Drusilla and This Week’s Plans

It looks like the title of a story, doesn’t it?

Drusilla Cloth is now live and available for sale in my Ravelry store! And I’ve already sold a copy in just these few short hours since she went live this afternoon! I’m still not done with launch day marketing. If I don’t get it tonight I’ll get it tomorrow night in the hotel.

Drusilla preview
Drusilla preview

And now to this week’s plans…there aren’t any yet. I spend the whole day at Mum’s with my three year old nephew. I’ve mentioned him before-he’s the one that loves my iPad mini. I basically polished Drusilla, used Mum’s computer to upload the pattern then supervised him playing games. He had eleven games open when he finally got bored and said he was done. At that age, his attentions span is not much bigger than a gnat’s. He flips back and forth between the games. I don’t mind though-most of the games I put on for him are educational. He’s getting pretty good at Bejewelled! He’s figured out the shapes and colours have to match for the puzzle style games.

Then my sister returned from work after picking up her grandson on the way back from work. She’s the driver for my trip tomorrow. She had to go in on day off to get payroll ready as payday is the day she gets back to work. It was so cute seeing the boys so excited to be together again. My neice and the baby (23 months old!) moved into an apartment last month until then they were at my sister’s. So the boys have an almost brotherly relationship. They miss eachother. But we’ve been having more family dinners now that R & baby J live just down the road from my mother.

Then it was time for supper and clean up. Then my sister and I brought the baby back and she dropped me off at home since I live a block from where she works. She wasn’t quite finished payroll.

After feeding the starving animals-if supper is more than 1/2 hour late the cats act like it’s been days! I started packing. It’s suprising how much you need to pack for an overnight trip with a 4.5-5 hour drive each way. And at this time of year you always need an extra day’s clothes in case the roads are closed or you get weathered to in. I’m bringing lots of knitting. I can’t underpack knitting. I’d be too anxious of running out. Instead I have enough for three or four knitters!

I’m bringing Elspeth to finish sample 1-I didn’t knit at all today! I’m bringing the yarn for sample 2. I spent hours hand-winding it into a ball as the partial cake fell apart. Since I didn’t get Damia sample 2 started, I’m bringing a partial Anya on a pounder of Bernat’s Handicrafter Cotton. I’m bringing Bettina too so I can work on her samples and pattern.

This Anya is for my brother for Christmas-it’s a brown ombré. I’ll keep going down the line once this one is done. Alys is done, Anya is on the go, then Ayla and Drusilla. Then Bettina once she’s released.

I’m doing all the patterns in doubles in each colour as I go. I decided two weeks ago to add a second income stream this December after the second coworker asked if I’d be selling dishcloths. I’ve done it in the past but not for years. But they’re easy sellers and what doesn’t sell can go as I’ll buy myself for gifts or my own kitchen. I WILL NOT BE OPENING A STOREFRONT FOR FINISHED PRODUCTS. But since I’m off sick and it’s one of the few things I can do I decided to go ahead. So what I’m doing is pretty much the one for me and one for you game. Each family member is getting a different colour. So I do their Alys; then I do another for the sale. Then I switch to another colour for the next relative. This way every one will get the same amount.

I’ll sell them as sets and if I have time some singles too. I should have at least five sets plus some singles. The department Christmas party is around the 18th. I’ll text a few coworkers next week to let them know the cloths will be available at the party if they’re interested and request they mention it to the rest of the department. I expect I will probably sell out. I know one coworker still uses the dozen I gave her for a wedding gift six years ago. She’s hinted at needing new ones soon. And two asked outright. My only worry is it will be to late for mail-out gifts. I plan to tie ribbon around the bundles with a business card attached. And tie business cards to the singles as well.

Its now after ten thirty and I still need to work on this week’s schedule. There may not be a post tomorrow depending on how the travelling, tests and shopping go. Today is the last day of NaBloPoMo. Thirty days ago I wasn’t sure I could do it. Now I think I might miss the daily posting…

And don’t forget to do the poll, please!

Designs in Process

It’s time for another design in process Friday. Today we’re going to talk about three designs-Elspeth, Drusilla and Bettina.

Let’s talk about Elspeth first. I started last weekend. First I tried where you cast all the stitches onto one needle then split up onto two. I don’t remember the name of the technique. I learned it for the Beekeeper’s Blanket. One day I’ll show you my lonely hexipuff and it’s quarter-puff buddy.

That cast on didn’t go very well. I had trouble separating onto two needles. I think I cast on too tightly for this method. Next I tried the Figure 8 cast on. From memory even though I’d never actually done it before. Yeah, that didn’t go very well. I should have asked to use Mum’s Cast On, Bind Off book. But I didn’t think of it.

So the next day, at home, with my Cast On, Bind Off I tried a few cast ons. I settled on the Figure 8 and cast on. It’s a good thing I kept a card nearby because I cast on way more stitches than necessary.

Elspeth too big
Elspeth too big

So, I ripped all the way back and tried again and again. And finally found the right number of stitches to be too big for one card but just right for a bunch. It flew from there. Now I’m working on the top part of the envelope.

Elspeth half-way there!
Elspeth half-way there!

I can comfortably fit 25 business cards in her! I hope to finish the knitting and pick out a button from my button stash tomorrow.

Next up is Bettina. I started Bettina a few months ago. I roughed out the pattern as I went. But when the sample was done I looked at it and it wasn’t quite what I had envisioned. But it was still too good to toss. So I put her aside and started to try to get closer to what I was think of when I started her. And thus came Drusilla. They are different enought to know they aren’t the same but similar enough to be related. Sisters maybe?

Drusilla has been tested and tech edited. Now I’m polishing her up. I hope to release her this weekend. If you need a quick knit for a sudden gift Drusilla would be perfect with a bar of fancy soap. Need a hostess gift or a work gift?

Drusilla preview
Drusilla preview

When Elspeth is knit twice I’ll put out the call for testers. Then I need to finish poor Bettina, she’s waited long enough. And simultaneously I’ll be working on Damia sample 2. I need something that doesn’t require a lot of counting for the drive on Monday and Tuesday and for hotel knitting. I’ll also be bringing dishcloth cotton for Christmas gifts but I find I can only work so long on cotton before my hands rebel. And my shoulders rebel any knitting quickly these days. But I must pack more than I could possibly knit. It’s a knitter rule!

Thank you to all who partook in the poll. I appreciate the input. I love all the themes but I know seven day a week posting isn’t practical once I return to my day job. I can’t keep all the themes but don’t want to unknowingly drop something that’s a reader favourite.

Happy Thursday

Happy Thanksgiving to my US readers!

It’s been a slow day yet fast day. Slow because I’m waiting for my favourite online yarn store to open her Black Friday Sale. I peeked at her new arrivals page but she hasn’t added any of the yarn trunk shows she’s running. But I did put two interchangeables cables into my cart for my new set. You always need extra cables! I was there last night adding something for my neice for Christmas. It’s not on sale but now seems like a good time to grab it.

And fast because I slept late then took a nap. I’m having trouble sleeping at night. The pain is keeping me awake I think. But during the day when I’m on stronger pain meds I end up napping which turns into a vicious cycle.  I’m going to try adding melatonin tonight. It’s worked in the past to help me sleep. If that doesn’t work I’ll try naproxen or ibuprofen at bedtime

Did you hear the updated Wooly app is up? I’d about given up hope. I need to play around with it. Maybe I’ll review it in the future. I used to use it all the time until the developers stopped fixing bugs and issues while working on the new version. It seemed to crash every second time I tried to use it to the point I was doing all the photo taking and editing in other programs first before uploading them with Wooly to Ravelry. Wooly 2.0 is not complete. The developers have already stated there will be a December update fixing bugs and turning on some functions.

From what I’ve seen in the little time I’ve played around, it looks good. The iPad dashboard is nice-it’s nice to see the whole screen used. I thought we’d be able to view and add to our library but I didn’t see any signs of that. The new Wooly allows for adding projects and stash. But the add project function didn’t work for me-it stalled at finding the yarn box. Saving wouldn’t work but cancel worked very fast! It also didn’t scroll up as you filled in boxes. Eventually you have to stop because the keyboard is blocking the bottom half of the boxes you need to fill in! I’ll play some more later.

Please answer the poll. I can’t keep all the themes and would appreciate your insight into which themes are your favourites.

A Question for You

We established today I am unable to schedule posts correctly at times. Hence Quotation Wednesday posted on a Tuesday. So today on Tuesday I am scheduling a post for Wednesday.

All month as part of NaBloPoMo I have been posting daily. Two posts per week I usually wrote ahead and scheduled. In order to keep the posts semi-useful and not just fluff to get a daily post uploaded, I created five daily themes and the remaining two days free flowing. Now that December nears I would like to know from you, the readers, which of these themes you would like to remain. I intend to continue posting regularly and frequently but probably not seven days a week.

Thank you for your input! Please feel free to leave a comment championing your preferred theme.

A Monday Magazine Review – Knitscene Winter 2014

Knitscene Winter 2014
Knitscene Winter 2014

25 knits are in this issue.

The Daring  to Design column features Emma Welford. She has four designs, Haubergeon Sweater, Cuirassier’s Cardigan, Ornate Greaves and Gothic Gloves in this issue. I like the Haubergeon Sweater; at first glance its a simple sweater. Then you see the sleeve detail. The Ornate Greaves are interesting looking leg warmers! I wonder if I could modify the Gothic Gloves into mittens. It should be a simple mod. I like the look and the colour work but it’s the fingers again! Emma is transitioning from full-time employment to full-time designer. If these four designs are any indication of her talent she should have no difficulty!

The Purbeck Pullover by Beatrice Perron Dahlen has a purl detail I really like. And its seamless construction is a plus.

Zsuzsa Kiss‘s Carrara Shawl is gorgeous but the yardage!!! Maybe if I substitute out the double-strand of lace weight for another.

I like Annie Watts‘s Siena Mittens. I like how she created the striping pattern. It’s a great use of leftovers or mini skeins.

Paros Hat by Robin Allen is interesting. I think I might knit this one but not in grey and lime!

Kristen Orme‘s Kolmården Jacket is another which uses double stranding of two colours to create a marled look. This may join my queue too.

The Scene features Tolt Yarn and Wool in Carnation, Washington owned by Anna and Greg. I wish I lived much closer to the west coast. It sounds like an amazing store. And she’s opening an online store soon! They have a store-brand Tolt yarn spun from their own sheep! And are working on another. This new one will be a Clun Forest/BFL cross and was due to be ready for their first anniversary on Nov. 9th.

Ooh, I really like the colour work and cable combination in Ravenna Cowl by Katya Frankel! It’s definitely queue material!

Ann McDonald Kelly took the beginning mosaic knitter in mind when designing the Neon Mosaic Scarf! The colour work is only on the ends with a solid middle. Ann has written an article on mosaic knitting using this scarf as an example for the magazine as well.

Thyri Pullover by Hilary Smith Callis is classic with the twist of long cuffs and thumb holes. This one may be on the needles soon.

Wendy Bernard‘s Lise Hat and Armwarmers are also designed for beginning colourworkers.

Blogspotting features Norwegian blogger Matilde Skår. Matilde has been blogging since 2005. She can be found at www.xn--matildeskr-95a.no and there’s an English translation option for those of us that don’t read Norwegian. She blogs the process of making things, small dyi projects, knitting, jam making and everyday life.

This was another successful magazine purchase. There are several patterns I’m interested in knitting.

Weekly Plan Creation, Nov 23-29

I’m trying something new this week-well two but I’m having issues with the second. The first is how I do my weekly planning. I’m trying out an app called Gneo. It sorts your to do items under urgent/important, urgent/not important, important/urgent and not important/not urgent. I’m hopeful this will eliminate procrastination and overwhelm.

Here’s what this week looks like:

To-Do This Week
To-Do This Week

The other thng I’m trying is a new keyboard app for my iPhone and iPad. I like the look but auto-correct is worse than ios and it keeps runng my words together.

We will see to heybook fare thisweek! Ack! See what I mean! That was supposed to say we will see how they fare this week! It’s like sticky keys on an old typewriter!

This Week in Review

Here’s my to-do list for the week. Bolded items were completed.

– Write seven blog posts. I not only wrote a post daily but I have Quotation Wednesday booked with quotes through mid-March.
– Send Drusilla to the tech editor. Drusilla was sent.
– Revise and publish upon return if this week. [I received the edited file this afternoon. I will revise tomorrow.]
– Read one chapter of Market Yourself daily. [dependent on if back to work] No! But today’s not over yet!
– Read one chapter for fun daily. [dependent upon returning to work] I read all but two days this week and today’s not over! So I’m considering it a success!
– Finish knitting sample 1 of Bettina and write pattern. Done!
– Knit sample 2 of Bettina and revise pattern. Started!
– Photo both samples of Bettina.
– Open Bettina for testing.
– Complete Lesson 2-3 of CEB. See earlier blogpost this week!
– Catch up on Holiday Sanity. Started!
– Continue Christmas crafting.

I was discouraged tonight before looking at the list in the post here. I didn’t get as much as I would have liked. Pain and fatigue still rule my days. But I still accomplished quite a bit.

I also finished a shawl that’s been on the needles for months. My Drachenfels shawl was a test for Melanie Berg. Fibromyalgia reared its ugly head with that one too and I was unable to meet the deadline. It’s a beautiful pattern and created a shawl I can’t wait to use. As soon as I weave in a few dozen ends and block her. I woven in a bunch of ends this afternoon. Tri-coloured shawls have LOTS of ends to weave in!

I wove in all the ends from Damia, sample 1. I’m pretty sure I have enough for a hat to. I should check if Smitten Yarns has the colours in stock. I’d like to buy another skein of each for mittens but I have those trips to Thunder Bay. Maybe I can get them during the Black Friday sale!

I also cast on Elspeth Envelope.

And I’ve been adding the Ravelry links to Monday’s magazine review. That’s time consuming!

A Moment Of Overwhelm

It’s freezing here! I hope it’s warm where you are. It’s -18’C/0’F! Winter has definitely arrived. All I want to do is huddle under a warm blanket. My doctor told me on Tuesday that she wants me to get out more and socialize. She’s afraid I’ll get depressed here at home sick all the time. She’s got a point but it’s so cold out! Maybe tomorrow I’ll walk to the Tim Horton’s two blocks away. I’ll bring my iPad, have a coffee and read online for a bit while. It’ll be a nice change of scenery.

Early this morning, unable to sleep I started working some more on the Creating an Effective Blog course. I got overwhelmed. I couldn’t figure out my Right People (perfect customers) because I want to design so many different types of things. So I got on the Starship forum and started my first ever conversation. I asked,

I’m a crochet and knit designer. I started this June with dish/washcloths to gain experience with small items. But I don’t want to just design dish/washcloths.

I want to design home goods like the cloths but also cushions and afghans. I want to make accessories like cowls, hats, mittens, scarves and shawls. I want to make garments like cardigans, shells, skirts, socks, and tanks.

I’m having trouble with Creating An Effective Blog because I don’t know if I have one type of Right People or five.

I swear I’m not schizophrenic but I’ve never been a crafter to focus on only one thing and that isn’t changing now that I’m designing.

I have two published dishcloths and one washcloth. A second washcloth is off for tech editing. I’m working on a dish/washcloth now. She could go either way so I’m not sure how I’ll market her. I have designs in progress for a cowl with matching hat and fingerless mitts; two headbands; four shawls; and a business card holder. And an idea for a shell but I’m not rushing that one since its frigid here right now!

Maybe I have a very open-minded, well rounded right person? Or lots of very different ones?

Help!

Then in frustration I went to bed. I awoke to messages from other captains reassuring me I’m ok. Lots of creative people often have multiple areas of interest. They were so encouraging! Some admitted to feeling the same way sometimes. Many reminded me the commonality in my designs is ME. My sense of style and my design aesthetic affects all my designs and that is what will draw my Right People. Tara encouraged me to “focus on writing the kind of posts that a knitter of your patterns would want to read. Teach her how to do stuff she wants to do, or point her to resources she’ll love, or tell stories that she’s into.”

So I’m taking a break for the rest of the week from that course. I’m instead going to do the Market Yourself reading I’ve been wanting to do all week.