Closing out another year

fireworks

2012 starts on Sunday morning. Wow. I know many of us say this, but it’s true. This year has flown by so fast. So many changes took place this year in my life, with many new changes coming with the new year. I want to share a few of those changes with you in this post.

 

Work-related

This past year saw me making the difficult decision to take time off from designing. I wasn’t sure how long it would last, or if I’d ever come back to it. If you’re here looking to see if I’m coming back, my answer is, “I don’t know yet.” I’m still in semi-retirement from designing. Sure, lots of designs are coming out right now from me, but these are projects I finished many many months ago (some a full year ago). Such is the nature of design work. I’d love to say now that in X number of months I’ll be coming back full time (or even part time) to designing, but I just can’t say that. I don’t know. I’m just now finding the joy in crocheting for me and others again. I had lost that for a while, and I need to revel in that for a bit.

 

I am, however, branching into tech editing and testing crochet patterns. If you’re a designer, or want to be a designer, I have reasonable rates and would love to chat with you about your needs and deadlines. I also still do finishing work and even custom work. I’m currently working on reverse engineering a family heirloom for a client so she can gift her mother with the pattern so they can make more. I’m also working on a testing and tech editing project for another client. I can truly say that I love this aspect of the business. So, get in touch with me if you’re interested. I can send you references as I have been lucky to have fellow designers who trusted me to be my first clients. ๐Ÿ™‚ You can use the contact form on the main page to reach me.

 

Fun-crochet

Ah, to be able to talk about that again. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been working in lace for myself, and trying new techniques for others. I finished my second ever Tunisian project this year, and it was my first ever color work project. If you follow me on Twitter, you saw me comment that there were 146 ends in that scarf. But it was worth it to see the smile on the kid’s face. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

One of my goals this new year is to crochet for myself. I have been gathering shawl patterns and lace yarn because I love both. I also want to work through the rest of my stash. Yesterday I went through it and got rid of half of it again. Most went to my mom since she retires this next month. The rest I need to add to my bin for the scrap afghan I’m making.

 

Life stuff

Part of the impetus to cut the stash down is because next month I’m moving (yes, again). I’m moving in to a quaint 1927 home with very little storage space. But my two years here at home has prepared me for that! There will be a definite need for shawls and blankets and such as the house is a bit drafty and while northerners wouldn’t agree with me, winters are chilly here…especially in old houses with no heat. Brr. I love that my love and his son are so appreciative of my crochet, and therefore they shall continue to receive crochet items! ๐Ÿ™‚ So far, G (my love) has received a hat and a pair of slippers and Mr. B (his son) has received a hat, the Tardis scarf, and a Cthulhu. I have a scrap afghan that resides there to give me something to work on when I visit. It will keep us warm on those chilly nights.

 

One of the reasons I changed my domain a few months ago is because I wanted a space to share things other than just crochet and design. Don’t worry, I’ll still talk about those things, but I also wanted to share with you the other things that are just as important to me: green living, household maintenance, etc. There will be more later, but I’ll utilize the categories here through WordPress to be able to help you see those things you want to see.

 

New Year Goals

So, I don’t do resolutions. I do goals. Yeah, yeah, semantics. But here are some of my goals for this year:

  • Crochet from stash and use it up (or give it away at the end of the year if it’s not used for a project)
  • Crochet at least 6 shawls for myself
  • Learn hairpin lace finally
  • Finish all those UFOs in my bins (or frog them and repurpose the yarn)
  • Live as green as possible: reuse, repurpose, recycle, use natural products
  • Make great food from scratch as much as possible
  • Decorate and maintain a wonderful home
  • Read more books (I started a goal of 100 books back on 12/21/10 and I’m at 90 right now)
  • Take time for me each day (even if it’s just sitting on the front porch with some coffee)
  • Stay active! Walking, etc.
  • Throw a fabulous dinner party

 

 

I can honestly say that I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life. I know where I am going and I’m thrilled with the people who are going on the journey with me. As we ring in 2012 tomorrow night, I will think of all of you and wish for you to have the same in your life. Thank you for all your support this last year (and years prior). May your new year be blessed!

Almost the end of the year

Good morning all! I hope those of you who celebrate had wonderful holidays this month! We still have our family’s Christmas to do tonight. Yes, I know, it’s a couple of days late. But, my family has been doing floating holidays for over ten years now. It started when I worked in television and my parents both worked for Disney inside the parks. Now we schedule it to make sure everyone can be there, and this year that meant tonight. No rushing for me this year as I only crocheted one gift and had it done last week. It was a different sensation for me to not be up all night crocheting like a madwoman. As much as I’ll miss everyone opening handmade gifts this year, I may be looking at this option again next year. ๐Ÿ™‚

Today, though, I want to talk about goal setting. Next year starts on Saturday. Hard to believe it’s already the end of 2010. I got a lot done in 2010, even in the midst of some major life upheavals. I saw a lot of published designs come out, including in a couple of booklets, a book, and in Interweave Crochet (which was one of my goals from last year). I taught at a national conference, got a couple of designs accepted into major projects that I can’t talk about yet, and made new contacts.

So what are my goals for next year? Well, there are a lot that I can’t put out there ’cause they’re very detailed. Which I think is important for goals. If you can’t measure whether you’ve completed it or not, it’ll never get completed. But I can tell you that I have 101 goals to accomplish. Now, not all of these are for this year. In fact, what I participate in is what’s called Mission 101. You come up with 101 goals to complete in the next 1001 days. These have to be measurable and only require yourself to accomplish them. In other words, you can’t make goals for other people.

On my Mission 101 list I have 26 goals related to my career. Last time I did this (I didn’t complete it, when life blew up I had to reevaluate the list and start over), I had well over 50 goals for work. I like this balance a lot better.

So, what kind of things are on my list that I can share with you? Some that are simple: learn to use my spinning wheel, update this blog weekly, organize my files, reduce my stash, etc. I have a few based on places I really want to submit designs, or certain designs I really want to push to a certain place. I also have some that are more for me and increasing my knowledge base. Either learning new techniques or studying aspects of design.

Each item on my list has a measurable outcome. Either it’s a certain number of designs to publish or submit (these are multiple things on the list), getting a specific number of items made, reducing the stash to fit into a specific location, etc. If they’re not measurable, I’d never know when they were done.

I also have a ton of personal goals (obvious if you do the math…75 are under the personal section). These are all things that are positive and will help me grow as a person. Again, these are also measurable and only require me doing something to have them happen.

So, what are your goals for next year? Do you want to learn a new technique? Do you want to work only out of your stash (I see this one a lot)? Are you on a yarn diet? Do you want to get organized? Do you want to carve time out for yourself to crochet for yourself (this is important and I hope everyone does this)?

My wish for all of you this next year is that you find time to do what makes you happy and make yourself your biggest priority. May your yarn skeins be tangle and knot free, may you not have to frog more than a few stitches, may your hooks stay where you put them. ๐Ÿ™‚

See you all next year!

PS: Yes, if you need to, feel free to have another Swatch Fire this year! If you have lying swatches, pick one to sacrifice and burn it on New Year’s Eve. That way we ring in the new year with no need for Swatch Fires. I did it last year and it worked!

Let’s start this year off right

With a giveaway!

I’ve not done this before, but one of my resolutions is to start doing giveaways when I can. So, here you go!

Here’s the details:

1. I’m giving away a copy of Granny Square Wear, which has my Granny Shrug pattern in it. Here’s a pic of the cover:

2. Comment here with one of your crochet related resolutions.

3. On Friday, January 8th, at 9am EST, I will randomly choose a winner and post that winner in a blog post. I’ll also post an email address the winner can contact me at to pass on shipping details.

It’s that simple! So, what is one of your crochet resolutions this year?

One of mine: Reduce excess stash. My way to achieve this is to use up as much of it as I can by making items for our guild chapter to give to the hospitals, and then possibly giving away the rest.

Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009!

It’s the last day of the year. It doesn’t exactly feel like it (probably because it never really got to December temps here) and it’s going to be very low-key tonight here. John’s up in Pennsylvania (and bringing me 2 new hooks and the latest Interweave Crochet magazine when he comes home on Friday night). I will likely sit here and watch TV tonight and work on Kelli’s second sock.

As I look back on 2008 I’m very proud of myself. I’ve come a long way since this time last year. Last year I had self-published two patterns and was working hard on SSP#1. And now? I have self-published a total of 14 patterns, had 4 patterns published this year in national publications (a magazine, a book, and the calendar), started working for a yarn company, and have 3 designs already out the door to be published nationally next year. Whew. While at times it didn’t feel that busy, I guess it was. I also crocheted a few things for me (including the sweater for Ravelympics), cranked out a bunch of holiday gifts, and a few other gifts and commissions for people. I also stayed ahead of schedule on most of my designs (not like last year this time)! Oh, and then there were the ribbons I won at last year’s Strawberry Festival.

The last time I updated my spreadsheets I was actually operating in the black (woo!). I will know a final reckoning next week when I sit down and do the end of year paperwork. Sure, it’s not enough to live on completely yet, but I am now paying my own bills and such. So that’s good.

So what’s in line for next year? Well, right now I’m working on SSP#5 and will get it out the door in the next week or two. I have 4-5 more submissions to send to the editor I’ve been working with. I forsee a lot more work with the yarn company. I also have a lot of ideas on my other spreadsheet that I hope to get fleshed out this year. And then there’s the CGOA National Conference in Buffalo next year. I’m so looking forward to that!

Here are my 2009 Crochet goals (some work related, some not):

  1. Self publish a few more designs.
  2. Submit something every month to an editor.
  3. Learn pattern grading.
  4. Design a garment with full sizing.
  5. Get the studio fully organized and keep it organized.
  6. Crochet something for me every month (even if it is just socks).
  7. Start holiday gifts early (I’ve already started gathering ideas).
  8. Learn a new technique this year.
  9. Bust through as much stash as possible.
  10. Meet lots of people at Chainlink in August. ๐Ÿ™‚

I want to wish all of you a very happy new year. May 2009 be the best year yet!

Oh, and in case I don’t post tomorrow….Happy “Gotcha” Day to my dear Midnight! ๐Ÿ™‚ And speaking of him, he wants to go out for his nightly walk.

ยฉ Copyright Fibers By Tracie - Theme by Pexeto