I just read a couple of blog posts that have inspired me to write my own. It started with Dealing with Rejection by Heather Zoppetti on the Stitch Sprouts blog which lead me to the Design Your Biz: Rejection post by Jen Lucas on Knitting Like Crazy. And of course I have a very similar story to tell. Whenever you start submitting you have to be prepared for the big nope. My first magazine acceptance was actually a proposal that had already been rejected by another magazine!

You work on a proposal and if you don’t fall in love with it a little then I think maybe it really isn’t meant to be. But if you fall in love with it then you are willing to fight for it. You have to have the confidence to say “This is good” even if a rejection makes you question your own judgement. I once had a crazy idea (I’ll wait for you to get over being totally shocked) …. that I could make two color cables using slipped stitches. I spent a lot of time swatching and came up with something that I really thought rocked out. And I sent it in as a proposal to a call from a major yarn company.

A sketch of a proposed two color cable hat.
The original sketch for the proposal.

And it bombed. No thank you – not gonna happen. And you know what, the more I thought about it the more I realized that maybe it wasn’t a perfect fit for that particular yarn. The owners of the yarn company definitely know their own yarn better than I and they saw something that didn’t quite work. So I set about trying to decide who did make the perfect yarn for the design. And I reworked my proposal and sent it in to the better-fit yarn company and they loved it! And being the color geniuses they were we worked together to pick out the perfect color combo for the pattern.


Cables are Cook: a two color, slouchy cable hat with slipped stitch color work by Barbara Benson

Now, if I hadn’t been able to suck up my sadness from the original rejection then Cables are Cool would have never seen the light of day. And I think that would be a different kind of sadness that I’d rather not deal with. (Also, can I just take a moment of pride to point out how much the sketch resembles the finished piece. I’ve never really looked at them side by side. I nailed it!)

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