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.

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!

Catching up

Wednesday night was our going away party for Amber. Other than Dani and I, Amber is close to being an original member of our little crochet group. So we got together at Margarita’s house and had a little party for her. Here are a few pics:

Me and Amber

Amber, Jo, Danna, and Dani

Margarita, Carolina and Georg

John and I

So it was a bittersweet party. I’m so proud of Amber, she’s taking a promotion that has her moving from here in Florida to New York. She will be greatly missed. I wish her the best of luck and hope to see her in August when we’re up in Buffalo (she’s going to try to sneak up there for the weekend).

On Thursday I got a present from John in the mail.

Hmmm, what could this be?

Woo hoo! It’s a handcarved hook by Award winning hook maker Jimbo. It’s beautiful! It’s a J hook made in redheart wood. I can’t wait to use it.

John said it’s for winning my Flamie! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love it.

Thursday night I went down to visit the South Shore Knitters and Crocheters. They were a great group of ladies and I felt very welcome. I will likely start attending every week. I’m not going to quit going to my Tampa group, I just wanted to find a group a bit closer to home and meet some new people.

Today I worked on a new design idea (that woke me up the other night and I had to sketch in the bathroom so I wouldn’t wake John up) and got the math right and am almost finished with my sample. I also got the yarn for the next yarn company project today and will start swatching for that over the weekend. Is it bad that I want to make it work with the J hook so I can use my new hook?

I also need to do my taxes this weekend. Blah, more math. Oh well. It needs to get done.

On the non-crochet front, John has received a contingent offer letter from the company he interviewed with (contingent on them getting the contract they’re going for…something everyone is pretty secure in). So now we have to wait and see if the contract goes through. We won’t know for a few more weeks.

Okay, off to make dinner. Have a good weekend everyone!

Oh, and listen Monday night to Getting Loopy, I’ll finally be officially accepting my Flamie on the air! I’ll post a link on Monday for the show!

Still alive

Not much going on here (that can be talked about).

Working on the yarn company project. I’m on the assembly and hopefully will have it done by Monday or Tuesday so I can send it to them. The next project is already on its way. Yay for being busy!

I still have a submission out that I’m waiting on and I need to check into when the yarn is coming for the other two accepted designs (they’re way out on the schedule, so it might be a while).

I need to get going on the next round of submissions and work on my idea for the CGOA Design Contest.

John’s interview went well, he’s waiting to hear on the counter offer. Yes, he got a verbal offer contingent upon the contract they’re waiting on. However, it was a little lower than we were hoping for, so he countered. We’re waiting to hear on that. In the meantime, he’s got a recruiter looking for some short term projects and he’s currently filing for unemployment. Not something we wanted, but it’s what you gotta do to make ends meet. And it doesn’t help that the State of Florida makes it difficult by asking weird questions.

Other than that, not a lot going on. It’s been a lazy day here. Something we both needed after this week. John did get the lawn mowed, but other than that we haven’t done a lot. We do need to go grocery shopping in a bit, so that’ll be the extent of what I’ve accomplished today. ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

My award!

That would be my Flamie! Isn’t it awesome? ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s all I’ve got today. Still working on a yarn company project. John has an interview today so good thoughts are welcome!

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

A whole lotta little stuff

Just a quick update for today.

1. FLAMIES! They’ll be announced tomorrow night on Getting Loopy. If you can’t listen live, you can listen to the archived show (I’ll post when that’s available). It should be a great show. I can’t wait to hear who won (including if I won!). So go listen tomorrow night at 9pm EST and join in on the chat room fun, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

2. I finished one sleeve for the sweater. I haven’t sewn it in yet, but it looks like perimeter wise, it will fit. I have discovered one thing that made me sad. While my final measurements matched my schematic, I no longer match the medium size. Boo. So this sweater, when finished, will be modeled by Sally, not by me. Oh well. I will start cleaning up the notes and turning them into a pattern and will possibly self-publish it after I have it tested.

3. I am working on a project for the yarn company that is awesome. I love the yarn and I love the colors. I’ll try to figure out a way to get a neat sneak peek shot to show you. That will be my work all this next week.

4. Submission proposal went out the door on Friday. Now comes the waiting part, which I stink at. I also need to get to work on more submission projects, but that will need to wait until the following week. I need to bust out the yarn company project first.

5. I finally painted the storage nook above the closet in my studio. John’s been after me for a year to get it done and now it is. Granted, the window in the studio is now open because the paint stinks. Ugh. It’s better today than yesterday, so hopefully by tomorrow it’ll be odor free. I guess it’s good that we’re in Florida and it’s in the upper 80s today.

6. Somewhat non-crochet related…John has lost his job. No worries, he was already in process looking for another one and kinda thought this would be coming. Hopefully the irons he has currently in the fire will transform into an actual job. And soon. Otherwise (and here is where it is somewhat crochet related) I’ll be going out to get a part time job to help pay bills. It’ll cut into design time, especially since it’s been almost 2 years since I’ve worked a regular job outside of the home. But, you gotta do what you gotta do in this economy. No worries, we’ll be okay, we were planning for it already.

7. I want to start a new project but I don’t know what. I need something that has some instant gratification right now. I should check out my queue on Ravelry because right now all I do is stand in the studio and stare at my yarn.

So that’s what’s going on right now. Hopefully I will have more interesting things to post later. Check out the blog on Tuesday when I post my thoughts on the Flamies. ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay, okay, it is important

I have spent the past three days struggling with basic math concepts. Why? Because I didn’t pay attention in math class in school. In any of them really. I passed all my math classes, I just did what I needed to in order to pass.

Anyway, once I learn an equation I’m okay. But this is learning all new equations and things. Today I finally gave up on making the math make sense in my head and actually wrote out line by line the increases for the sleeve. At that point I was able to see that the math was right, and now I understand it.

So now I’m crocheting a sleeve, and hoping it will all turn out okay. I think I understand how to do the sleeve cap and will work on that when I get there.

In other news, John is off at another project. This time in Falls Church, VA. The good news is thanks to “commuter” flights, he’ll be able to leave Monday mornings and return home relatively early on Friday nights. It will likely be for a couple of months. Midnight is very confused today as his Daddy left while he was still sleeping this morning.

Oh well, back to my crocheting.

Engagement photos (photo heavy, obviously)

I know, totally not crochet related. But, here are the best photos that were taken of John and I on family picture day. These were taken at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

That rock was COLD and I kinda jumped on John’s lap. This is the only picture where we’re both not cracking up too much. ๐Ÿ™‚

“Recreating” the proposal. Except we were in our PJs and in our living room and John was on both knees the first time, but this is still a great shot. Will likely be our official “engagement” photo we send with announcements. If you look closely you can see my teal colored wool socks poking out from under my jeans. Those are crocheted, thank you very much. ๐Ÿ™‚

Going in for the kiss.

The kiss. Now, if you look closely, you’ll see we’re both cracking up. That’s because this is the second kiss. The first one went too quick and our photographer made us do it again. John was nervous because my dad was standing right behind him and he said he felt funny doing that in front of him. ๐Ÿ™‚

Near the end of the day. You can kinda tell I wasn’t feeling as well by here since I’m actually using the hand on the railing to keep myself steady.

I like this shot. I just love the background. Being on the water, with us both (now) being kayakers, this is a perfect shot for us.

Happy National Crochet Month (belated)!

Sorry this is delayed. National Crochet Month began March 1st. I had all these great ideas in my head of things I was going to do this year for NatCroMo.

And then?

Then medical issues got in the way. A quick overview (because I try not to discuss things other than crochet here) is that I got a kidney stone, was given a painkiller to deal with it, had a horrible reaction to the painkiller, and then due to the lack of sleep and the reaction to the medicine, sent myself into a minor flare with the fibromyalgia. I haven’t crocheted for a week.

I’m almost better now. The stones seem to have passed and now I’m back on the climb to get better. I’m not having the flare issues right now, just dealing with getting energy levels back to where cleaning the kitchen doesn’t wipe me out for three hours.

Anyway, on to other things….

Voting has ended for the 2009 Crochet Awards. Now begins the wait. Winners will be announced live on MaryBeth Temple’s Getting Loopy radio show (which can be found here) on Monday, March 16th at 9pm. It’s a great show to listen to anyway, but that night should be great. From what I hear, they’re trying to get all the winners to call in to accept their awards. There’s also a chat room for the show and that always gets lively. If you can’t listen live, you can download the show later from the website or from iTunes.

I have two large swatches that I need to finish to get out the door along with proposals. That will have to wait a bit longer, unfortunately, because along with an energy drop the fibromyalgia causes a bit of mind “fogginess” that makes it difficult to concentrate on writing. Really, this blog post is taking me a lot longer than normal. So I’m hoping I can get it done in time to get it out the door. If not, I may put them in the queue to self publish.

I’m not sure what’s on the slate for today. I’ve been instructed not to push and not to work on really anything. John is tentatively scheduled to head out to California next week so I need to be able to take care of myself while he’s gone. We had a good start today as I took the dog out for the first time in a few days. So, I’m getting there.

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