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.

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!

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!

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!

Weekly Review

It’s been a bad fibro week. I think I’ve spent more time in bed than out most of the week. The medications we were adjusting left me fatigued, dizzy and off balance. It was like I had no equilibrium. I was bumping and falling into things. I made my last adjustment to the med I’m pretty sure is the cause today. Lowering the dose to a tolerable level hopefully. The dizziness and equilibrium issues seem better but the pain is worse today. It’s so hard with a syndrome like fibromyalgia; it’s hard to tell what’s the fibro and what’s the meds.

I think I got about half my to-do list complete:

This is blogpost # 7! Even when I had a prescheduled post, I knocked out another and scheduled it for later. I have posts scheduled through December! Not every day of the week but one at least. Today I made editorial calendars through March 2015. I’ve decided to keep some of the features I’ve been running this month so those are labeled on the new calendars and the template. I’ve made posters for the themes I’m keeping.

Drusilla is just waiting on new photographs and a reply from the tech editor that she’s still available. I updated my style sheet too.

I worked a little bit on Sample 1 of Bettina writing the pattern as I knit.

I’m almost done Creating an Effective Blog lesson 2 part 2. I’m stuck on the last question!

I worked a little on Christmas crafting.

I’m starting Holiday Sanity tonight after this posts.

I’m buying that scale battery tomorrow.

Not bad for someone as I’ll as I’ve been when I type it all out! But next week’s list won’t be quite so ambitious. It may have two parts: if I’m still off sick and if I return to work. I see my doctor on Tuesday. Right now, the way I feel, I don’t think she’ll allow me back to work. Thankfully I’ve got a good paying job with full sick pay for 75 days. I think I’m halfway through those days.

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.

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)