Submission and Rejection: Tee to Knit Picks

Here’s another there-and-gone design I didn’t blog about in real time: a t-shirt I submitted to Knit Picks for their Spring 2015 Garment Collection. Their mood board included a bunch of striped, shapeless, lacey beach-type wear in boring color combinations.

Texas beaches are too hot for sweaters.

But their color board had hints of excitement.

Actual color.

I don’t like stripes and I don’t like shapeless and I don’t like lace, so I already had a hat trick of strikes against me. But I do love a challenge, so I went to my stitch dictionaries and found a lace design that I could tolerate liked (only because it was a combination of two patterns, one of which was a solid band of ribbing).

I should know by now that Knit Picks almost never publishes garments in exciting colors. The mix of beige, cream, and grey represented by the color putty is what they prefer. (The color equivalent of George Michael’s girlfriend Ann on Arrested Development.) Nevertheless, I decided on Clementine and Cosmopolitan.

The first swatch I knit didn’t look like the picture in the book, and I had knit a couple of the lace sections, so I knew it wasn’t me. So after I held my mouth a certain way, I finally figured out that there were two rows missing in the published stitch pattern. (Sheesh!) So I knit a new swatch with the two rows and everything looked good. I also changed the ribbing a little while I was at it.

I first had the idea to submit an oversized tunic with 3/4 sleeves, alternating the colors of the lace and ribbing to make it striped. I even went so far as to create a schematic.

This took forever to create in Paint.

But I don’t like 3/4 sleeves. Plus, in the time it took to knit an oversized sweater in a sport weight yarn, little Prince George would be enthroned. But if I went with a heavier weight yarn to make it go faster, lace or no lace, the whole thing would weigh too much. Plus, knitting something that heavy in cotton, yoga or no yoga, would kill my hands and shoulders.

So I decided to submit a semi-fitted t-shirt instead. (There was one on their mood board, so I wasn’t completely going free range.) I created another schematic, without the color this time, wrote up the proposal, photographed the swatch, named it Padre Island Tee, and submitted it three weeks before the deadline.

A week after the deadline, Knit Picks sent me a very short email.

On the bright side:

  • I have another pattern to self-publish.
  • Knit Picks will probably accept it for their Independent Designer Program, and
  • they’ll send me free yarn with which to knit it.


  1. Are their mood boards published on their website? I’m interested in working with them, both for their collections and through the Independent Designer Program.

    1. They email their calls for submissions and moodboards to designers they’ve worked with before. If you’re in the IDP, they start sending the calls to you. They also usually publish calls to the Designers forum on Ravelry.

      The IDP info is on their website. That’s pretty easy to get into.

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