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Friday, December 30, 2011

last post of the year (probably)

Well, I thought I'd cap off my round-up with the last post, showing what I've knit and designed this year.  It was an adventure.  I had a child start high school, and another one start Kindergarten...all in the same year.  I started teaching the Senior Primary class at church, during a time when my life couldn't take one more responsibility, and surprisingly I've excelled at it (and had a wonderful time, I might add).  I took a great e-course from Kelly Rae Roberts that encouraged me to spread my wings and fly!  I've submitted projects to Interweave Knits, Twist Collective, Knitty, a few independent book proposals, and Cascade Yarns.  Most did not choose to go with my design but all were encouraging and kind, and asked me to try again.  Cascade published my most popular design ever (thus far...you know...the blanket).  And I sold dozens of patterns at my LYS during the first annual Great Rhody Yarn Crawl, which did wonders for my designing moral.

I started working with a very talented graphic artist who has helped me to create my brand.  I've got a new logo, a new facebook page, a pretty new Etsy shop (which is still a bit empty, but will fill up), a pretty new layout for my twitter account, and a brand spanking new blog which I'm going to start using first think next year!  The rest of this blog will be slurped over in due time.  I'll have new business cards to match soon, and labels for my custom work. 

This year was not very lucrative in terms of online pattern sales, but I was able to see from the reports that I sold more sock patterns than anything else, and this year my Night of the Lepus was by far the most popular.  I think that The Bride of Frankenstein is going to give it a run for it's money in 2012.  I've already got a pretty new ad that will start cycling through your Ravelry project page on January 1st, so you'll probably see it there!  I sold more patterns directly through the shop, so next year I'll continue to overhaul my current body of work and focus on getting hard copies printed, and contacting a sales rep to help me get into some of the area shops.  It will probably be an easier job, once I've graduated from school in the Fall :)

I also took on quite a bit of commissioned knitting this year, and at a fair price.  I realized (thanks mostly to the Ravelry Design forum group, and the Flying Lessons course) that if I charge what I'm truly worth, I'll only have to take on projects that I want to do, and the ones I'm not as excited about won't be nearly as bad because I'm being paid a fair price to do them.  I won't get stuck doing something I don't truly enjoy doing.  I've also learned the need to provide a quote in writing, so customers don't forget what we discussed going in, and that I have the right to refuse work if I know it won't be worth the time or cost to myself or the client.  I've gotten much smarter about it, and my self-assurance translates to customers, which makes them feel comfortable paying me what I ask (and I always try to be fair...because I know what it's like to have to work on a budget and I could never afford me).

Finally, this year I learned that other people see me and my work differently than I see myself and my work.  I've had the opportunity to 'talk' to other designers who I admire through Ravelry, or in person, and they're regular people just like me.  They have flaws that only they can see, and they hate some of their early work just like I do, lol.  They have all been encouraging, and have told me that I'm much better and I really am...which keeps me going ;)  I've had a chance to work with a very talented photographer who literally makes me look good, and recently a tech editor contacted me and asked about working with me on my latest collection.  She has worked on some of my favorite patterns, and with some of my favorite designers, and I was honored that she asked to take a look at my collection.  Maybe she sees something in my work that I can't see yet. 

So, now that I've reviewed what I've learned and what I'm still finishing up from this year, here's a look at what I managed to finish.  I hope you enjoy :)  There are photos for everything except the Rococo shawl, and the Owls sweater (which I'll be ripping out), and they are presented in no particular order:

Bride of Frankenstein

Crescent Park Beret (matching handwarmers not shown)

Effortless Cardigan, by Hannah Fettig

Heritage Silk Lace mittens, for Cascade Yarns

my Julissa test-knit, for Knit Rhapsody

freestyle striped Noro sweater

Night of the Living Sock

Alexander's Purple Sweater

Quilt and Cable Blanket, for Cascade
Regia socks
Rhodes Stranded sock (currently touring the Stitches conventions)

Shelby- A Handknit Tie for Little Boys (and Alex's go-to tie for church)

Takoma in-the-round

Brambles Beret, and my Brambles Mittens


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve is my favorite day of the year

  Now that I'm a grown up, Christmas Eve is my favorite day.  When I was a child, it was Christmas day of course but now that I'm the mom, it's more fun for me to spend the day before prepping my boys for the 'big day', talking about Santa...watching every single Christmas episode of every one of our favorite shows...watching the classic Christmas movies like Rudolph and Christmas Story, and National Lampoons Christmas Vacation ;)  We've added Elf to the list in recent years.

I spend almost all day in the kitchen baking cookies for Santa.  My boys seem to think that he needs a variety to choose from, so I end up baking chocolate chip, peanut butter, butter balls, and oatmeal raisin.  This year I changed it up a bit with the French Butter cookies from Annie's Eats (which were a huge hit!) and I scaled the rest back and just made chocolate chip.  Meanwhile, I added peppermint bark, candied pecans, and sugar-free apple butter for my FIL.  He has to watch his blood sugar, so I always try to make something special just for him.  Oh!, and I almost forgot about the vanilla sugar and the hot chocolate mix. 
For dinner I make spaghetti and meat balls.  It's fast and easy, and nearly impossible to screw up (which is important because I'm usually running on fumes by Christmas Eve).  

After dinner, I love to pull up the NORAD Santa tracker for the boys, and let them watch his progress as he makes his way to New England.  Then, after the boys are finally in bed I hurry to wrap the things that I never got around to wrapping before.  I stuff stockings, and watch movies on t.v.  This year, I think I'm watching the latest Resident Evil movie.  Maybe that'll be my newest tradition... horror movies on Christmas Eve.

This year, I let Alex help me a little bit.  He got to count out 30 mint candies (he got to 29 before he ran into trouble), unwrap them and put them in a bag, and break them into pieces with a rolling pin.  I took a hammer to them after he was done ;)  The boys have been on quality control all afternoon, tasting everything I've made along the way.  It's been really difficult to get some nutritious food into their bodies, what with all the cheese-it chex mix, and peppermint candies, and white chocolate, and peppermint bark, and chocolate chip cookies.  I still have some banana bread and pumpkin bread to make, but I seem to have run out of butter, lol.  No worries though...I'm sending Aaron out for more butter...and also spaghetti...cause I may have forgotten to get some for tonight's dinner.

After Santa's cookies are out, the boys are in bed, and gifts are wrapped, Aaron and I usually exchange gifts.  He's not a morning person and I don't like to wait till the afternoon to get my presents, or for him to open is.  So we get to exchange our gifts quietly, just the two of us and no boys being loud or making a mess of things.  It's a good system...it works.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Year in Review: the sock edition

I designed quite a few socks this year, but two in particular were very popular.  Surprisingly, they were my socks for the Super Sock Scarefest 2011.  (On a side note, last year's SSS design was also extremely popular, so maybe I should consider sticking with this horror movie sock thing, lol).  Anyway, maybe you remember these:

Or these:
My most popular socks this year were the Bride of Frankenstein, followed closely by the Night of the Living Sock.  I loved them both and had a blast designing them.  The NofLS was designed during this years Scarefest round, so I never had a chance to actually knit any of the other patterns (but I saved them all to my library for future knitting).  This was the pattern that taught me that I will never be an actress because my attempt to show fear in a photograph came across as irritation, lol. 

So, for your enjoyment I've rounded up some of the completed projects from Ravelry, with links to the project pages.  All photos are copyright of the knitters who completed the projects.

Bride of Frankenstein:

Night of the Living Sock:

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Year in Review, part 1: Quilt and Cable Blanket

I've been a pretty busy lady this year!  I've designed several items and I thought that I'd share them with you over the next few days, with photos showing what other knitters have done with my ideas.  Today's post is all about my biggest project to date...the Quilt and Cable Blanket that I designed for Cascade Yarns.  As you may remember, this used under four skeins of Eco Wool and featured an interesting variation on a cable and the smocking technique.  I first came across the idea from a blanket in an advertisement in one of my MIL's home decor magazines and she loved the idea of it, so I sketched it out and after a year of flipping past it in my sketch book, I finally gave it a shot.

This was the first time I'd ever had a submission accepted, and my first time working with a 3rd party on a design, and it was truly a pleasant experience...so pleasant in fact that I worked with Cascade again on another design that I'll review in another post.  Anyway, I was really excited to see how well received the design was.  As of this date, it's been listed as a favorite 900 times, and is in 293 ques with 24 active projects currently on Ravelry!  It's been downloaded hundreds of times through Ravelry (not to mention all of the direct downloads from Cascade's website, which I can't track).  It was 'faved' by Jared Flood.  It was included in the October edition of Vogue Knitting's monthly newsletter.  And it remains my most popular design to date.

Now, here is a fun gallery of projects from knitters on Ravelry who have altered the pattern in fun ways, ranging from changing the gauge to create an heirloom baby blanket, to using a luxuriously soft yarn to make a blanket that you just can't stop touching!  Enjoy!
Rika's blanket in Eco Wool
Denise's stunning baby-blanket adaptation, in Berroco Vintage

Lynne's blanket in beautiful Malabrigo Worsted

Kathy's blanket in Berroco Vintage Chunky.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday prep

7 jars of hot cocoa mix, and a hidden jar of vanilla sugar
 I love Christmas.  I love it more now as an adult than I did as a child.  Now that I'm a parent, I love watching my children growing increasingly more excited with each passing day.  For example, this year Alexander is 5 and it's my personal opinion that Christmas is never better than it is when you're 5-years old.  He's finally old enough to appreciate all the festivities and to really participate.  This year, we've colored wooden ornaments, colored and cut out paper ornaments to hang on the wall, put together a foam gingerbread house and hung it on the wall, and in a few days we'll put together an actual gingerbread Christmas tree and decorate it with white and green icing. 

One of the other things I've really enjoyed is being able to establish my own Christmas traditions in addition to those that my mom and I shared.  The last few years, I've let the boys hang all the decorations on the tree on their own, and left them where ever they landed (lopsided or not).  I also wait until Christmas Eve to put any presents under the tree.  My boys are just too impulsive and impatient to have to stare at those gifts every day, and it's hard on them and stressful on us to police them all the time.  Plus...isn't Santa supposed to bring the gifts?  So if you're going with Santa in your house, it makes logical sense that gifts wouldn't show up until the night before, when he brings them. 

Another Christmas tradition that I've started with my family (three whole years running, lol) is that I spend all day Christmas Eve in the kitchen baking cookies.  I make 2-3 different varieties and they all have their favs so it works out.  One year, I had 11 dozen cookies!  I've scaled it back quite a bit since then.  I also make various holiday treats to give to friends and family during the holiday season.  One year it was cookies.  Another year it was peach butter and apple butter.  This year, it'll be the hot chocolate mix that you see in the photo above.  This is one way that I can show my love and appreciation to those close to us, and still keep my holiday budget reasonable.  I can also show my boys that meaningful gifts don't always come from a major retailer. 

My favorite new traditions...socks in the stockings on Christmas morning.  I knit Dante a pair of socks a few years ago, and when Alex saw them, he wanted a pair too.  The next year, I knit them both ties and I have to admit that the socks were a bigger hit than the ties (although they wore the ties most of this year).  This year, all three of my guys are getting socks (although only Alex's are done because I've had commissioned work and design samples competing for my knitting time). 

And finally, my second-favorite new tradition is making pasta with Sicilian meatballs for dinner on Christmas Eve.  We go over to my In-Laws for Christmas dinner so I don't have to worry about cooking, and frankly, the guys are turkey-ed out by the time Christmas rolls around.  I always thought that it was silly to make what was essentially a second Thanksgiving dinner on Christmas, and I always thought that Christmas should get something special, but my family were turkey people.  Now that I'm in charge of the food, I make meatballs.  It's fast, easy, about five ingredients, and the guys eat it every single time.  No dinner disasters (and I've had my fair share).  Dinner is ready in 30 minutes, and I can actually eat it too (cause I have the sauce without the meatballs, on my pasta). 

one of two commissioned stockings, drying.
What will not be included in my Christmas traditions, you ask??  Intarsia!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Putting up the tree

 We put up the tree this weekend, after a lot of urging from Alex.  Dante was at Nana's, so he's absent from these photos.
 Alex handled all the wooden ornaments, and Aaron handled all things breakable...except for the glass gingerbread ornament that he let Alex put up...which crashed to the floor and shattered into a million pieces.  We bought that set the year we got married, so I guess we're lucky that this is the only one to be broken.
The "tree skirt" is really the yoke off of a giant pullover, that my buddy Lisa cut off and couldn't bring herself to toss out, so she gave it to me.  I never got a chance to finish the edges, but we were in a bind and needed to get it on there so we went for it.  Looks great on the tree, and the boys all like it.  

If you want to see all of the photos (as I only put up three), then follow the link to my facebook photo album.

Friday, December 9, 2011

A definite change in plans

 This week has been an interesting one.  I started me new classes yesterday, and even though I was really excited about the subject matter, I'm not so excited about the E-books (because one can't read ahead and be prepared for the first week if one doesn't have access to the books), or the fact that seminars are graded again and therefore mandatory.  I like to attend class, but I don't like having to be really rigid about my schedule or having to do extra work to make up for a missed class.  I also don't enjoy being the only psych major in the class, because almost no one sees things from the prospective of a psych major and I don't much like being the odd one out in a classroom.

Then there was the class I taught at Blithewold Manor in Bristol.  I had a lovely time and the ladies were wonderful.  But, the mansion is set off the road in the middle of nowhere, with no street lights and it was pouring rain.  I couldn't see much of anything and my eyes are still killing me from struggling against the lights, and the glare, and the dark.  Thankfully, I thought ahead and took the GPS with me this time so I got home just fine.  And I came home to find a Keurig coffee maker gift wrapped for us on the coffee table!  This is one of the coolest gifts we've ever received, especially the reusable filter that lets me use my own teas.  Now I can make my favorite tea from The Coffee Depot at home, and it comes out like their does :)

And lastly, we got a large shipment of books and yarn in the shop this week (and you can read a little more about the aftermath here).  Anyway, Naomi suggested that I take a look at all the new books (so I'll know what's in there and I can direct customers to the right stuff...really!...it's not just about looking in the books, lol).  While flipping through a copy of Modern Knits, Vintage Style, I came across a pattern for a crocheted skirt.  When I looked closer, I realized that it was the same exact skirt I had previously submitted to that Book Project and that I was going to design here on the blog!!  Now, I've heard that this happens a lot (two different people who've never met and live in different parts of the world come up with the same idea at the same time), but I have to admit that it's happened to me quite a bit recently.  See exhibit one: this is mine, and this is not, nor is thisExhibit two is mine, and this is not.  I can't exactly show you exhibit three, because I only have a collection of swatches and a sketch, and the pattern photo is not uploaded to Ravelry, but trust me when I say that unlike the other examples, these were spitten images of each other...right down to the scalloped hem.  So I guess it was truly for the best that my proposal was rejected because I wouldn't have anything to contribute after all, and I would have been terribly embarrassed.

So the project isn't off, but it's definitely different that planned.  I'm going to force myself to take the plunge and design my first sweater, right here on the blog.  I know that I'm going to run up against some issues with my first design and I think that having a place where I can talk about them will be therapeutic :)  Plus, the peer-pressure will keep me from backing out.  The Great Design Project of 2011 is back on (with a new name), and this time it's a sweater!  So, check back for the next post in The Great-ish Sweater Project, where I'll have a pretty sketch and some swatches to show you.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday Madness

Today, after I went to Petco for cat food and cat nip, I went into Michael's looking for plain tree-shaped blocks of wood to paint for Alex's Thomas set.  I didn't find that, but I did find some pre-painted trees and a boat, a light house, and a sun.  But I also found a gingerbread Christmas tree, and a foam gingerbread house that he can put together.  I figure that if I get a few inexpensive things and let him color/paint/put together one every day or two...that should hold him till Christmas.  I even found a wooden advent calendar with dials that let you count down the days until Christmas, and he gets to paint it!

Meanwhile, I've finished the first of his socks so I know that at least Alex will have socks in his stocking on Christmas morning.  I'm still in the middle of Aaron's first one, and I haven't even cast on for Dante's socks.  But the good news is that these stockings I'm knitting are basically worsted-weight socks so there's a good chance that I can finish them in about a week.  The only issue I've had so far is that I've had to completely chart the colorwork myself using Intwined Pattern Studio, because the chart is non-existent.  I'm also going to need to re-write the pattern because much of it is missing.  So I'm pretty much reverse engineering from the stocking itself.  Maybe when I'm all done, I'll refresh this vintage pattern and release it with modern directions (if I can find the time, lol). 

Also, tomorrow I'm teaching a knitting workshop at the Blithewold Mansion in Bristol RI from 6-8pm, if you're in the area.  Stop in and knit a scarf or a cowl with us!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Takoma is all done!

 I finally finished knitting my Takoma sweater, and I haven't taken it off since I got the buttons put on.
 I changed the shawl-collar to one with 2x2 ribbing to better match the cuff and hem details.  I actually did knit the original collar as written in the pattern, but then I pulled it out and replaced it with this one.  I'm much happier.
 The Eco Wool grew a bit after blocking.  I knew it would, and I counted on it, but I didn't realize that my sleeves would grow quite as much as they did.  They're super long, and I'm actually really excited about that.  When you're as tall as I am, you rarely have to worry about sleeves being too long :)  It's a refreshing change.
 I went with dark brown leather buttons from JHB.  Naomi and I are going to have to go onto their site to get the care instructions for the buttons.  I hope that I won't need to remove them every time I need to wash the sweater...  Thankfully, these don't need to be cleaned very often.
Check out that set-in sleeve!  I'm really proud of this one.  The fit wasn't exactly perfect, since I'd steeked the armhole and I knit the sleeve in the round.  Thankfully, I got it sewn in evenly all around.  And you'll also notice in earlier photos that I fixed my error in the colorwork section in the middle of my arm.  

My husband said this was the most impressive thing he's ever seen me knit, and that it looks like I bought this sweater in a store.  When you knit as often as I do, your family gets pretty jaded over the handknits (cause they see so many come off the needles).  They get tough to impress, so this is one of the best complements he's given me (regarding my knitting).  That's saying something :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Guess who passed her finals?! lol

As if I needed to answer that question ;)

I just finished registering for my December courses, and confirmed with my advisor that I passed this term's classes at 99% and 100% for the term!  Who's a smarty-pants!  lol.  Now I'm registered for intro to forensic psychology and juvenile delinquency.  I'm really excited about these classes.  I've been interested in forensic psychology for a while, and now I get to use my remaining electives to take a few classes in criminal justice.  (and on a side note, I just want to state for the record that I spelled 'forensic' and 'juvenile' correctly on my own the first time, without needing to use the spell check!)  This, my dear long-suffering readers, means that I have one core class left for my ABA requirement, four electives, and my capstone left, and I will be walking away with a Bachelors degree in Psychology with special emphasis in Child Development and Applied Behavior Analysis!  And I won't be qualified to do a whole lot with it, because there isn't much one can do with a bachelors in psychology, lol.  However, I will have finally finished my 16-year college degree (and made my parents proud), I'm qualified to deal with my son's special education department, and I can work in a classroom if I take a special test and get some classroom hours under my belt.  But what I'm most likely going to do is to go enroll at URI or Rhode Island College, and start working on my Masters degree.

Now, for what you came here for:  knitting!
I've nearly finished my Takoma.  I actually finished my shawl collar, and when I was done, I hated it.  It has nothing to do with the actual design.  I just have some sort of block when it comes to executing a traditional shawl collar, and each time I try to do it, it just doesn't look right.  After two days of hand-hurting work, I ripped it all out.  Instead, I'm subbing the technique used on the Emerald sweater (the one I wear every day, so I know that I like the collar).  I think that using the same 2x2 ribbing along the collar will look better, since the hem and cuffs are knit that way, and I like the overall shape better.  I just finished the button holes, and I'm getting ready to start the actual short-row shaping soon!  Then I'll put on sleeves, and wear this baby within an inch of it's life.

In other knitting news, I'm working on socks for all three of my boys, and it's killing me because at least on of them is home and awake at all times!  I only have so many sets of 2.5mm needles!  So I've been taking Aaron's set with me to work to knit on during class, and I started Alex's, which I work on after he goes to bed.  I just would the yarn for Dante's and I'll have to knit those after he goes to bed as well.  Thank goodness I'll be working on the crocheted skirt, because I'll need something to do when everyone is home and awake, lol.

Oh, and in interesting news...my photo made the Berroco Blog.  Normally that would be exciting, except that I was wearing prototypes for two of my pending designs and someone snapped a photo without my knowledge...and put it up on the blog so now, my designs have been 'published online' and are no longer eligible to be submitted to any of the major publishers.  I feel bad about this for two reasons.  First, I've had the hat test knit but the mitts are mid-test right now and I've made everyone promise to keep them offline (which they have...since March!), and then I somehow manage to get caught wearing the only hat that fits my giant head, and ruin it myself.  Second, I wasn't sure what I was going to do with this design, but I wanted the option of submitting the pattern elsewhere, because I'm still pretty small potatoes and my indi-releases don't reach a very large audience right now.  I had higher hopes for these babies, but never fear.  I've arranged for a photo shoot, and I'll get cracking on the matching cowl, and then I'll release them on my own.  Maybe when I launch my freshly branded blog, with matching etsy page? lol.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Great Design Project: part 1

Welcome to one of the scariest things I've done yet as a knitter, blogger, and designer: The Great Design Project.  This is going to be a series of posts related to my lasts design idea.  I submitted this design to be included in a fantastic project, but it didn't quite fit with the other designs.  And that's okay!  So I decided that since I love this project, I'd take this opportunity to show what I go through from the first step in the process, all the way to design completion.  This is the first part, and I'd love if you followed along until this is all done :)  Keep in mind that the way I work in no way reflects the way that all (or even most) designers work...it's just what works for me.  So, lets get started

This is a sketch of my baby.  It's a crocheted skirt.  I got the idea when I was working on a swatch for a baby blanket.  I wasn't in love with the colors that I had available to me, so I went to the shop and found a pretty heathered-brown.  When I started doing my 3rd swatch, I thought "this would make a fantastic skirt!", and I ended up shaping my swatch like a mini-skirt.  It was so cute! 

The pattern is simple, and and easily customizable.  I put a great deal of the work into the conception of the idea (for the proposal packet) and I've decided that it will be worked top down, to allow the wearer to more easily adjust the length.  I've also decided on what I feel to be a pretty good range of sizes.  Unlike most of the knitted skirt patterns I've come across, the sizes increase two inches at a time because it's been my experience that crochet has less horizontal give than knitting does.

So, now that I have a few swatches, and a sketch, and a range of sizes with a general idea of how I plan to approach this baby...what's next?  Well, this is where I start working on a prototype, and taking some good notes.  The prototype is simply that; a prototype.  The finished garment can very quite a bit, or not at all from the original concept, because sometimes designers run into issues that work fine in a one-off situation but will never work out when it needs to be duplicated in multiple sizes.  I've experienced this before, and probably will again.  That being said, I'm off to go crochet a few more swatches and get some ideas of row gauge to go with my stitch gauge, and then I'll come back with more photos and an idea of what worked, what didn't, and where I'm headed next.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

me standing in socks, and Norah in 3" heels, lol
This Thanksgiving, I'm really thankful for the fact that my finals were last week, rounding into this week, and finishing up on Tuesday, because I can have a school-work free Thanksgiving this year!  I don't have to leave my MIL's early because I had a major homework assignment due (like last year, or the year before).  I also finished my homework early enough that I had time to scoot down to Slater Mill on Tuesday night to meet Norah Gaughan!  That's right.  This is me...standing with my arm around NORAH GAUGHAN!!  An up-and-coming designer, standing right next to one of the most prolific and talented designers of ALL TIME.  Maybe some will rub off on me :)

This holiday season I'm looking forward to spending time in my kitchen with Alex.  He loves to help me (although sometimes it's not quite as much help as he thinks it is).  I'm going to bake cookies today with my new Pampered Chef stoneware cookie sheet.  I'm going to make mashed potatoes with goat milk/butter so I can eat them.  I'm going to make candied yams with the mini marshmallows and brown sugar :)  And if I can find the energy...I'll be making a pumpkin pie with coconut cream instead of condensed milk so I can eat that too!  Oh, and at some point in time I have to put my vegetarian pot pie in the oven so it'll be warm when I go to my MIL's :)  See... I'm a considerate vegetarian, and I come to holiday events with my own main course so the chef doesn't have to sweat over what I can eat ;)

Now, I'm gonna go knit the rest of my Takoma sleeve, on my couch, sitting next to all of my boys...who are all awake at 8:57am for once.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Off to a rocky start, lol.

So, last night after I finally quit working on my final projects for the evening (the ones due today by 11:59pm...that still arent' finished...and I'm typing this blog instead of working on them...yeah, those), I sat down and finished my second sleeve for Takoma.  The 3rd chart section looked a little odd, and I kept looking at it trying to figure out why it seemed different, but I just kept happily working on it and after binding off, I laid it next to the 1st sleeve, and found this mess.  Really?!?  Really.  So I guess I get to spend another day ripping all the way back to that part and reknitting it in the correct color combo, cause there's just no way I can get away with leaving the sleeve like that, lol.  Oh well.  Chalk it up to user error.

In other news, I heard back already on one of the submission I sent out and unfortunately they did not choose to use my design.  They were very kind, letting me know that they loved my work, and hope to work with me on a future project.  They just got so many submissions for this project, and lots of them were the same type of project I'd submitted (but mine is crocheted and the project actually says "knits" in the title so I'm assuming they put priority on knit designs, which makes perfect sense and I would have done the same).  To be honest, I don't even know if they were accepting crocheted designs (the submission call didn't say) so I was taking a risk by sending it out, but what's the worst that can happen?... they say 'no'?  Well, they said 'no', and I feel okay with that.  Maybe it's because I've really thought this project through, and I created my strongest submission yet so I know I did my best work and I'm proud of it.  So I know that not being chosen wasn't personal.  I can see it from a business perspective, and I get it.   And maybe it's because I'm an independent designer and I have another option for it :) 

So, with that in mind, I've decided to give you all a glimpse into what I go through as a designer to get a design written, a sample knit (or crocheted in this case) and tested, and to get it promoted.  It's an "all access backstage pass" if you will.  Keep in mind, this is only my process, and other designers may work in a totally different (and more efficient, or logical) way.  I'll be working on this design over the next month or so, (with breaks for Holiday Knitting and the inevitable school work), and sharing it all with you!  So enjoy, and try not to judge too harshly, lol.