Happy Birthday!

A very happy birthday to our sweet 11 year old greyhound, Midnight!

Here’s his b-day pic:

As you can see, he wasn’t too thrilled about getting his picture taken.

Here’s a closeup of his sweet greying muzzle:

Not a lot else going on right now. Busy with projects. Sent one set out today and need to send another tomorrow. Gotta go get back to crocheting. Have a great week everyone!

Sometimes you just have to stop

Yesterday I got what may be the last yarn company project of the year out the door. Whew. Ahead of schedule, too!

Then I got back to working on the publication project. I got some done before I had to go run around and do errands. Today will hopefully be a whole day of getting major work done on it. I don’t have to leave today until around 5 or 6, so that works.

Last night I got started on the second glove I was working on. First glove went really quick and I was pleased with it (not ecstatic, but I made notes on what to change for the next pair). So last night I cranked through the cuff and palm and got through the index finger. Followed the directions for the slit for the right hand glove (these gloves are designed so the fingers can slip out to have fingerless gloves when needed), finished it off, and tried it on. The slit is on the wrong side. Huh? The directions were different from the left hand slits. I’m confused. But I’m just not going to deal with it now. I’ll look again maybe this afternoon and if I can’t get it figured out, then I’ll seam the slits shut on the left glove and do the right one without slits. I mainly wanted these for my trip next week.

It’s chilly outside today. Midnight got to wear his sweater because it was 43 out. He prances when he wears that sweater. It’s cute. Right now the house is still closed up (it’s a bit cool to open up the windows yet) and I have a pot of water on the stove on a slow boil. It’s really dry here in the house.

Okay, time to get to work for me! Have a good day, everyone!

Getting back to work

It’s been a crazy couple of days. Adjusting to our new life is a bit difficult, but John and I are making it through. The animals are as well, although this was the mood all day Sunday:

Even though I said I wasn’t going to work yesterday, I did work on Andrea’s scarf and finished it last night. I hope I can find some time later this month to write up the pattern and offer it. It matches the Beatrice Hat I wrote earlier this year. Here’s a picture of the hat and scarf together:

Now I’ll give them a light handwashing and then block both the hat and scarf before sending them off later this week. Today’s work will involve getting started on SSP#4. I have a project coming from the yarn company soon, so I’d like to get the first part done on SSP#4 before it gets here.

Okay, time for coffee and to get going on work stuff. Have a good day!

Busy week already

Yesterday’s lesson went well. She’s taking another lesson from me next week. I’m not sure how many will be needed…that’s up to her. I want her to be comfortable and able to complete the project she wants to complete.

We had a bit of a scare last night. I was already tired from working at the shop (we’re getting all the yarns written down and Friday I’ll be there all day doing photos for the website). I was carrying dishes back to the kitchen and had to walk over the sleeping dog. Normally, this is never an issue. He just lays there, maybe lifts his head, but mostly just lays there. Not last night. He decided last night that it was a perfect time to try to stand up. While I was mid step. I didn’t fall, I didn’t drop the dishes, but I did land hard on my back leg in trying to stay upright.

Well, my left hip is my bad one due to an injury in high school and that flared up. Within 5 minutes my leg was getting tingly and hurting. So I stopped what I was doing, stretched my hip back into place (it’s what the physical therapist told me to do back then) and then promptly went to bed to keep weight off of it.

Today I’m better, just stiff and sore all over from the shock of how hard I stepped (gotta love Fibromyalgia…the littlest things cause the biggest pain sometimes). But I was able to finally get the website info updated (it’s not updated on the site, gotta wait on my webmaster to get home from work so he can load it), get a submission ready to go tomorrow, and got over half the inventory entered into the computer.

Tomorrow will be another low-key day except for a quick trip to the post office and bank. Then it will be back here to finish the inventory info before heading out for a full day at the shop on Friday.

New things to look for on the website (later tonight, not now): the latest patterns are up and the best thing to me is I finally got a calendar on there. Now you can see when I have things scheduled. The only things on there are lessons that are actually scheduled, not lesson openings. I also only have the typical workday stuff on there. So no household stuff will be listed, but I will list when I’m at meetings and such that the public is invited to. I’ll also block out days when I plan on doing office work or design work. ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay, John just got home so my workday is over. Have a good day!

A Day in the Life….

Here you go. I kept track of this yesterday. It’s not nearly as glamorous as it seems being a crochet designer would be. Granted, I’m only working on one project right now. I’m sure if I was working on a few at one time (and really, I am, but it’s still at the point I can work on one for a period of time and then click back to the other one).

Anyway, here it is. I’m going to get back to work and hope to finish the wrap today so I can get pictures.

A day in the life of this crochet designer

4:30am: I hear John’s alarm go off and it takes me a minute to process that it’s his phone alarm and not a phone ringing (almost a year after leaving the supervisor gig and I still have issues with waking up to a phone ringing). Roll over and go back to sleep.

5:30am: Wake up to John kissing me goodbye. Mumble something along the lines of “Love you, drive careful, see you tonight” or some variant. Roll over and go back to sleep.

7:29am: Woke up and looked at my clock. Wow. Slept until 1 minute before the alarm. That’s pretty good. Turn off alarm, take out earplugs, roll out of bed. Bathroom pit stop, hair up in a ponytail, grab clothes and get dressed in something I won’t be too embarrassed to be seen outside in (today’s selection was a t-shirt and yoga pants).

7:35am: Open bedroom door and actually surprise one cat when I reach down to pet her. Said good morning to the two girls (the other cat came running up to the chair to be greeted) and then to Midnight (who was now at the gate whining).

7:38am: Open the gate, grab the dog before he runs into the living room, turn on the coffee pot on the way, put shoes and sunglasses on and leash up the dog to go out. Run into a neighbor from down the street and realize that while my clothes are okay for this time of the morning, I slipped on brown loafers instead of sneakers and I look kinda silly. Oh well, she’s moving anyway, so it doesn’t matter.

7:45am: Come back inside, go get Midnight’s food out of the garage (we are fighting ants in here, but for some reason they’re not out there) since I forgot to get it last night, feed Midnight, feed the girls, move Midnight’s bed out of the kitchen, turn on the news, turn on the laptop, open the blinds in the living room and turn on “kitty TV” in the front room (opening of the front blinds).

7:55am: Settle in and check email, Ravelry, blogs, etc. Chat for a bit with Dani. Decide what I want to work on for the day.

8:15am: Finally get a cup of coffee. I often either forget it’s ready or I’m too hot from taking the dog out (it was already in the mid 70s with high humidity when we went out). Delight in the fact that the air is still working.

8:30am: Decide I’m going to continue to work on the broomstick lace wrap instead of jumping to the tree skirt. Go over schedule for next couple of weeks and get things written in. Begin work, taking quick breaks every 20-30 minutes to give hands a rest.

10:30am: Get another cup of coffee, check to see that the trash got picked up, wander around for a bit, then get back to work. Fight off the design ideas that are creeping up and mentally file them away for later. Refuse to start anything new until these items are done.

11:30am: Get up, put the cup in the sink, get a glass of water, and try to figure out why the mail is late. Love on the cat who is following me from across the room. Get back to work. Grumble about not being able to crochet fast enough to keep up with the list of things I want to do.

12:30pm: I finally hear the mail truck, so I go out and pick up the mail. Nothing exciting, so I flip through it and then get back to work. Realize that in one of the early rows of this wrap I missed a loop and there’s a large loop of delicate rayon thread sticking out. Cuss. A lot. Try not to cry. Realize that it’s okay because this final product stays with me and I can hide it for pictures and maybe even sew it down so it won’t be a problem.

2:00pm: Take Midnight out for his middle of the day walk. Come back in and cool off. It’s already miserable here in Florida (by my standards). Climbing humidity and temps in the upper 80s. Think again about running away to a northern state. Realize that it wouldn’t work ’cause John hates the cold weather. Sigh and drink more ice water.

2:30pm: Deal with a dog who does not want to settle and just wants to whine (but doesn’t want to play). Deal with a jealous cat who wants to climb in my lap. Try to explain to both that I need to get back to work.

2:40pm: Realize the headache coming on is because I haven’t eaten lunch yet. Oops. Try to decide what to make. Finally decide on something and fix it. Get another row done while it cooks. Wonder why such an easy pattern and quick stitch is taking forever. Realize it’s because I picked a very slippery fiber to do it in. Consider making a HUGE sign for the studio that reminds me to K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Silly).

3:00pm: Take a quick break, eat lunch, check email, refill the water glass. Get back to working on the wrap. Count the repeats I’ve finished again. Wonder what time and space wormhole I’ve climbed in that’s not letting this move forward very much.

4:15pm: Deal with the dog who wonders where his Daddy is (John’s usually home around now, but he’s doing overtime this week and won’t be home until 8pm).

4:45pm: Rip out a row because I can’t count. Cuss. Redo row.

5:10pm: Feed the dog and start figuring out what to make for dinner. Clean the kitchen up. Get back to work on the wrap to get a little more done.

6:00pm: Decide to stop for today because my hands are really dry (and catching on everything) and I need to get a shower.

6:20pm: Get off phone with John and then go get my shower.

7:15pm: Update my blog so Mom doesn’t worry if I don’t post. ๐Ÿ™‚ Give info about this post happening tomorrow.

7:30pm: Take Midnight out for his last walk of the day. Come back in and start dinner so it’s ready when John gets home. Baked chicken and rice. Yummo.

8:15pm: John pulls in and we eat dinner. We chat about how his day went and then I clean up the kitchen from the dinner dishes.

9:00pm: Goof off online chatting with Kerry about a situation she’s going through and try to give her as much support as I can. Realize I’m not going to be doing any more crocheting tonight.

10:00pm: Get Dani on messenger so we can chat while watching Top Chef. Still chatting with Kerry, too, so I’m not getting any other crochet done.

11:00pm: Set up coffee for tomorrow morning, and take Midnight out to the front yard for last bathroom break before bed. I can’t put him to bed in the kitchen yet because John’s finishing laundry.

11:45pm: Watch Midnight put himself to bed because he was tired. John’s laundry finishes and we finally go to bed. Alarm set, earplugs in, and off to dreamland.

Took the weekend off

Literally. I did very little crocheting all weekend. It was nice, although it did worry me a bit last night.

Actual conversation in our home:

Me: I think something’s wrong with me.
John: (eyebrow raised and choosing his words carefully) Why?
Me: I don’t feel like crocheting.
John: Burned out?
Me: No, not really. I want to crochet, but I just can’t seem to stay focused on it. Maybe because I don’t have any projects for me that are quick.
John: You gonna be okay?
Me: Yeah, I’m just fighting another round of startitis. Maybe it’s good that I took the weekend off.

I did accomplish something, though. I got one of Mare’s socks done. See?

I still have a second one to do, but I’ll start it tonight.

Today I’m back to work on China Doll. I just did the last increase round on the bottom of the tunic, so I only have 8 more rounds to do before the trim. Then it’s on to the sleeves and collar and trims. I picked up the 1/2″ bone rings for the closures on Saturday. They’re tiny. ๐Ÿ™‚

I think a lot of my issue over the weekend was ’cause I have a lot of ideas going around in my head. And I’m wondering about the status of my submitted pieces. And I know I need to get 2 more designs done this month for the CLF book. So when my brain is going in 200 different directions it’s hard to focus on any one thing.

The good news over the weekend, though, is that Midnight is finally finished with his meds. Yesterday we started adding yogurt to his food to help put good bacteria back into his stomach. My thinking is with as heavy duty of antibiotics as he was on, not only should it have knocked out the bacteria in his urine, it very likely knocked out the good bacteria, too. Now we wait a week or so and then take him back to the vet to see if the antibiotics worked. PLEASE let them have worked. I don’t want to go through another round of meds and such.

Anyway, off to work. Hope everyone has a good week!

Technical Difficulties

Ah, the joys of felting. I need to redo half of the design before making it ready. So, that’s the plan for the rest of the day. *sigh* Comes with the job, though.

Midnight is feeling better today and ate his food this morning with no troubles, so that makes me feel better.

Hopefully later today I can post my new pattern. It’s really cool, and if nothing else, the mistakes from yesterday may be rewritten into what it ended up turning into. ๐Ÿ™‚ So there may be 2 new patterns today! ๐Ÿ™‚

Delay in pattern coming

So I was going to have a pattern to post tonight for sale. That has been delayed for a multitude of reasons (ah, the joys of working from home):

1. Midnight wouldn’t eat this morning. At all. Not a bit, so I was worried about that and had to keep getting up and dealing with trying to get him to eat.

2. I got the item finished and felted but part of it needs to go longer.

3. John stayed home and we went to lunch and ran a couple of errands.

4. We got home and Midnight had gotten sick a bit on his blankets.

5. Our washing machine is now tied up with washing comforters and blankets.

6. It’s about to storm here so I’m not about to shove my hands under water to hand felt it.

Midnight’s better now…he ate dinner okay. I’m holding off his pills tonight (he didn’t get them at breakfast either) so his stomach can settle down.

Well, I better get off of here ’cause the storm is bearing down. Hopefully tomorrow morning I can finish felting part of the design and I can have it up here. ๐Ÿ™‚

A beautiful day and work to do

Let’s start with today’s swatch:

From 365 Crochet Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar by Jean Leinhauser and Rita Weiss

Date: March 11th
Stitch name: Puffy Blocks
Hook used: J / 6.0mm
Yarn used: Worsted weight acrylic

Texture: This block has a really interesting texture. The puffy blocks are not typical puff stitches. I really like the texture.

Drape: It’s not super drapy, but with this stitch, it provides some structure. It’s not a piece of cardboard, either. It’s got some drape, just not a lot. But I don’t think you’d want drape with this stitch.

Opacity: While the picture in the calendar shows it as a solid stitch, my swatch has some holes. I think if I went down in a hook I’d have a more solid fabric.

Comments / Thoughts: I have never done a stitch like this. It was neat and really easy. I like how it looks in person and the way it feels.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Don’t worry, after National Crochet Month, swatches will land at the bottom of the entry, not right up at the top! ๐Ÿ™‚

Last night John and I went to dinner and I can now add crocheting at Village Inn as one of the strange places I’ve crocheted. I’m sure we were a sight to the 2 older couples who got sat next to us. John was doing the crossword puzzle and I was working on a sock while we waited for food. We were still chatting and such, but we’ve found that we handle waiting for food better if we’re busy, too.

As soon as I get back in from taking the dog out I’m going to go work on one of my design ideas from yesterday. The first one I worked on will work and looks good so far. But it will have to wait until tomorrow. I had to order yarn to go with what I had on hand. And it’s coming tomorrow. The other idea I bought yarn yesterday for, so I can get right on that. Both of these will be for submissions. While the wait time is incredibly long on those (compared to self-publishing), I do need to get my name out there a bit more.

Okay, off to take the dog for a walk and then get back to work. Have a good Tuesday!

Cabled Midnight now available

Support independent publishing: buy this e-book on Lulu.

Cabled Midnight is now available for purchase and download through Lulu.com. I’m so excited to get this up there. I do hope everyone likes it and purchases it!

But what if you don’t crochet (and why don’t you?) and you have a hound and you really really want one of these snazzy sweaters for your gorgeous grey? Then let me know. I will do custom made orders. Prices will depend on the fiber you want to use (I can make it out of acrylic, wool, wool blends, washable wool, etc). You can email me at fibersbytracie (at) gmail (dot) com. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m very excited about this pattern. I think I might be designing a few other greyhound patterns in the future.

I have other news to blog about but I will wait until later to do so. ๐Ÿ™‚

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