Design Friday

I have finally managed to get a few things accomplished! Going to bed early most nights cuts into productivity. But if I overdo it, I pay for it in pain.

The book cover has been revised. There were valid concerns of legibility in thumbnail size on websites. The same photo and colours are used but the title font and placement of a few things have been changed for the better, I think.

Chapter One: January of C’est Ma Vie! 2015 is currently being proofread.This chapter is accompanied by two knit patterns; the Damia Cowl and the Damia Hat. The Damia Cowl pattern is off with the tech editor. The Hat, I am still working on. I’ve never designed a sized pattern without knitting or crocheting each size. I’m not sure how to size the hat. I’m going to finish it tomorrow so I can email it to my tech editor. If I wait any longer it may not be ready for next Sunday’s release! I can’t believe how quickly the release is arriving! It seemed so far away when I chose the date.

I’ve been wearing the Damia Cowl when I go out. It is so warm and snuggly when it’s frigid outside.

Chapter Two: February is being written on almost daily. I think I missed one day. This chapter is accompanied by a crochet and a knit pattern. Samples one are completed for both patterns. Sample two of the crochet pattern is almost done. I should have it finished tomorrow. I will then begin the search for a crochet tech editor. Here’s a peek at sample two of the crochet design from this morning:

Elodie, sample two
Elodie, sample two

Another task for tomorrow is to figure out which yarns will be in the next few months’ designs and write some emails. I would like to include a dyer bio and yarn base info for each yarn I use. Some may decline, but I’m hoping most will see it as an opportunity for free advertising.

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.

This Week’s Design Process

Last weekend I uploaded new versions of my four patterns. Three were just formatting changes.  With each design I fine tune the formatting. I’m pretty happy with the formatting style I used for Drusilla. My template pattern is now that format, so I brought my older patterns in sync. The fourth update was to Drusilla. I didn’t catch before publishing but my find/replace to switch from knit to k changed all text boxes not just the one I was currently in as I used it. So my tagline became “Crochet & k Designs by Kimberley Bridgwater” and my tester’s username became “Janetkwitch”. These are now fixed.

Then I tried signing up for LoveKnitting, so Ravelry can shoot my EU customers over there for pattern purchase. Ravelry and LoveKnitting have partnered up so those of us that don’t live in the EU can sell our patterns and fully comply with the VAT (Value Added Tax) legislation on e-sales of electronic files. But the site must have been bogged down by all of trying to get our patterns over. I couldn’t create a username. I knew I had time. According to my Ravelry stats I have yet to sell a pattern to an EU resident since opening my design store in June 2014. I didn’t expect that to suddenly change.

I finally got my great-nephew’s birthday hat to him. I tried getting photos but he was not understanding taking off boots, coat and hat on the way into the house then putting on another hat so Auntie could take photos. They may be all blurred shots! If I can find a decent enough photo I’ll post it. Otherwise I’ll try for when he was leaving. But here’s what it looks like:

Jayven's 2nd Birthday Hat
Jayven’s 2nd Birthday Hat
Jayven In His Hat
Jayven In His Hat
Another of Jayven in His Hat
Another of Jayven in His Hat

He’s okay! He didn’t understand his dad’s mom was moving the car seat from one vehicle to another to take him for a sleepover. He thought he was left behind! See he was happy earlier:

A Mischievous Jayven
A Mischievous Jayven

Then there was some drama involved with returning to my day job on Monday. I’m not going to get into it here as this is a public blog. I don’t want anything I say to come back and bite me on the a$$! Suffice it to say, I am still off sick and may be for quite some time.

That distraction kept me from making much progress on anything this week. I barely touched my designs. Sample 2 of Damia Cowl has maybe grown a few cm. I just this afternoon managed to get my patterns uploaded to LoveKnitting. They’re all in pending awaiting approval from the LK staff. I haven’t even written on the book-which I was doing daily! My inbox is hovering around 175 constantly. It’s usually in the low double digits except first thing in the morning!

It’s my brother’s birthday this Sunday so I’ve started knitting him a hat from Joeli’s Kitchen Double Time e-book. I don’t think I’ll be done in time. I started too late. I’m still in the ribbing! We will see how much I can knit on it before we all get together for dinner Sunday.

Planning & Designs in Process

I missed Friday’s post due to extreme fatigue. I slept most of Friday and Saturday. So today you’re getting a combination post.

I’m still working away on the Damia Cowl sample two. It’s about 3/4 finished now. Here’s a picture from a few days ago:

Damia Cowl sample two
Damia Cowl sample two

Other than adding a few rows, very few, to Arielle sample one the only project I’ve worked on is my great-nephew’s birthday hat which I crocheted then added knitted ribbing. I tried to get photos but he wouldn’t put it on until his grandmother came to pick him up for a visit with his dad. Then he got mad when she went to transfer the car seat from Mum’s car to her’s. Those photos are on my phone and haven’t synced to my iPad yet. Here’s what it looks like:

Jayden's birthday hat
Jayven’s birthday hat

Now to the planning:

The aforementioned wall of fatigue played havoc with my schedule. I’m a little concerned over how tired I am. I return to work tomorrow but I’m fighting to stay awake all day. Hopefully the change of scenery and noisier atmosphere will keep me awake!

Here’s last week’s plan:

Last Week
Last Week

I managed to get a few things done! And here’s this week’s:

This week
This week

Yes, there is less on it but some are bigger tasks and I’ll be back at work. I don’t know how much I’ll get done after working all day. At least for the first few days.

And, don’t forget to join the newsletter! Everyone who joins before January 15 gets a free copy of the prequel to my book! You can join on the sidebar or here.

The Book and How it Changes the Design Process

We have a Newsletter Header! I’m trying to use it as the newsletter signup button in the sidebar but it keeps disappearing on me. Let’s hope my last attempt works!

Newsletter Header
Newsletter Header

Due to the trouble with disappearing buttons or super-sized full-screen on an iPad buttons, I was unable to get the usual Designs in Process post ready today. But I can still give you a synopsis:

Damia, sample 2 is almost half the completed length. When I realized I had no realistic chance of finishing it in time for yesterday’s department Christmas lunch I put it aside. I work instead on cramming out dishcloths to take to sell. That resulted in a sore shoulder and a total, including those previously complete, of six. So I didn’t bother bringing them. I didn’t want fighting over them to occur. I’ll make more in these next few weeks before I return to work and bring them in at that time.

I worked a little on Arielle today-just a few rows.

That unfortunately is about all that came about design wise once I started the book. The book is a game-changer design-wise. Now I’m slotting previously started and planned designs into an outline of monthly chapters for the book. Which may change the timing of when I had planned to release designs. I would prefer to have two patterns per month, most often one crochet and one knit, although occasionally there may be just one. The book will have at least fifteen patterns.

Which means I need to figure out pricing for a basically thirteen chapter book-the prologue looks like it will be long-with fifteen to twenty-four patterns. Pricing the pattern-free version is much easier but I can’t just add the price of fifteen patterns to that. It would be way too expensive. Oh well, I have a few weeks to get that figured out.

I already have three proofreaders for the prologue which I hope to complete tomorrow or early Sunday. I want to email it out to the proofreaders on Sunday. That should give me a good timeline for editing and re-proofing, final changes and formatting. And hopefully a mid-January release to newsletter subscribers. Then the book will be available for purchase. So if you want to be one of the first to read the prologue become a newsletter subscriber. The first newsletter goes out January 1 and the prologue mid-month.

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.

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…

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.