Lots of stuff

Ah, I’ve got a moment to breathe, so you get an update and some photos!

First off, the things I’ve been working on and have out the door:

And….a finished project that I can actually show you!

That’s the Cap-Sleeve Top from Mary Jane Hall’s Crochet That Fits. I love it. I’m going to wear it at conference. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m also still making progress on my Roma Babydoll top (no real pics yet as it’s still in the stage where it doesn’t look like much). I also found a pattern for a tank top out of the Bernat Bamboo I’ve had forever. I’m probably going to whip that up to have an extra top.

I’m still working on another tank top for wearing to the meet and greet. I likely won’t show pics of that in case I get super lucky and it’s bought off my back! LOL.

I have also finished the Design Contest entry, but as I’ve said before…I’m paranoid so pictures won’t be posted until after the deadline.

I really wish I could show you the project I’m working on now. It’s for publication and it’s just the sweetest little project. But I can’t. ๐Ÿ™ I’ll see if I can snag a sneak peek pic before I send it off. I’m very proud of it.

That’s all from me for right now. As Dee (of CrochetWithDee fame) says, we only have 6 weeks until conference. I’ve got to get busy!

Whoops, lost another week!

I got a lot of great feedback from the Getting Loopy show I was on last week. I hoped everyone who listened found it interesting and entertaining. Mary Beth is a ton of fun and I have a feeling the two of us could have chatted for hours over the phone. ๐Ÿ™‚

So what did I work on last week? Well, in the first part of the week I worked on a design idea that I want to wear while at Chainlink. I got the front done, and am now working on the back.

While working on that, I got word that yarn is coming my way for a design that got accepted. I’m really excited about that design as it will be my first published garment design. It’s also a step up along my list of goals. ๐Ÿ™‚ So I’m very excited about that. More when I can tell you more!

At the end of the week I received yarn for a project with a super fast turnaround. Thankfully it was a fast and fun project with a delightful yarn (I cannot wait to tell you about this yarn, but I’ve been sworn to secrecy since it’s not even out yet). I swatched and wrote the pattern on Friday night and then did all the crocheting on Saturday. I took Sunday off and then blocked and shipped it on Monday morning.

So far this week I’ve been working on my sketches for my design notebook to take with me to Chainlink. Today I finally got a format down that I like and was able to complete 5-6 design sketches (including schematics). Tomorrow will be more of the same.

And now, being the queen of quick turnarounds, I got offered today two more projects with a fast turnaround. Thankfully, these will be quick projects. The yarn should arrive on Thursday and I will ship Monday morning. That’s the plan as of right now. If I can get really busting on them, I might be able to ship on Saturday. That would be even more awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚

So why do I take all these quick turnaround projects? Well, for one, it keeps my skills up. I have always done better with deadlines. And the other reason (which happens to be the main one)? Because the money will all come in just before Chainlink providing me with the opportunity to be able to buy things at the marketplace. ๐Ÿ™‚ And, you know, eat.

So that’s what’s been going on here. Tonight I plan to work more on my blue sparkle top. All I have left to do is finish the second cap sleeve and then do the edgings. I don’t know if I’ll get it all finished tonight, but I’m going to try. Hopefully I’ll have pictures soon!

Have a good week everyone!

Weekly update

I should just start saying that I’ll update once a week! Sorry about that. Been busy.

I’ve been working every day (including all weekend) from about 8:30am to anywhere from 6pm to 11pm. BUT, I’m happy to report that the first afghan was finished earlier in the week and the second one might be finished tomorrow (definitely by the end of the weekend). All I have left is one long strip, assembly of the strips, and edging. Oh, and writing the two patterns in format (they’re written out in my notebook). It’s good to know that I can work on this tight of a deadline and get it finished in time.

I have learned an important lesson throughout this. I need to keep working at this pace to get all the things done that I want to get done. So, my work days will likely stay from 8:30a to at least 6p every day. And I may start taking some time on the weekends to do some work. While I didn’t like losing my whole weekend this past week, I was pleased with how much I was able to accomplish. Had I not done that, I’d still be on the first afghan.

Designing, for me, has been a journey. As I learn new things and new skills and new things about myself. From the beginning, the purpose of my blog has been to share those so that anyone who strives to be a designer can get a glimpse of this life. That leads into the next announcement….

Monday night, June 9, at 9pm eastern time, I will be a guest on Mary Beth Temple’s Getting Loopy show. What will we be talking about? This crazy journey to become a designer. How a newbie breaks in to the biz. The ups and downs and trials and triumphs. Got a question you want answered? Join us that night and either ask it in the chat room or call and ask on the air. Or, if you won’t be able to join us live, feel free to ask me here in comments and I’ll answer it on the air. The show will be archived and available soon after we finish recording. I’ll link to it here so you can listen.

Wish me luck, I’m nervous about being on the air. I keep telling myself it’s just a phone call between me and Mary Beth with a bunch of people listening in. ๐Ÿ™‚ To my buddies in chat, I likely won’t be in there that night. I cannot talk live on the air and follow chat. ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, I’m off to make dinner. Have a good night!

Lots of news

All work for Chainlink has been put on hold as I’m doing a project for the yarn company. Two afghans due by 6/15. Yeah, I know, I’m crazy. But, I’m already halfway through one. Done in a bulky yarn and big hook, they’re moving quickly.

In other news, I just got word that another design of mine is being picked up. This is another national stage, but not a magazine. ๐Ÿ™‚ Not going into a lot of detail yet, but it’s in line with one of my goals for this year. It’s a major step for me in my career. I’m thrilled! And yes, I still do the happy dance every time I hear good news like this.

Okay, I need to get back to work. Since no one has discovered crocheting gnomes who will crochet for me in the studio, I need to get these afghans done. Have a great weekend!!!

Trying to stay on schedule

I have a lovely white board in my studio that currently has a schedule for prepping for Chainlink. And I’m sorta on track. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m not worried, I had worked into the schedule the chance that I got sidetracked. And the only things I’m behind on are clothes for me to wear.

I am nearly done with my entry into the CGOA Design Contest. I have to rip back my morning’s work on the top edging because I just don’t like it. Ah, the joys of being a perfectionist. No worries, it won’t take me long to get back to that point. Then I’ll move on to the finishing on the back, and then all I have left to do is the Irish Crochet embellishments for the front. Nope, no pictures until after July 15th. It’s not that I don’t trust people, but I don’t trust people. ๐Ÿ™‚ Once the deadline for entry has passed, I’ll post pictures both here and in Ravelry.

After I finish that project (hopefully today), then I will be working on a garment design to wear to Chainlink for the Designer Meet & Greet. I’ve got most of the math done for it, I just had a hiccup in it last week when I was working on it and need to redo that. It should only take me a couple of days or so to work on.

Once those are done, then I’ll be working on sketches and swatches to take with me. I have a ton of ideas to sketch out and put into my presentation book. I’m hoping to have a very full binder when I leave and a very empty binder when I return. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also have one more submission to get put together and out the door before I leave. But I’ve got a bit before that’s due and I can likely do it as an email submission.

Now, for things I’m making for myself to wear while up there? Yeah, I’ve got 1 out of 3 done. But, I’m about 14 rows away from finishing the back on my sparkle top. Then it’s just the straps and assembly and edgings. It might actually get done this week. The third one I’ve just started, but I’m hoping to get it done in a couple of weeks.

So, I might be a bit behind, but I’m doing okay. Pictures soon, at least of those things I can show. I don’t know if I’m going to show my garment design or not. I might give a great closeup just in case an editor buys it off my back while I’m there! ๐Ÿ™‚ But the sparkle top will get an updated photo soon.

Other than that, things are going well here. We might hear this week regarding John’s current job and if he’ll be staying there past the temporary gig. Fingers crossed and good thoughts welcomed! Okay, back to work for me! Have a great day!

Getting more organized

Last week, Vashti Braha posted an incredible blog post on How to Journal About Your Crochet Ideas. I read it five or six times. I mulled it over. I chatted with her through Twitter about how I was totally stealing that idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

I then spent the weekend thinking it over. If I did this, would I use it? What differentiates it from the other five or six notepads, graph paper pads, and sketchbooks around the house?

Tuesday night I got the notebook she mentioned. I dutifully numbered every page and then set it aside. I was scared to write in it. What if I did it wrong? I scoured the net for information on what to put into it, how to use it, etc. I even sent an email to Vashti. ๐Ÿ™‚

Wednesday morning I got up and grabbed the notebook. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to write my contact info on the first page. Then I set it back down. Thought about how I was going to use it. It was important to me that the info was written in ink, but so much of my design work is done in pencil and scribbled and erased and reworked.

Last night I started swatching for a submission. I was on the third swatch when I realized that I needed a better way to keep track of what I was swatching and what I liked and didn’t like about that swatch. I grabbed the notebook, flipped to page 2 and began writing. I love the gridded aspect of the notebook because it made it much neater. I wrote down what the stitch pattern was, the hook used, and then my thoughts on it. I’m a firm believer that there are no bad stitch patterns and no bad swatches. Everything is a lesson. So while the first two swatches weren’t good for the application I wanted them in, they had merits for other projects. Those notes went in with the info. I even made space on the facing page to put the swatches (still figuring out the best way to do that…leaning currently to tape).

The next page is currently being used to write out my cover letter, make notes on the pattern idea and what things I need to work out.

I’ve decided that it’s my design notebook. So there’s no way to do it wrong. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m not going to use it for working out the details (you know, the math) of a design, but for chronicling the ideas as they form. And for keeping up with where things are and where they’re going. Once the scribbly parts are done, I may add that info to the design ideas. Swatches will go in here as appropriate. It’ll also be a great place to flesh out the ideas I have in my head for a book. Not saying I’m ready to do that yet, but I do have some ideas in my head.

Okay, that’s all from me. Work continues on design contest entries. Still not sure yet if I’m only submitting one or two. I’m seriously in love with the idea I’m working on (known as entry #2) and not so much with the first idea. I still may do it, but it’s not as exciting as the current one.

Other than that, not a lot going on. John is working a temporary job for this week and next and there is a possibility it can be extended or made permanent. Waiting on budgets to see if it can happen. Fingers crossed please as it is a great job for him and he’s having a great time. ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a fabulous holiday weekend! I’ll be taking Monday off to spend the day with my family. Doesn’t mean I won’t be crocheting, just means I won’t be crocheting on work stuff. Unless a fabulous idea pops up. But at least now I have somewhere to write it down.

Busy Friday

I finally sat down today and updated the Fibers By Tracie website. It wasn’t hard, it’s just very detail oriented and can be a bit mind-numbing since I write all the code for the website. Yes, fear me, I know HTML and how to sorta use it. ๐Ÿ™‚

So here’s the changes, broken down by page:

Main page: Added my award, updated my status with CGOA, updated relationship status (since we’re engaged), and added a listing of my published designs.
Lessons: Just needed to clean up how that one was written. Over the last few updates I’ve been just deleting stuff that wasn’t valid and never really went about actually editing it. So I did. It reads a lot cleaner now.
Pattern pages: Learned something new last week. Text in tables is not searchable by search engines. Who knew? Well, someone other than me until last week. So I went through and put in links (which also help take you right to the pattern you’re looking for instead of scrolling down through a long page) which ARE searchable. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also updated my links to Ravelry to make sure those were all correct.

With the website done (and all changes uploaded and checked), I headed into the studio. I’ve been working on one idea for the Design Contest. But I’m not thrilled with it. I’m happy with it, but I just don’t see it as being a contender at all. So last night as I tried to get to sleep, my brain kept turning around my other idea. This morning I started working on it. I think it’s going to be a better contender. I might still send both in, or I’ll redo the first one for a child (hey, smaller, less crocheting) and submit to two categories.

Now I’m waiting on John to decide what we’re doing for lunch. Then it’ll be back to work on that. Have a good weekend if I don’t post before then!

All registered and ready to go!

I have FINALLY registered for the Summer CGOA conference in Buffalo in August!

We (Margarita and I) will be arriving on Tuesday (8/4) mid-afternoon and will be staying in the main hotel. So if anyone else is going and getting in that time, buzz me and we’ll maybe set up a dinner or something!

Wednesday morning (8/5) I’ll be heading over to Professional Development Day. I’m really looking forward to this because the thrust of the round table discussion will be finding balance and making money at what I love. I’m really excited about finally meeting my colleagues in person. I was mentioning to my mentee last night in email that I think that’s why it’s so hard for me sometimes to see myself always as a professional designer. I’m isolated and haven’t met my colleagues yet. I think once that happens it’ll be a bit better.

Anyway, I’m currently swamped on Wednesday. I already have a dinner appointment and working meeting for that night.

Thursday morning (8/6) I’ll be in Fine Shaping in Stitch Patterning. I’m really excited about this, too. I’ve taken a class with Lily Chin before and she’s a fantastic teacher. Since this topic was the main thing I had issues with during my pattern grading class, I think this will be a great help for my design career.

Thursday afternoon I’ll likely be sitting somewhere with my laptop transcribing all my notes before I forget what I wrote down. ๐Ÿ™‚ In other words, I don’t have a class.

Thursday night is the CGOA Design Contest award presentation. I’m working on something right now to enter and am really looking forward to seeing how I do. More on that later if it works out for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Friday (8/7) I’ll be taking an all day class: Crocheting Sweaters from the Top Down again, by Lily Chin. This one will also be good for my design career because I really want to start designing garments, but I hate seaming. ๐Ÿ™‚ So I’m really looking forward to that one.

Friday night we have the CGOA Annual Member meeting. Having never been to one, I’m looking forward to that. After that, who knows what will be going on. ๐Ÿ™‚

Saturday (8/8) I have no classes, but I do have the Designer Meet & Greet (another reason I really wanted to go to conference). Then that night is the fashion show and dinner. I will say that I will be entering a design that will be published just before conference (so I can’t tell you what it is yet) and I’m going to go ahead and be the model for it if they’ll have room for me to enter it (Margarita isn’t going to let me not model it). So, there will likely be pictures of that.

Nothing going on that Sunday (8/9) other than us traveling back to Florida.

Can you tell I’m excited? ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope to have a post for you sometime by this weekend with pictures of other things being worked on. That’s all from here. We’re getting a really good thunderstorm (which we desperately needed) right now so I’m getting off the computer.

Happy May!

I’m just going to stop apologizing for not posting. Because it’ll likely continue for a while as I’m busy with stuff I can’t show you. ๐Ÿ™

Ah, but this is actually a post where I can show you some things!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Yay!

Yesterday I finished the first of a few tops for wearing to Chainlink in August. This one is a Doris Chan design from her book Everyday Crochet. It’s the pattern Runaround. I made it out of some Rowan Calmer that John brought back for me from Pennsylvania. I love it. I love it so much that after putting it on for photos (at Margarita’s apartment), I left it on the rest of the day. It’s so comfy and cozy and just great. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s a closer view:

I also finished my brother’s birthday gift in one day. I’m going to show a picture, only because I don’t think he reads my blog. If he does, oh well, don’t look. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, the pattern is called Earl Lenmeyer the Flask (it’s an X-Files reference and he’ll likely get it). I made it for him because he is a chemist type person (he makes flavors for a flavor company…it’s a complicated job…I call it making OJ taste like OJ). So hopefully he’ll put it on his desk in his lab.

And the side view showing the little markings:

On the personal crochet front, I’m still working on my blue sparkly top for Chainlink. After that I have 2 more clothing items to make. One from a pattern and one that’s my own design. I also have about 3 other things I need to knock out before then. ๐Ÿ™‚ Gonna be busy, but gotta fit it all in.

On the work crochet front, I’ve got a project on the hook right now for publication next year. It’s in a very yummy yarn. I love it. I’m hoping to get it done and out the door by the end of this week. I think I can do it. It’s a very quick project. I also need to crank out two proposal packages and get them out the door as well.

Well, that’s all from me for now. Hopefully I’ll have more to post about next week, but we’ll see. It all depends on how quickly I can finish the blue sparkle top. Speaking of, I should get to that today. It’s been a really lazy Sunday for us.

Oops, lost a week

I always look back at my blog to see when the last time I posted was so I don’t get redundant. And I looked this time and thought, “My little brother didn’t come over this Friday, I went to Margarita’s….” and then I realized I lost a week. Sorry.

So, what happened last week? Well, if you were following me on Twitter (or checking the side bar here where I have my Tweets posting), then you know that Monday I went to Mare’s house to work (didn’t get as much done as I should have…too much gabbing). Tuesday I worked really late to finish a design concept, Wednesday I wasn’t in the mood to crochet until it was time to head out for a meeting, Thursday I worked and then went to the group south of me, and Friday I went to Margarita’s (where I got a lot of work done). This weekend was spent sitting in the garage opening (where I am now…LOVE our wireless connection) while John did major surgery on his car. The good news is that the car is finally off the jack stands (why I sit out here in case it falls) and fluids are being replaced.

Today I finally got around to typing up design proposals and sending them out to a new source. Nope, not going into details, but because it was an entity I haven’t worked with yet, I was worried about how to present myself. Thus why it took forever to write these blasted things. A few minutes ago I sent those out. Fingers crossed please, as I consider it a growing step in my career. ๐Ÿ™‚

This morning I also got an article fired off for the 3rd CLF book (yep, we’re planning on cranking them out!) so hopefully it is accepted as well.

I also don’t know if I mentioned but I’m waiting to hear if my application to be moved from Associate Professional to Professional status has been accepted. It was a weird but happy feeling when I got the notice from Robyn Chachula that I’d been an AP for 2 years now. Time to grow up! ๐Ÿ™‚ Hopefully it’ll be accepted. Of course, it means getting new business cards printed, but for the time being I’ll just cross out the “associate” part on my current ones. Next step, TNNA membership.

I’m now waiting for yarn to come for 2 projects. One for the yarn company (which has a quick turnaround, so I need to get started as soon as it comes in) and another for a publication piece for next year. I’m excited about the latter as it’ll be a yarn I haven’t worked with yet. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m also busy crocheting garments to wear at Chainlink in August. So far I have two tops on the hook. A blue sparkly top and a yummy lavender top. I have at least one more that I want to get done. I also need to put the finishing touches on a piece that will be going into the fashion show. I can’t show pictures yet because that one is slated to be released this summer. Yay!

I owe pictures, especially on the item that arrived today. I won the Easter Egg hook from Jimbo’s handcarved hooks. It’s awesome. I’ll get a picture later and post it.

Well, it looks like I might be able to go inside in a bit as John doesn’t seem to be under the car anymore. I might stay out here, though. It’s overcast and breezy and actually nice. We had 3 minutes of rain while we were out at lunch and then it stopped. Boo. We need more.

Hope everyone has a great week!

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