that accompany the patterns.)Her work isnandamp;#8217;t fashion forward. Instead, she looks at the clothing that people are wearing at the mall or on television and fits her work snugly into prevailing fashion.andamp;#8220;I really like Diane Soucyandamp;#8217;s patterns,andamp;#8221; said one of more than 600 knitters who praise her work on Ravelry.com, a site for knitting hobbyists. andamp;#8220;Theyandamp;#8217;re really easy to follow and theyandamp;#8217;re accurate!andamp;#8221;The process of creating a pattern for knitters to follow is the same for a successful veteran or a knitter making her first stab at the process.Soucy knits a garment andamp;#8212; doing it, then re-doing it andamp;#8212; to get it right. Along the way, she is taking notes that will translate into instructions.Once the design, pattern and instructions are complete, Soucy sends the work out to a test-knitter, sometimes several of them, to work up the product in real life. They note any problems in the instructions or the final product.Even a veteran knitter and designer such as Soucy isnandamp;#8217;t perfect all the time.andamp;#8220;I have lots of discarded sweaters in the house,andamp;#8221; she said.Visit knittingpureandsimple.com.
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