The process of planning new kit designs…

The year is coming to a close, so it’s time for me to begin plotting my new kit designs.

I love designing kits: it’s a chance for me to pair some of my favorite patterns with color combinations that folks will adore. So, how to I decide which patterns and yarns will make it into kit-hood?

I have a few criteria… so let’s have a peek!

1. The pattern must fit on 4 printed pages.

All of my patterns are available as a pdf download: they’re lengthy (10 pages is the norm) documents full of step-by-step photos. They’re fabulous patterns for viewing on your computer or kindle. They aren’t very efficient for printing.

I make a limited number of my patterns available in 4-page, printed formats:

This are the format that is distributed to local yarn stores and is also the print-out that is included in each kit.

For a pattern to be printed in this format, it must fit on 4 pages without suffering from information loss. If cutting a photo will lead to a confused customer, I won’t do it.

2. The customer should be getting a deal on yarn.

The reason I began assembling kits is because no one like buying an entire skein of yarn when they’re only going to use 10 yards of the color. My owl kit is the perfect example of a good deal:

The customer gets 4 colors of yarn (2 of which are used in very small quantities), so they are able to save a significant amount of money over purchasing 4 skeins of yarn.

If a pattern doesn’t require multiple colors, then it doesn’t make a fabulous kit. Take a peek at Cliff the Brontosaurus:

He’s cute, but he uses one skein of one color of yarn. If I make a kit for Cliff, the customer won’t end up saving that much money over purchasing the yarn on their own. So, Cliff probably won’t make the cut into becoming a kit.

3. The pattern must be popular.

Some of the patterns I design have wide appeal and are incredibly popular among lots of different people. Other patterns are more ‘niche’… like Sandford the Squid:

I have to keep in mind that a smaller percentage of my patterns are sold as kits, as compared to sole patterns. Even though Sandford has a great niche market… once those numbers are shrunk to ‘kit numbers’, he isn’t worth packaging into a kit.

4. The kit must contain colors that are worth ordering.

I buy the yarn for my kits in bulk… 2200 yards at a time.

Let’s have a look at Nel the Tiny Owl:

He requires 5 yards for his eye circle color. If I pick a color that I only use for him (like lilac), I’ll need to make 440 kits to use up all of the yarn! That’s a lot! But, if I select a color (like orange) that I use in other kits, then my yarn usage is more efficient.

Who will be featured in the new kits?

Umm… I haven’t decided yet. That’s on next week’s to do list!

But, I can tell you that the new batch will abide by the criteria I listed above!

Do you have any votes?

Tags: , , , , ,
Dec 2, 2012 | Posted by in Blog, Business of Design | 7 comments

Comments (7 Responses)

  1. Vanessa says:

    I would love to see your gnome, Nel and/or your penguin!

  2. DeeAnna says:

    I have a few. LOL

    1) Jeffery the Dog or Jeff the Dog
    2) Roosevelt the Monster
    3) Howie the Penguin, holiday
    4) Fiona the Mouse

    But to be honest…I love them all!!!

  3. Yvonne says:

    How about Vera the Ladybug? And Nel (maybe there could be enough yarn to make two Nel’s in the kit?). I love your kits!

  4. Hollie says:

    I agree with the above, but will cast my vote anyways:

    – Forrest the Garden Gnome <– (bold this one!)
    – Jeffrey the Dog
    – Fiona the Mouse
    – Jean-Paul the Hedgehog
    – Kieran the Beaver

  5. Sia says:

    Great idea to make more kits. I’d like to see quite a few,

    Jim the goat
    Jackie the cow
    Wally the Koi fish
    The ladybug…

    I agree with Yvonee, maybe a kit for Nel the tiny owl, with enough yarn to make more than just 1.

    I would also like to see the Alpaca in a kit.

  6. Patty says:

    I agree with all the above choices and will add:
    Tino the Turtle (I like turtles)
    Morris the Dragon (he is just so cute).

  7. I just LOVE Forrest the Gnome!! (I have quite a few “real” ones in the garden outside currently) and I have been eyeing up that pattern for quite some time! So here’s my little list of ones I just adore:

    Forrest the Gnome
    Maple the Moose
    Wally the Koi
    Maurice the Black Bear

    I’m super excited I managed to squeeze into the kit-club at the last minute :) :) Yay!!

The shop is on vacation for the summer! Come back in September for a full restock!