Crafting First Impressions

crafting

Gus Baxter, new assistant editor for Interweave’s family of knitting magazines.

My fiber story began in my senior year of college, when I was stressed out over my capstone project to complete my bachelor degree in biological anthropology. To help me de-stress, my mother taught me the basics of crochet. Crafting sparked something new and creative inside me, and I was eager to learn more. In 2014, I learned how to knit at Close Knit Yarns LLC in Midland Park, New Jersey. A month later, captivated by this creative and exciting fiber world, I found myself working at that shop. Flash forward to January 2017: I land in Fort Collins, Colorado—1,700 miles away from home—to start the next step in my crafting adventure at Interweave.

Here are a few things I’ve learned in my first week as assistant editor.

 


Streamlined workflow

I am responsible for ten magazine issues that are being worked on simultaneously, with each issue in a different stage of production. If you’re thinking, “that sounds terrifying,” you’re right! To help me stay on top of things, my fellow assistant editor, Sarah, introduced me to our weekly flowcharts. Each magazine has its own individual chart that covers what needs to be completed each week, which turns these colossal projects into attainable weekly goals.

Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy

Accuracy isn’t anything to write home about, but trust me, it’s important around here. Recording incoming submissions and finished projects, contacting yarn companies to order yarn, making sure that all designer info is up to date—these are just a few examples of the tasks I perform on a daily basis. Not the most glamorous parts of the job, but in order for everything to run smoothly across all magazine titles, all data must be regularly updated, organized, and above all, entered accurately. Incorrect information slows down the workflow and creates a bottleneck in productivity.

Ordering yarn

Editors decide what submissions will be accepted into the magazine and which yarn will be used for each project, and then the assistant editors make the arrangements for yarn. Yes, you read that right: I am responsible for ordering the proper quantities of yarn from different companies and shipping that yarn out to different designers. Last week, in my fervor to be productive, I sent out duplicate orders to a few companies. Each company responded with a warm and understanding email, reassuring me that there was no need to apologize for being thorough. Duplicate orders aside, I enjoyed introducing myself to new yarn companies as well as contacting some of my old favorites from my LYS days.

Work/life balance

When I first sat down with my editor, Hannah Baker, she told me that my work day is over at 5 p.m. Of course, there will be exceptions here and there, but generally the day ends at 5 p.m. Having that strong boundary creates a healthy work/life balance. I’m learning that I am expected to leave work at work, explore my new surroundings, and live my own life. I am valued as a human being at Interweave, which makes me want to work that much harder and accomplish that much more between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.!

My overall job is to keep things moving

If I took all the new skills and tasks I’ve learned over the past two weeks and boiled them down to a one-sentence job description, it would be: I keep everything moving. I make sure designers get their yarn. I make sure that submissions and projects are received properly and returned properly. And above all, I make sure that when an editor says, “Can you let me know when you’ve completed task X,” I can respond with, “It’s already completed.”

—Gus


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