Guest Post: How I Finished My Second Holla Knits Design in a Third of the Time It Took Me to do the First

Today’s guest post is brought to you by designer Katie Canavan, who you know from her Finishing School design from the Spring/Summer collection. Katie has a design in the Fall/Winter collection that is amazing! Katie blogs at Under the Red Umbrella and you can find her on twitter at @katiecanavan.

I was really excited when I found out that I would be designing again for Holla Knits.

Cables in Knit Picks Gloss DK

I loved designing Finishing School, but in terms of timing, it was a disaster. I ended up knitting the sample while packing and searching for apartments in LA, and writing the pattern a week after the due date in a cafe, because I didn’t have internet at my apartment yet. Yup, I moved across the country right in the middle of the process.

So this second design would be a chance for me to do it right. To be more professional, and not turn in my pattern a week after it was due. And then I got my contract from Allyson, and realized that the due date fell right at the end of my planned 10-day vacation.

So Many Cables!

There was no way I was going to travel with my sample and try to write on the road. So that meant that I would have to design and knit a cable-heavy garment in three weeks.

I got it done in just over two, and wanted to share my tips:

  1. Set Your Priorities – I’m a busy lady. While designing, I was also working two jobs, taking a Shakespeare acting class, and opened a new Etsy shop for WORK + SHELTER.  But I wanted to be able to relax on vacation more than I wanted to go out on Friday night, so I spent many a Friday knitting, sometimes until 2am.
  2. Break It Down– We’ve heard this a million times before: in order to finish a huge task, break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks. For my design, my list looked something like this:
    1. Research cables
    2. Swatch
    3. Knit
    4. Finishing
    5. Edit Pattern

Running, Green Cables

That made it pretty easy to assign due dates for each step, and so as long as I met my mini due date, I’d meet the overall due date.

  1. Don’t Procrastinate – I am the worlds biggest procrastinator. I even procrastinated writing this blog post! But when your goals are big, figure out a way to block facebook or turn off your phone, and just get it done.
  2. Reward Yourself – The majority of my sample was knit while watching Game of Thrones, which is so addicting, it made the knitting time fly by. And when I was completely, totally done, I got to start a new project, my Lace Striped Sweater, which was a different kind of reward!

And now that I’m done with this blog post, I’ll reward myself with more Lace Stripes!

2 responses to “Guest Post: How I Finished My Second Holla Knits Design in a Third of the Time It Took Me to do the First

  1. So great to get a sneak peek at the design!
    I am also all about lists and small steps – without the list, I find it much easier to procrastinate.
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