Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Knowledge is liberating

I have been paying someone to create and maintain my website. Initially, it was worth the expense. I didn't have the time to figure it out on my own nor was I ready to invest in the costly software. Two years later, a couple thousand dollars poorer and a website nearly unchanged, I have decided it was time to take control of the situation. I have been co-dependent on my web designer and everytime that I wanted to make a change whether it be an update photo, a new design or add a new retailer...I would count the dollars it was going to cost me. It got to be where I was content with mediocre work. That is wrong! Once the summer was upon me, business slowed down to a near halt and my dollars became quarters, I decided that this was my chance to break the co-dependency and go back to school. I haven't been to college since 1986 (yikes - that sounds ancient) and I haven't worked at Microsoft since 1990 (yikes, do you realize how much computer technology has changed in the past 20 years!?) so the whole thought of going back to school and trying to keep up with the computer geeks of today almost was too much for my jittery heart. Well...I did it and might I add that I was so excited to walk into a classroom after all that time, I could hardly contain myself. I'm on my 2nd week of class and all I can say is Knowledge is Liberating! We can all look forward to a progressive website that I can be proud of.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Stresses of Designing...

You might recognize this photo - I added it to my blog way back in Mar/Apr of this year. I am designing a spring cardigan for Simply Shetland and I love what I have designed. In fact, it might be my favorite to date. Unfortuneately, I was given no deadline and since acquiring this yarn, I have been lucky enough to have received several deadlined contracts. So...this poor cardigan which has not deadline, has been put on the back burner on and off for 6 months. Now that my last contract was complete, I've pulled this project out again and I'm committed to finishing it up. I am working from the bottom up and the sleeves from the shoulder down. I have completed both sleeves and tried it on. I don't like the sleeves. It's way too bulky under the arm and it looks terrible. After many sleepless nights of trying to figure out how to correct this issue, I think I've got it figured out. So now I need to take out both sleeves and re-do them (crossing my fingers that my new idea is a good one). Once the sleeves are done, the rest is a piece of cake. I'm really a traditional knitter working the individual pieces and then seaming them up. This is my first 1-piece cardigan and I now see the problem with a set in sleeve that is worked from the shoulder down. If the set in sleeve has too much initial armhole bind off - then there is too much bulk. What I should have done is gradually decreased the entire armhole without having any 1" bind off at the beginning as you would have in a normal set in sleeve. I'm hoping my theory works. I'm anxious to finish it - I bet Simply Shetland is too! The owner of Simply Shetland has been a dream to work with but I still feel quilty for taking so much time. I'm just hoping that she loves it enough to make it worth her wait.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Madison Avenue Tam Photoshoot

While on our trip to Lincoln City, OR - I had my husband shoot some pictures of my daughter in the Madison Tam using Cascade Nikki. According to her, she wasn't a hat person nor did she like the colorways...but she agreed to have her picture taken none the less. By the next day, I couldn't get the damn tam off her head. She wore it day in and day out. Which gave me an idea....it took 110 yds (1 skein) to make this tam (in adult size with extra flop no less) and literally a couple evenings. What a perfect gift this christmas for my dozen plus nieces and great nieces. Use variegated, solids, tweeds and mohair blended yarns to change out the look so it doesn't look like I made 15 of the same hat. I can also personalize it more that way. In fact, I bet I have enough left over yarns from previous projects/sweaters to supply me with enough yarn for the majority of the tams. Oh good grief, I better start knitting or I'll get knitter's cramp!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Another...Where do you like to knit...scene

I like to knit at the beach. This time it was Lincoln City, Oregon over Labor Day weekend. There is nothing more relaxing than sitting on sand, breeze on the face, the sound of waves crashing and day dreaming all while knitting. Hey - I even got some Vitamin D! The red pouch was a last minute purchase at www.yorkshireyarns.com. It's a Della Q sack that holds your ball of yarn. I bought it during her Grand Opening as I found it useful while walking around the shop while knitting and chatting. I rarely walk while knitting so wasn't sure that it was a practical purchase but I soon realized that it's the perfect carry along at the beach. It kept my yarn from rolling in the sand. So...if I were to have a "gadget" of the week, it would be this silk pouch.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Tight deadline to meet

I've had a great summer, the kids just went back to school yesterday and I made yesterday a day all about me. I started by knitting (of course) then I managed to get a run in across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (2 miles). It was a beautiful day and I saw a seal in the water and 2 deer on the Tacoma side eating blackberries. Then off to Puyallup to buy a few boxes of pears and tomatoes. Ran home, got 1 daughter off to the hair dresser, threw the tomatoes in the oven (roasted tomato soup to be frozen), prepped dinner for my dad who is visiting from Korea and even took him on a walk across the bridge to see 3 more seals. It was a great day. When I got home, I had 3 packages. I have never received 3 packages on the same day before. 1 was a box full of promotion books from Leisure Arts, 1 was my samples from Crystal Palace that I loaned out for TNNA plus half a dozen balls of mini mochi (yippee!) and a big box of Cascade 220 Superwash. Now I need to hunker down...the Cascade 220 superwash is for a contract that I just received last week. The contract has a deadline of mid-September - one of the shortest deadlines I have had thus far. Luckily, I am headed to Lincoln City tomorrow (4 hour drive) with my family for a mini vacation at the ocean. I can get a ton of knitting done on this trip. So - I won't be blogging until I get this project done. Lucky for me, my webdesign class doesn't start until Sept. 22nd and my first knitting class isn't until the 11th - so I'm fairly open to knit full time. As soon as I can spill the beans on this published project, I will.

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I'm a mother of 2 girl's, 12 and 15, a wife of 21 years and an obsessed knitter. I'm an avid gardener and cook.