WIP Wednesday Periscope Notes…A Little Late

So yesterday I did a WIP Wednesday periscope then left town for an optometrist appointment. I didn’t have a chance to post the show notes before leaving, but here they are just a day late. The scope is titled WIP Wednesday with @bridgwaterk #yarnscope #craftybiz #katch .

https://katch.me/embed/v/af68f49e-5be6-31c6-a6cf-9c046fdf17ae?sync=1

Today I’m going to show you four projects I’m working on for the book.
This first one is one of the blankets in the book. It’s a toddler size and is complete except for weaving in ends and blocking. The finished sample will be a Christmas/birthday gift for my great-nephew who was born on Boxing Day two years ago. He’ll be three this year.
This second is the king size of that same pattern. The pattern will be baby, toddler, twin, double and king sized. This one is not yet assembled but here are a few of the squares. The nice thing about this blanket is it can be done with pre-selected colours or as scrap blanket making it affordable to make a king-size blanket! I chose to design it using only scrap yarn and have been able to make both without buying any extra yarn for them. This will also be a Christmas gift so I better get moving on it as it’s already November.
My book, C’Est Ma Vie! 2015 will have both crochet and knit patterns.
Thirdly, a knit triangular/crescent shawl worked from one corner across to the wide end. It’s almost my wingspan now which isn’t saying much as I’m rather short at 5’1″. I’m working this one as large as I can with one skein of yarn.
And, finally the last I will show you today is this one I’m worked on as my play swatch for the Joeli’s Kitchen Designer Bootcamp. To learn the stitch pattern I started a spa cloth which may make it into the book as well. It will depend on if I have enough time to finish all the other previously started designs for the book.
Thank you to everyone viewing live or on replay.
This broadcast is available on katch.me/bridgwaterk and will be put on the Bridgwater Crafts YouTube page later.
My first scope last Monday unfortunately had technical difficulties. Katch did not catch and my camera recorded it as portrait despite being filmed in landscape. If I can get it back to landscape, it will be uploaded to the YouTube page.
Thank you for watching and reading!

Welcome Back, Spring!

Welcome back, Spring!

It’s hard to believe it’s the first day of spring already but today is the vernal equinox. We’re still in minus temperatures as often as positive although hitting positives is a good sign! Mira is shedding like crazy! So it must be Spring!

Today, I have some design peeks and some stash additions. I finished crocheting and knitting both March designs. I still need to finish the patterns but the basics are already there. I need to lay them out and measure them pre-blocking. I hope to block them both tomorrow.

A Peek at Arielle & Cathlyn
A Peek at Arielle & Cathlyn

I took the week off design samples and started replenishing my stock of available dishcloths. I offerred them to my old coworkers. I heard back quickly from two ladies wanting six each. I plan to bring extras with me when I go in on Monday in case some of the other ladies in the office see them and decide to buy some too. I have a few Anya and lots of Alys. Alys is quicker for me; I’ve made her so many times over the years.

Crocheting Alys While Gypsy Sleeps
Crocheting Alys While Gypsy Sleeps

I’m contemplating vending at the local Farmers’ Market this year. I’m fairly sure I can make the table cost and get a good return on investment. It’s going to depend if I start working again or am off still. If I’m working, I would need to take the day of the Market off. This isn’t a problem as I have lots of holidays but I would have a new boss who may not like my wanting a bunch of Fridays off over the next few months.

If I’m off there’s no reason not to at least try a few. It’s a four hour event with good attendance. I would be selling printed copies of my designs, postcards with coupon codes for my ebooks and dishcloths and other small designed items to start and probably add the Damia set as it gets closer to autumn. I know there is a much larger crochet and knitting population here than shows up in Ravelry so I hope to bring new customers to my designs.

My only fear is that creating stock would take away from designing and writing. For that reason, I may only do a few of the Markets as a trial. If it works well I may plan to do them all next year and work on stock as time allows year round.

When I checked the mail today I had two packages of yarn waiting patiently for me to arrive. One is from Audrey of Smitten Yarns, the February club yarn is Cavan Worsted by Three Irish Girls dyed in the Bahamas Mama colourway, a citrusy blend of grapefruit, lemons, limes and oranges. I’ve never worked with this base but I’m looking forward to designing with this yarn! The other package was from Katie of Yarn Love Yarn, my February shipment of her Little Lovelies club. I ordered my usual Elinor Dashwood base, I LOVE this base! The colourway is Moonlight Indigo, a mix of blues, greens, indigo and purple. The mini is Moonlight Purple on the Juliet base.

New Yarn!
New Yarn!

I have plans for all my Juliet minis but that’s for C’est Ma Vie! 2016! I won’t have time for that design to make it into the 2015 book. But, it will be worth the wait!

Preoccupied!

I’ve been a preoccupied, neglectful blogger these last few months. It’s about time to explain more of what’s going on.

I’m still off sick; only now it’s unpaid sick leave. I’ve applied for EI sick leave benefits but they haven’t started coming in yet. I hope they come soon, because I’ve run through my last pay cheque, and my savings besides. Not that I had much of that left. I probably shouldn’t have invested quite so much in the business those first few months but I didn’t expect this to happen. Thankfully, I’m still able to remain on the employee dental and extended health benefit plan, provided I keep up my portion of the payment which is $25.06- much less than the cost of all my medications or a semi-private hospital bed! Or the dental cleaning I have booked for March 14th!

My physician has returned from her winter vacation and is getting together what I need from her and her clinic to apply for Long Term Disability (LTD). Both my staff health nurse and physician are confident my claim will be approved due to the amount and types of chronic illnesses I have.

I know my EI benefits will work out to about 55% of my prior income. EI sick leave is thirteen weeks long. At that point, if approved my employer’s insurance company will start my LTD benefits. Up until now I haven’t looked at what I’ll make on LTD partly out of overwhelm and partly out of fear.

Ironically, I just checked and neither of the information booklets I’ve been given specify. They say it depends on my employer’s plan with the insurance company. The example used in the FAQ booklet is at 70%, but I don’t know what our plan coverage is. I’m going to have to check on that. I’ve got an email started for Human Resources!

I was also given booklets from our pension plan. We have one of the best pension plans in Canada. It was one of a very few that was fully-funded and gaining interest during the recent recession. The pension plan offers free pension accrual for partial and total disability and a choice of either free accrual or a disability pension if I’m determined to be totally and permanently disabled. Based of course on an approval process! Since I only have twelve years in the pension plan, my disability pension would not be much!

I had my six-month follow up oncology ultrasound last week to check on the abnormal lymph nodes found on my September ultrasound. Everything seemed to be going well until the ultrasonographer said she was going to check my images with the radiologist and have him fill out my Travel Grant. He came back with her to rescan an area of my neck. I have very little to no skin sensation in my neck since my surgery in 2012. I couldn’t really tell where he was scanning except that it was in my front neck area not where the previous abnormalities were found. He said “there was an area of concern” and he would send my oncologist his report. I know my oncologist will also have access to the images. I have an appointment with my oncologist on March 25.

Until then I’m trying not to dwell on things that are unknowns. But there are so many unknowns in my life right now!!!

If you’d like a day by day account of my (currently dramatic!) life, check out my e-book, C’est Ma Vie! 2015. I’m journalling almost daily in Chapter Three: March. Chapter Two: February is being proofread and will be available in a few weeks. But don’t worry, there’s a special book purchasers only newsletter to let you know when the next chapter and its patterns are available! If you’re not sure the book’s for you, that’s ok. You can get the prologue for free by joining our newsletter, Bridgwater Crafts Pages.

C’est Ma Vie! 2015 is for Sale!!!

It’s been three months from the idea to fruition.

The fall last weekend backed me up a week. It is exactly seven days after the planned release, and it’s taken most of the day but it’s happened. The files and the covers have been uploaded. Descriptions and thank you emails typed. All that remains is waiting for purchasers; and the next chapter, of course.

Chapter Two: February is almost complete. The designs are almost ready for editing. Can you believe it’s almost March?!

For those of you on Ravelry, a just the patterns version will be available there tomorrow. If you buy the C’est Ma Vie! With Patterns version, contact me via the same email as your PayPal account with your Ravelry username. I’ll send you a coupon code for the Ravelry version so you can have the patterns in your library.

The books are available here or via Payhip. The regular version is $15.00 CAD. The version with patterns is $25.00 CAD. It looks like a huge difference in price but there are thirteen knit and eleven crochet patterns included in the pattern version. That’s a pretty good deal-less than a dollar a pattern whether you do both crafts or not.