Inside Knitscene: Choosing designs and planning themes

As the year winds up, we’re thinking far beyond 2010. Over the past month, I’ve been finalizing editorial for Knitscene Summer, reviewing submissions for Fall and Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts, and trying to keep my office in order. You can see how that’s working out.

The submission process is lengthy and complex. It’s also a lot of fun. A big box of swatches and notes comes to my door and I get to spend hours going through designers’ ideas for sweaters, hats, and more. We get a lot of cool stuff that we don’t accept. As editor, I’m always dealing with the tension of good design vs. editorial package. How does one choose 25+ projects that are each appealing individually, but that can also work together as a collection, within strict themes like “Brooklyn lumberjack” and “relaxed flamenco”? And at the same time, that also fit the overall Knitscene mission of simple-stylish-spirited?

It’s a tough job, but a lot of our decisions, in the end, come down to instinct. You can’t force a tight theme if the projects aren’t working with it. It’s always better to take good designs and build a new theme around them. What are themes anyway but a template for choosing palettes and planning photostyling? They don’t mean anything to the knitter spending evenings and train rides stitching away on a sweater for herself. By the time she starts knitting, she’s forgotten the editor’s vision and is immersed in her own. As it should be.

I’ll leave you with some background test shots from the Winter/Spring photoshoot. Can you see yourself here? In a wool/silk cardigan with mucking boots? What’s your vision? Are you a Brooklyn lumberjack or a dusty prairie lace girl? A flamenco dancer? A girl who loves to knit? I hope we can fulfill your personal knitting dreams, even just a little, in 2011.


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