Just a Few Things Changed

This is a photo of my plan from last week:

Week plan ended 14-20
Week plan ended 14-20

As you can see only three things on my to-do list were completed. There’s two reasons for that:

  1. The Book

  2. Fibromyalgia/cervical degeneration

Adding the book into the plan, of course, shifted my time around. The prologue is almost complete. I discovered it’s harder to type about the Cancer aftermath than expected which has slowed the process. But I hope to have the prologue complete tomorrow or Tuesday. I already edited draft one in an effort to get back in the flow and out of the freeze. It didn’t work but does mean I only need to edit the new stuff.

I learned with Fibro when you’re body is done, your body’s done. If you try to push past the pain, the fatigue, too much your body rebels. I don’t know if it’s the fibro rebelling the massive (comparatively) amount of typing or the cervical degeneration but for the last two days it feels like someone’s trying to pull my arm out of its socket. It hurts from my ear to my fingers on my right side. Maybe I’m just sleeping funny. I don’t know. All I know is it hurts more than normal. And my normal hurts enough already, thank you very much.

I start physiotherapy tomorrow morning finally then am helping Mum watch my three year old nephew while my sister works. The Day Care Centres here are all through the municipality and are closed for the next two weeks. So I don’t know how different I’ll be pain wise tomorrow. But I learned before Siri is actually a pretty good transcriptionist. Worst case, I’ll have her type up the end of my prologue and I can just cut and paste it.

Here’s this week’s plan:

Weekly Plan Dec. 21-27
Weekly Plan Dec. 21-27

I should probably start calling these weekly dreams instead of plans. I never seem to make a dent in them. But that’s life with chronic diseases, especially when one is a pain disorder than the others all cause extra pain! If nothing else I want to get my Christmas knitting done and the prologue before Christmas. Then I can start catching up on the design knitting.

I expect to have lots of knitting time while munchkin plays games on my iPad. He’s only allowed if he sits beside me at the table and if he’s been a good boy. It’s good incentive to be a good boy when you know Auntie’s iPad is the reward.

I’m Writing A Book!

A checking of the mailbox this weekend brought me some goodies. Some yarn, some Soak Wash in a new scent and a Christmas gift for my neice.

Yarnie Goodness!
Yarnie Goodness!

Today was our department Christmas lunch. There was soo much food I’m still full eight hours later! Look what I got in the gift exchange:

Gypsy Approved
Gypsy Approved
More gift, less cat!
More gift, less cat!

I’ve had a thought of writing a book for decades. Last week I thought of an idea and even came up with a perfect title. I almost let myself be talked into waiting until I had built a larger audience. Then after some encouragement I went for it. So I have started! Typing has begun.

The book will be a chronicling, almost like a journal, of my life in 2015-the story of my year as I work a full-time job, build a creative business, design patterns, write a book and try to have a family life all while living with multiple chronic illnesses and the possible return of Cancer. Bits of the same information will be on the blog as well but not in the same depth as in the book.

As it was all decided quickly not all the details are yet in place. I intend that there be two versions. One with patterns and one without. There will be a prologue covering the history of my diagnoses and life at the time. Each month of 2015 will be a chapter. Each chapter will contain one or more patterns.

The book will be released in sections. Most likely monthly but possibly further apart. Perhaps bimonthly or quarterly. I will need to build a storefront through an as yet unchosen company, most likely Etsy if I meet their newest sale criteria. There will be two versions-one with patterns, one without. The patternless version will be available on my site with both a pay in full and a subscription option.

The version with patterns will be sold through Ravelry in sections as well with an update in 2016 to the new compiled version. All designs will be exclusively available only through the ebook until 2016. Designs will range from small to large; there will be at least one afghan. I’m working on a list of pattern possibilities tonight after I publish this post.

More book news will follow as decisions are made.

Once compiled the chapters etc will be digitized and available as an ebook through Amazon, Kobobooks and Smashbooks. There may also be print-on-demand options. I haven’t decided on that yet.

Subscribe to our newsletter. The prologue will be sent to all subscribers in mid-January as a preview of the book.

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!

Designs In Process Friday

I just realized the time and thought I’d better quit with the email catch up and start the post before it’s tomorrow.

Not a whole lot happened knit-wise.

Drusilla was released on Sunday this week. I need to start marketing her so some sales roll in. I’d be happy if they trickled in! Releasing a pattern then hitting the road early the next day is not ideal. I’ll have to time that better next time.

Elspeth sample 1 is almost done. All that’s left is weaving in the ends and sewing on the button. It would be finished but my couch ate the button and I had to find another that would fit the buttonhole.

Elspeth closed
Elspeth closed
Elspeth open
Elspeth open

Both photos show the sample with twenty-five business cards within the envelope. Tomorrow I’ll finish her up. Then I’ll start sample 2 of both Elspeth and Damia Cowl. This cowl sample is to be my gift for our department Christmas gift exchange. The party is around the 18th-I don’t have the exact date but my boss pulled my giftee out of a cup on the phone so I would know who my gift was for. I’ve known this woman over twenty years, she’ll appreciate a handmade gift.The yarn is chosen.

I just have to start both projects so they’re ready to take on the road back to Thunder Bay Sunday. I see the neurosurgeon Monday morning. I hope to get some more Christmas shopping done while there. This time it’s just me and Mum going so I’ll hopefully have more time to knit.

I hope to put out tester calls for both designs soon but I know the timing is bad so close to Christmas. I may get them tech edited first then test or publish after tech editing. Joeli has already said she should be able to edit them this month. Then I could get them published by the end of the year. We will see…

Drusilla and Catching Up

Drusilla Cloth is live and available for electronic purchase via my Ravelry store.

Drusilla Cloth
Drusilla Cloth

It’s been a long week. Taking the two day medical trip tired me out much more than I expected. Turns out a fibromyalgia flare + 5 hour drive both ways + chest and c-spine X-rays + an MRI + some shopping + a 3 year old who won’t settle for the night = a very tired Kimberley. But I did a little Christmas shopping and have a few things in mind to pick up when I go back next week. It feels nice to check off gifts on my list! And I found a book for the biz I havent been able to find electronically-Maggie Righetti’s Sweater Design in Plain English! I lay down for a short nap after getting back Tuesday and woke up Wednesday. Skipping pain meds in a flare was a very bad idea! But I planned on a one or two hour nap, not to wake up thirteen hours later.

Grandma is very willing to stay home and babysit so my sister and I can go alone next trip. But it doesn’t look like my sister can get the time off work. So it might be me and Mum this trip. She’s a very nervous winter driver. She has winter tires but still misses the studded tires from her previous car.

I didn’t get any of the knitting and little of the planned reading done while away so I feel like I’m still catching up. I have to keep reminding myself I’m off sick for a reason. I’m going to tire easy. I’m going to be slower than I’d like. If I could do a full day’s work, I’d be at work not at home!

I closed the themes’ poll on Monday while on the road. It looks like reviews are moving off the weekly schedule.  Rather than purchase things specificly to review, if I come across something I love like my HiyaHiya Sharps or knitting with a certain yarn or a book I’ve just read I’ll review it/them periodically. Quotation Wednesday as you saw yesterday is staying exactly where it is. In fact, I think I’m currently scheduled for quotes until April and have about a dozen I haven’t entered into the editorial calendar or scheduled on WordPress. I’m probably set until next summer for quotes! Designs in Process will remain Friday’s theme. I will probably merge Week in Review and Weekly Plan Creation. I haven’t made up my mind about those two yet. Reviewing last week as I plan this week seems to combine naturally.

So it’s looking like I’ll be posting four to five times a week normally with some changes when travelling etc. This is good though. I’ve kind of missed the regular posting even though it’s only been a few days!

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.

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!