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Grading In The Curve

Pattern By: Alexis Winslow
As some of us cope with recent events by grabbing our crafts and rocking back and forth in the corner others have decided to take a much more productive approach to the lock-in. For the last few days, I've been in group A. Knitting away on a security blanket and obsessively checking twitter. But being in group A is no longer working for me. I need to do more to keep myself sane. So I'm going to try harder to be in group B from now on. 

One thing that has come out of all this is a push to support small businesses. The fact of the matter is that when all of this is done many small businesses are going to be forced to close their doors. I feel I have to try and shine a light on some of the makers I want to support in through here. I want to use this platform to amplify the companies and makers I want to see when all of this passes. Many crafters who are now forced to work from home are looking for creative ways to grow their businesses and the creatives I want to talk about today are helping other makers do just that. 

A few weeks ago, before all of this, I had the chance to meet up with my friend Julie at the Stumptown cafe at The Ace Hotel in New York City. It was a rainy night after a long day but getting the chance to bounce ideas off of another maker is always worth it. Julia and I connected the first time we met. We both have the shared trauma of working in the fashion industry and have many a story about our time as women of color in the fashion industry. But those are stories for another day. That afternoon Julia shared with me that she had a new project that was about to be launched. A class on grading.

I'm sure many of you have wanted to leap into the world of pattern design and I'm sure that many of you have not taken that leap because of the perceived hurdle that is pattern grading. It was definitely the scariest obstacle for me when I was still producing knitwear. So the second she said that I started the count down to when I could share the news with all of you. 

I believe, maybe even more so now, that it's time to give yourself the chance to follow your dreams. I know that sounds dramatic. It wouldn't be *B*CH if I wasn't a little dramatic. If this is your first time here then you might not know that a little under two years ago I took a leap of my own to start *B*CH and it completely changed my life. So I'm firmly on team invest in yourself! Let's break down this class and then you can decide for yourself if it's a value you want to add to your tool belt.

The class, A Masterclass in Grading, is run by three teachers. My friend, Julie Robinson, who's section is about breaking down some of your preconceived fears about grading along with teaching you the fundamentals about body size charts, grade rules, and how to become inclusive in your size range. The next teacher is Melissa Metzobower, who's a knitter, a crocheter, and is the designer behind That Metzbower Girl Designs. She walks you through how to grade both a crochet pullover and a knit cardigan (including extended sizing). Lastly, we will hear from Sarah Walworth, who makes her living as a technical editor. She is going to teach you how to grade through example by turning one sample size into fourteen different sizes!

But the best news is, they are offering scholarships! You can sign up to apply for a scholarship and you can also offer to sponsor a scholarship spot by getting in touch with the founder of the Tech Editor Hub, Joeli. If you can sponsor a maker's growth it's a wonderful way to give back and strengthen the community. Which is more important now than it has ever been.

I've talked about this before on the blog but it is so important to offer a wide range of sizes to your makers. We come in all shapes and sizes and no one should be made to feel less than just because you don't offer patterns in their size. But I know that's easier said than done. There are many of you who would like to be more inclusive, but you just don't have the skills to do it. This course should make that goal much more achievable. It will move us closer to having the community we all want to be a part of. So in my mind, that's a win. You can sign up for the class through this link. Space is limited. I can't wait to see how this class is going to open doors for creatives on all ends of the process.

What companies/small businesses do you want to hear about next? I'm taking this time to spotlight the makers you want to support. Leave your suggestions in the comments below along with any thoughts you have about this new online class. I’m also always on the hunt for inspiring crafters so if there's a maker you want to see an interview with let me know and I'll see what I can do. You can follow along on my Instagram account @bobbleclubhouse for your daily(ish) dose of all things fiber. 

Until next time (Gawwwsh I've missed writing that), happy crafting!


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