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.

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!

Cooler heads prevailed (or another reason I love John)

Tonight I decided to try on Midnight’s sweater to show John. I was complaining about how I’m going to have to rip back 4-6 rows and redo the instructions to handle decreases and all that. He looked at it and told me I didn’t need to worry about ripping back. He says it looks like the decreases can start now and it’ll be okay. So, John has saved the day and I will just start tomorrow on the decreases and should be able to get it done in time for the parade on Saturday.

I need to get some buttons for the sweater tomorrow. I may get it finished first so I don’t have to carry the yarn with it to the store. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Everyone from the organization seems excited about the idea of the pattern. I’m just hoping it will live up to it. I’m really hoping I get some sales from it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Once I get this one done, I may work on some other ideas. Perhaps something for summer that can keep him cool (greyhounds have a hard time regulating their body temps in severe weather). I’ve got some ideas brewing, just need to let them finish ‘cooking’.

I still need to decide what I’m going to design to submit to the CLF book. And what I’m going to do for Josalynne’s purse and headband for her birthday. And then I need to finish up some of the ideas I’ve got going. I’ve got a lot to do. ๐Ÿ™‚

Trying not to jinx it

The design for Midnight’s sweater is going well. I’m actually a little scared that something else will go wrong, but so far I think it’s going well. I may actually finish the crocheting by this weekend and then I can get the pattern cleaned up and all that and have it up for sale by Monday.

I’m still waiting to hear on one pattern that was submitted. In March I should hear confirmation about another design (I’ve got a soft acceptance on it).

I have some more ideas brewing. I need to decide what I’m going to do for the CLF book submission. I really want to do something cool and somewhat advanced. Gotta think on that one a bit more.

I’m scattered today. Still have the migraine hanging on which stinks.

Oh, and good thoughts to John who’s doing his interview today for the supervisor position (which he’s already the interim until they fill it officially AND no one else has applied). ๐Ÿ˜‰ He left today wearing a shirt and tie. He looks good in a shirt and tie. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, and he’s now on Ravelry!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I gotta help him get his photos uploaded to a flickr account this weekend so he can get his notebook and profile set up. Hee!

Okay, back to work.

Paperwork day

Today is lining up to be a paperwork type of day. I’ve already submitted a proposal, inquired about another one, and cleaned up some of my files on the computer.

I’m really tired today but I have a class tonight so I need to conserve energy. I think I’m going to go get my graph notebook (thanks again CLF SS) and sketch out some ideas I had last night.

Now it’s time to get some coffee and start sketching. ๐Ÿ™‚

Changed my mind

Little Bro’s blanket for Christmas was going to be the cabled squares throw from an issue of Crochet Today. Then reality hit.

I had 1 square sorta done and 29 more to go. And it’s less than a month to get this done. Add to that I didn’t like how my edging looked (I was doing the edgings of the squares in a different color and it looked horrid).

So, that was frogged and new plan is in place.

I turned to my trusty stitch guides and found an open work ripple that I liked. I grabbed a J hook and got to chaining. 20 minutes later and I’m halfway through with row 3. So this should go a bit easier and there’s no joining later.

Tonight I worked on the throw for Jose and Beatrice and I’m almost done. I need to buy one more skein of yarn to make it a smidge longer, but I may do that tomorrow or Friday. But I’m close to being done on that.

The other benefit of Little Bro’s new afghan? The pattern is easy to memorize and I won’t be trying to check a pattern to make sure I’m doing the cables right.

I’ll still likely do that afghan ’cause I like the way it looks. But not for Christmas. I just don’t have time and I already have one project that I’m going to be against the wall on, I don’t need a repeat of the Year of the Christmas Afghans (it wasn’t pretty…it involved being up until 3am on Christmas Eve crocheting blankets and getting back up at 5 to start again).

Pics later in the day.

Oh, and why am I posting at 2am? It’s time to reset the internal clock (happens once every couple of months) so I’m just staying up tonight.

Brain in overdrive

I need to find a way to get organized. I know this. I have too many ideas in my head and not enough are getting on paper or worse, on yarn. Blah.

I need to finish the sample items, I need to start working on my CYCA certification, and I need to start swatching a few of the design ideas.

I also should likely quit buying magazines. I get too many new ideas and add them to the ever growing list of things I want to do.

I did finish my first knitting project. Nothing fancy, just a dishcloth. But it helped to get something done and off the needles. And it only took me 2 days. Okay, not 2 full days. I started it one night and finished it the next.

Okay, off to try to get some work done.

Socks and prototypes

I bought a new crochet sock book. I’ve been told by someone who knits socks that it is impossible to find socks that fit in your shoes in crochet. I don’t buy it ’cause in my opinion, if I buy sock yarn and use a small enough hook, I should be able to do it. So we’ll see. Gauge swatching is occurring now.

I also worked some more on my messenger bag prototype this weekend. Not a lot since it is cotton and that tends to rip my hands apart. But I have a few more ideas for variations and I have all that nylon I found sitting at home that I should be able to do one out of nylon as well (which should hold up to stretching better than the cotton).

I want to try lace knitting. I have the yarn and the sticks and a pattern with me here (I’m currently out of town this weekend). But, I’m suffering from the usual overload on having so many projects with me and not enough time or energy to work on all of them (I always overpack so I have options).

Just for S&G, let’s see what projects I have right up in the forefront:
1. Tie for John (yeah, that’s gonna need to be a roadtrip pattern, sorry, love, it’s just boring me now).
2. Hexagon topper from Amazing Crochet Lace.
3. Messenger bag prototype
4. Tank swatch (stupid ripple stitch…must find stitch bible)
5. Knitted scarf (just to see that I could learn to knit)
6. Oh, granny square afghan for the living room
7. And a bunch of other projects that won’t be named here.

Let’s also remember I have yarn to dye and a spindle to learn to spin. I will be taking a two part class in the summer to learn how to drop spindle.

Okay, I need to get back to the sock and see if I can hit gauge on this.

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