Works In Progress Thursday 28/07/2016

This week’s WIP post is the first that will include more than just my fibre-work. I’m adding in other areas of my life.

Knitting
I’m working on a few things this week.

My Amulet Shawl by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade
image
Arielle on Newport Bridge (a design sample)
www.BridgwaterCrafts.com
Bettina at the Beach (a design sample)
ww.BridgwaterCrafts.com
But I’ve also dug into my WIP basket to see what was really inside. I found four sets of partial socks, two for me, one for my eldest nephew and one for my great-nephew; a knit spa cloth sample; a crochet shawl sample;  two headband samples; a bag of yarn for a hat for my great-nephew to match a colour work sweater I knit him; a bag of squares for a sock blanket sample; and a bag of leftover Aran yarn, needles and hook from the Damia Hat and Cowl-did I plan to make matching mittens? And this doesn’t include three sample blankets and a shell stored elsewhere or my UFOs (unfinished objects) that are probably still packed from my move last year.

Reading
The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte
Spirituality Without Structure by Nimue Brown
The Bee Cottage Story by Frances Schultz

I also have book WIPs:

The Mindfulness Solution to Pain by Dr. Jackie Gardner-Nix
The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte
Manage Your Day-To-Day by 99U
Put Your Budget On A Diet by Kimberly Eddy
Plan It, Don’t Panic by Stephanie Langford
Pack Lightly Stylishly by Amanda Jimenez
The Art of Minimalist Organization by Ben Night
Seeking the Mystery by Christine Hoff Kraemer
The Scent of Magic by Andre Norton
Scarcity by Eldar Shafir and Sendhil Mullainathan
Hedgewitch Book of Days by Mandy Mitchell
The Woman’s Fibromyalgia Toolkit by Drs Atul Deodhar and Dawn Marcus
Knitter’s Almanac, Commemorative Edition by Elizabeth Zimmermann
One Magic Square by Lola Houbein
DIY Chick Lit by Alicia de los Reyes
The Charge of the Goddess by Doreen Valiente
Market Yourself by Tara Swiger
Enough Already by Alan Cohen

I have lots of book WIPs! I didn’t realize how many books I had partly read. I wasn’t so bad with these until I started getting idevices. Now I not only have my Kobo Glo but also the Kobo app, the Kindle app, PDF Expert app and iBooks app. It’s too easy to have books started on all my devices!

Have you noticed a theme?

Books and yarn are a major part of my life!

January 18 Weekly Review and Planning Session

Hi!

Here is my “completed” planner for last week. One day I’m going to surprise you and actually complete everything!

Jan. 11-17 Weekly Plan
Jan. 11-17 Weekly Plan

i think this may be the most Urgent/Important items I’ve completed in a week! One thing you may notice is something’s are shown as complete in last week’s plan but return in this week’s. I have decided to do things differently with long-term projects. If I have completed as much as possible that week, I will mark them complete but also carry them over to the next week. I’m utilizing the Notes function to track what I’ve completed so steps are not missed or duplicated.

Here is this week’s plan. I am positive I have forgotten to add something. Despite thinking about it all day, I cannot remember.

Jan. 18-24 Weekly Plan
Jan. 18-24 Weekly Plan

It seems long but I’m hopeful I can complete a good amount this week.

Weekly Review & Plan Creation

First up, I apologize for the lack of post on Friday. I was ill and spent most of the last two days in bed. Nonetheless, I had a great Christmas with my family here in town. I’d forgotten how noisy it gets when you put ten people including excited children together for a few hours.

Here’s last week’s plan:

Last Week's Plan
Last Week’s Plan

I accomplished quite a bit. I never get everything off my list. The harder I try the less I seem to accomplish. It’s something I am working on. I need to up my productivity or reduce time sucks or nothing will get done once I return to full time work next week. One of my current time sucks is trying to understand the EU’s Jan 1 VAT changes and how that affects my business and my book plans.

Here is this week’s plan:

Dec 28 to Jan 2
Dec 28 to Jan 2

It’s not as bad as it looks! Four of the Urgent/Important tasks are quick things. Ravelry has teamed up with LoveKnitting. LoveKnitting will sell our patterns and deal with all the VAT collections and remittances for sales to EU residents. But my four patterns all have evolving formats. I prefer my last format and want to re-format my earlier patterns before uploading them to LoveKnitting. I want a consistant format. The re-formatting shouldn’t take long as it’s mainly cutting and pasting.

I am helping Mum babysit my three year old nephew for a few days this week. He received a tablet for Christmas from Mum (it’s a cheap older model). If he brings it with him I should be able to get lots done with him sitting beside me with his own tablet instead of begging to use my iPad.

I can’t remember if I mentioned last week that I started physiotherapy. I did and have two appointments this week. I think I feel a difference already from doing the stretches she gave me. I’m hopeful!

Weekly Review and Plan Creation

Please join our new newsletter! The first issue will be January 1st but there is already a Welcome newsletter available.

Now to start the review. I didn’t think I’d accomplished much this past week. Writing everything down made it seem much more than I realized. It’s amazing how much you can do in fits and starts between naps. These medical trips leave me drained. I spend more time sleeping than awake after one.

What Did I Do Last Week

I went to Thunder Bay. I saw the neurosurgeon. I got all my hair cut off. I’ve got a pixie cut now! I went Christmas shopping and me shopping.

I started the Automagical Email Series from Tara Swiger. I did lessons one and two. Speaking of Tara, her new program Lift Off is available now. It’s a great six month program for creative entrepreneurs who aren’t quite ready for the year-long Starship Adventure. The Starship opens again on Dec. 18th. I highly recommend both. I’m in the Starship and have learned so much in the last three months!

I worked on my dishcloth inventory for my department staff Christmas lunch. I plan on selling as many as I can make. Two people have asked for some. I worked on Damia, sample 2, my gift exchange present. I need to text my boss tomorrow and see what day was decided for the lunch.

I worked on Bettina, sample 2.

I opened a MailChimp account. I downloaded the MailChimp and Chimpadeedoo apps to my iPad. I added signups to the blog, my Ravelry Designer page, profile page and the Bridgwater Crafts group page. I wrote and published a Welcome newsletter for all new subscribers. I started the January 1st newsletter.

I added the remainder of my stash of names to the Google Sheets Design Name Possibilities document. It has way more names than I’ll ever use but I’d rather have too many than not enough.

I read the Get CLEAR!: The Blog & Website Clarity Workbook by Kyla Roma. It’s free when you sign up for her newsletter.

I scheduled quotes for Quotation Wednesday on the editorial calendar then pre-wrote and scheduled these posts.

I really liked having separate Gneo pages for each day but missed having a week-at-a-glance view. So this week, I’m doing both. Most tasks take more than a day to complete so they’re spread over multiple days. As I complete the day’s portion I mark them off. As I complete tasks I’ll mark them off on the weekly page.

Here is what I’d like to work on this week:

Weekly Plan for Dec. 14-20
Weekly Plan for Dec. 14-20

Designs in Process

I have no pictures for you tonight. It gets dark so early I never think of it until it’s too late.

I have worked on two designs only this week: Damia Cowl and Betina Cloth. I am knitting my second samples for both designs. I need to get Damia finished quickly as she’s my gift or the department staff Christmas party gift exchange which is next week!

I have a few ideas brewing for new designs. Afghans this time-so even if I started immediately they’ll be long term projects. One will be for scraps of sock yarn but crocheted as there are so many knitted. The other may be a mix of crochet and knit. Once the ideas gel I’ll name them and we’ll start discussing them in more depth here.

You may notice some changes to the site in the next few days. I’ve started moving a few things around in anticipation of a few new projects. There are also “Buy Now” buttons on each patterns pages!

In the meantime I’m almost ready to call for testers for Bettina and Damia. I would prefer Damia testers to do all three pieces of the set. There will be matching/coordinating mittens and a hat.

And if you’re scrambling for last minute gifts my Alys, Anya, Ayla and Drusilla are quick projects!

Weekly Review and Plan Creation

It’s Sunday again which means I should have a plan, right?

But, I’m not home. I’m typing this while lying on the hotel bed the night before I see a neurosurgeon for the first time. I had such bad wifi I’d given up on typing a post. I put the iPad on the bed went to grab something across the room and suddenly I had a full signal.

I’m learning to be more specific so things actually get done. If nothing gets checked off it gets overwhelming having all those un-done to-dos. I didn’t make a big plan for this week just a few things:

Today’s reads:

Go to Thunder Bay
Start Automatical Email Series


Go shopping
Get Haircut
Knit on Bettina sample 2
Knit on Damia sample 2
Read!

Tomorrow:

Read!
See Dr.
Come home
Knit on Damia sample 2
Knit on Bettina sample 2

The rest is murkier:

Finish Automatical Email Series
Apply for blog contributor position
Complete November month end
Read Market Yourself
Finish Bettina sample 2
Finish Damia sample 2
Work on other partial designs

A lot will depend on how I feel upon my return. And on the results of tomorrow’s appointment. And the snowstorms going through the region. It took me most of the last week to recover from Mon-Tues’s trip! As a result not much was accomplished unfortunately.

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.

November 16-22 Weekly Plans

I did something a little different this week.

Last week, I wrote my list in a notebook then typed it here. But I didn’t really refer to either again until the end of the week.

So last night, after writing my weekly review post, I wrote out what my plan for this week is in my notebook. This evening I typed it all into Evernote as a checklist. And just a few minutes ago I took a screenshot of that list. So, here is my plan for this week:

Nov. 16-22 to-do list
Nov. 16-22 to-do list

Did you notice? Did you? There’s already something done! Drusilla was emailed to my tech editor about an hour ago.

Two items depend on whether or not I return to work this week. I see my family physician on Tuesday. If I do not return to work I’ll have more reading time and maybe extra knitting time. My shoulders and arms have been so bad this past week I’ve knit less than hoped.

I almost forgot! In the mail when I checked it today was notification I have an MRI in a city 4.5 hrs away on Dec. 1. Thanks for lots of notice guys! This will show if I’ve had any further degeneration in my cervical vertebrae (neck). It could explain the increased pain. So I might be able to do some Christmas shopping in a real mall. With more than four stores and a restaurant.

Also in the mail was the October Smitten Yarns Yarn Club shipment. It’s not the best photo because it was already dark but here it is:

Another great Smitten Yarns Yarn Club month!
Another great Smitten Yarns Yarn Club month!

November 9-15 Weekly Plan

Sunday is my weekly plan creation day. I’m not putting firm “do by this day” deadlines right now because a lot depends on how I’m feeling. That can change daily. Although I am improving, finally!

Here is my weekly plan:

  • Write seven blog posts
  • Finish revising Drusilla and send her to the tech editor (I may need to reknit to ensure pattern works post revision)
  • Finish sample 1 and write the pattern for Bettina
  • Knit sample 2 of Bettina and edit pattern
  • Photograph Bettina samples
  • Complete Lesson 2 of Creating an Effective Blog
  • Continue Christmas crafting
  • Knit sample 2 of Belle and edit pattern
  • Buy a new battery for my yarn/kitchen scale
  • Start Holiday Sanity on the Stsrship (I’m behind)