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.

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.

Design Process Friday

There’s not much new to share this week I’m afraid. It’s been a very hard week with my fibromyalgia. It seems as soon as I start feeling better I wake up three times worse the next day.

But, here’s what I have done:

I sent an email to my sick tester on Wednesday. I have not heard back.

I revised Drusilla based on my first tester’s input. I blocked both samples. I will rephotograph the “cover shots” this weekend.

I think I have a tech editor booked. I think I was supposed to email her but can’t remember. Gotta love pain meds! I need to update my style sheet and get in touch with her Monday.

Here’s Drusilla blocking:

Drusilla sample 1 blocking
Drusilla sample 1 blocking
Drusilla sample 2 blocking
Drusilla sample 2 blocking

I did do a few off the hooks and needles things though:

I have posted everyday. If I had a post already scheduled that day I scheduled the new one for the future. I’m learning more about using Evernote daily. I’m researching blogging and wardrobes and writing. I have started making posters for the themes I’m going to keep on the blog post NaBloPoMo.

Designs In Process

This is the first post in what will become a weekly occurrence. Every Friday, I will talk about and show teasers of the designs I am currently working on. Yes, I said designs! I was not a monogamous crocheter, after learning to knit I was not a monogamous knitter, and I am not a monogamous designer either! I currently have quite a few designs in various stages of production.

But first a bit of background. I decided in June to start designing professionally. I decided to start with something small to get used to the process. I would start with dishcloths and washcloths. I also decided to name my designs with people names. Not foods, not plants, not places, not a mix of various things. I was going to use given names.

I started with A, because well it’s the first letter! My first plan was to work on each letter until I ran out of ideas or a long period of time passed. Then after a few weeks, I realized it could get confusing having many A named designs on the go at the same time. This was in July. So June/July designs start with A. August with B. September with C. October with D. The month the idea comes to me and a file is started determines which month’s letter is used. I have a template pattern file that I use so there’s no future need to cut and paste and reformat from word processor files. I just copy the template file, rename the copy and I’m good to go.

So in June and July I started a number of patterns. Alys Cloth and Anya Cloth were started in June and published in July. Ayla Washcloth was started end of June/beginning of July and published in August. But there are a few designs from June and July that have not been published yet. And some from August, September and October too.

  • Arielle is in the knitting sample 1 while jotting down the pattern stage.
  • Amelie is in the I have notes in a file and the yarn caked up stage.
  • Antonia is in the I have notes in a file and the yarn caked stage.
  • Anaïs is in the I didn’t work as planned and need rethinking stage.
  • Belle is in the knitting sample 2 with the pattern notes stage.
  • Bettina is in the I didn’t quite work but I inspired Drusilla and helped with a stitch pattern for Amelie stage. She’s up next.
  • Cathlyn is a spinoff of Arielle with crochet as well. She’s basically just an idea with a name and file at this point. The yarns are caked.
  • Damia is in the sample 1 is knit but very scant notes were taken and I’ve inspired a companion piece, maybe two so we need more time.
  • Drusilla is in testing now and will hopefully go to the tech editor in the next week.

Do you see why I decided too many A names could get confusing? There’s seven of them!

There are currently eight designs on the go with two potential/very probable spinoffs. I’m not sure I have the yarn to do two spinoffs! We’ll see. Of the current eight only two are cloths. Two are small projects. The others are larger projects.

And here are two teaser photos:

Drusilla samples 1 & 2
Drusilla samples 1 & 2
Arielle in Progress
Arielle in Progress