Important Update to Challenge Dates Enclosed (an extension).
The 2018 Manitoba Fibre Festival challenge has reached that exciting stage where folks are sharing sneak peeks into new designs they have been working on in collaboration with local fibre/yarn providers. Check out the hashtag #mbff2018challenge on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Many of the images are on Instagram. You don’t need to be a member to see the shared images; in fact, here’s a direct link to the hash-tagged images. Not all participants are using Instagram and you’ll find some more fantastic images on Facebook here with the hashtag. Additionally, I am maintaining a list of participants on Ravelry in our Festival group; let me know if I’ve missed someone please.
For the designers, I imagine this means they have passed (or almost passed) the hurdles of translating an inspired vision into a fibre creation. This can be a challenge indeed; there may have been frogging involved. I speak from experience.
Before sharing their designs with other makers, designers will make sure that the pattern they have written up is 1) correct in its details and 2) makes sense to other makers.
The most important next step is to have a professional tech editor assess the design write up. On the simplest level, editors serve as a second set of critical eyes to catch the simple errors that can easily slip through when you’ve read over a document a dozen times and you know what it’s supposed to say. Tech editors also check the numbers, the math, the charts, the repeats, the nitty-gritty bits such as if you correctly listed the US and metric needle sizes, the abbreviations, the functionality of the layout, etc. Tech editors are also experienced makers themselves and can provide feedback concerning the clarity of how the designer writes up the instructions. Tech editing helps to ensure that a designer puts their best work forward to the public and that makers are less likely to find mistakes or need to ask questions.
An optional step before publishing a design is to ask other knitters (or crocheters as applicable) to make a test sample and provide detailed feedback. Test knitters can provide helpful feedback as makers, especially if some instructions need clarification. It is important that testers use a similar yarn and achieve the same gauge (after washing and blocking) as specified in the pattern so that a designer can compare the amount of yarn required and the finished sizes with fewer variables. An additional bonus is that testers are typically asked/required to share a project page on Ravelry with good quality photos. When the design is released to the public, there will already be some project examples that other Makers can look to. As a Maker, I always look at other examples to see how a design looks in other colours, what other yarns folks have used, variations in yardage (assuming they haven’t made modifications), and so forth. Although some designers hire sample knitters, it is common practice for test knitters to work for free from their own stash. In exchange the test knitters receive a free copy of the design and early access. The knit sample is their own to enjoy also.
Both of these steps take time. The editing review process can require some back-and-forth exchanges if extensive edits are required. The test knitting period can require several weeks depending on the size of the item.
In light of this, inquiries we have received, and developments we have observed as folks share their progress, we are pushing the pattern release date back to June 1, 2018. (It was May 15; I will update all previous website posts). This will allow two more weeks for finishing the write-up, sending it to an editor, and test knitting (if designers choose so). It means that the patterns will be ready before the next Manitoba-local festival – the Blue Hills Fibre Festival in Carberry, MB on June 9, 2018. It is held at the Carberry Community Memorial Hall from 10am – 4pm. Many of our local yarn/fibre providers will be there with Challenge yarns (and fibre) available for purchase if you are desiring some of these beauties for the summer make-a-long. If you’ve been eyeing these online, you may also want to inquire with the yarn/fibre folk about online purchases.
Designers and fibre folk, if you have questions and/or if you are intending to share in this release date please contact Mandy Furney directly or through firstname.lastname@example.org