Ah, Cama

The view

Oh, where to begin about Cama?

The flight was pretty easy, although long. The longest flight I’d ever taken (JFK to SEA). Seriously, 5.5 hours. Ugh. At least I got a lot of crochet time in.

I was amazed at how beautiful it was. We could see mountain tops from the window in the plane. And the whole way driving to Camano Island I kept staring out window, amazed at the beauty surrounding me. I have a ton of photos I could bombard you with, but instead, I think I shall give you the link to my Flickr set (that includes both Cama and Downtown Seattle where we spent a couple of days before heading back).

I taught two classes to some great people, hung out with a lot of awesome crocheters, tasted tea, pet alpacas, hiked all over Cama Beach with the guys, and all in all recovered my soul while I was there.

That last part? That’s the main reason I was there. Yes, I wanted to do the other things, too, but those who are close to me know that by the time we left for Cama, I needed the soul recovery more than anything else.

And it worked. Walking down the beach the first full day, listening to the sound of the surf coming in, finally learning to skip stones…all that worked like a balm to the soul. Being handed a pink heart shaped stone that G found nearly brought me to tears (and it’s carried in my purse still). Tuesday night I sat out on the porch after everything quieted down, gazed at the stars (more than I’d ever seen before), listened to the waves lap the shore, and sipped some wine. And in that moment, I felt myself find peace again.

I came home from the entire trip refreshed. I’m still not entirely sure what’s going to happen with the designing. I haven’t quite got that spark flamed again yet, but I know it’s still there. Right now I don’t want to push or force anything because that’s not fair to anyone.

I am crocheting again, a lot, and that’s a great sign. I’m getting my teaching stuff organized so I can hopefully teach a few more classes locally. And I’ve started doing some pattern testing and tech editing. I’m not ready to put myself completely out there yet, although I will let you know as soon as I do. My attention to detail has to work in my favor on this. πŸ™‚

I’ve also revamped the website. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks all parts of my website will be over here and better than ever. I really like using WordPress now and am thankful to be dating a web developer (because I’d be silently freaking out in the corner right now if I was doing this alone). Feel free to poke around as I get things set up.

I’m hoping to post more, too. I have a lot of things to post about this month, and I think this will make things a lot easier to do. Thanks for sticking with me through this. It’s all up from here!

New blog home

Crocheting at Cama

Lace crocheting at Cama Beach

Cama was amazing! Photos coming soon, but first I had to take care of a little housekeeping stuff.

You are now on my new site (traciebarrett.com). I will eventually also have my website (fibersbytracie.com) over here as well. But for now, the blog is here.

Why the move? Well, the website needed to be updated anyway (badly) and after getting an email that my “free” webhosting was about to charge me for having too many visitors, it was time to make things happen. It’s beneficial to be dating a web developer, too. πŸ˜‰ He’s working his WordPress magic and helping me make an awesome site.

So, thanks for following me over here and I promise I’ll be updating more often. Cama was wonderful for me and gave me the opportunity to revive my creative soul. Keep an eye out on the rest of the website and it’ll be developing into its own soon.

Scheduled maintenance

Just a quick post to let you all know that the Fibers by Tracie website will be down for a short period of time to do some much needed updates and maintenance. Thank you all for your patience, and I’ll post here when it’s done and we’re back up! Have a great Sunday!

ETA 3:12pm EST: And the website is back up! Many thanks to my wonderful webmaster & fiancΓ© for taking care of this for me! πŸ™‚

Hello December!

Anyone still here? Sorry about that.

Here’s what happens in my brain: 1. Oooh, I should totally blog about that! 2. Oh, wait, I can’t ’cause I can’t talk about what I’m doing. 3. Okay, I’ll wait until I have something to blog about. 4. Got tons to blog about but no time!

Welcome to my world.

So, lots to talk about. Let’s break it down into little chunks, okay? πŸ™‚

Pattern line & Website updated

I spent the last couple of weeks updating my pattern line into much nicer template. I think they look much more professional and consistent across the patterns. Big thanks to Kristie Chester for providing the template. I did some tweaks to suit my line and I think it looks great. No pattern is longer than 4 pages, with most of them being 2 page patterns. This makes it much easier for you to print out and use.

With that, I updated all the patterns in Ravelry and on the website. So, if you’ve downloaded one of the free patterns in the past, feel free to go back and download it again so you can get an updated pattern.

Guild news

We have our first meeting this weekend (tomorrow) at A Good Yarn in Sarasota. We’ll be meeting from 11:30am to 1:30pm and if you’re in the area, we’d love to have you join us!

Published designs

Some may say this is burying the lead, but I wanted to have the spot for the photos to be near the end. πŸ™‚ I’ve had a lot come out in the last month or so.

Camo Girl Slippers

Found in the Slippers By the Dozen booklet from Annie’s Attic. I love these slippers. My original sample were in solid purple and cream and I just love them. Here’s a pic of the original:

They’re big and floppy and frilly and just plain fun. They don’t take much yarn at all and make great gifts!

Snowflake Afghan and Ornament

Snowflake afghan

Snowflake ornament

This pattern is found in the December 2009 issue of Crochet World. And I’ll tell you, my pictures do not do it justice. The photography in the magazine is great and even it doesn’t show how well these colors pop in this afghan. It’s a stunning afghan and I think it would look great in any wintery decor (except down here in Florida where we don’t see snow…or temps even close to snow). The ornaments whip up quickly and are precious as either ornaments for your tree or gift trim. I bet you could even make a bunch of them and join them as you do the final round and make a garland. In fact, I may try that for our tree. πŸ™‚

Sweet Ruffles Crochet Dress

Found in Super Baby booklet by Coats and Clark. Oooh, go to the link, and look at the cover!

This is my first real garment pattern and my first design with Coats and Clark. I was THRILLED to see my design on the cover. It fulfills another of my things I want to do as a designer. I love this little dress and I think it looks so cute on the model.

Things coming up

I have a design coming out in the February Crochet World. It’s cute and I can’t wait to see it in print!

I’ve been doing some work for Coats and Clark that will hopefully be coming out soon. I can’t wait to show you ’cause they’re all so cool.

Workshops coming up next month at A Good Yarn! I’m really excited about doing these. I can’t wait to get back into teaching again.

New designs in the works for next year. I’m going to try to be better about releasing patterns throughout the year. Now that I have a great template, this will be easier.

Other news

Last month I became an Affiliate member of the TNNA. Big step in my career and now I am starting to make plans to make it to the June show in Columbus.

Other than one last gift I’m working on now that was added on last weekend, I am DONE with my holiday gifts. Yeppers. This would be the earliest EVER for me. πŸ™‚ Granted, I have two gifts I need to buy, and a few I want to make that are not fiber related, but they don’t count in the crochet list. πŸ™‚

Have a fabulous December and holiday season (whatever you celebrate)! I will try to be better about posting, but we all know how that goes for me. Thanks for sticking with me!

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. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ 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!

Website update and a day off

The parts for the server came in today. About an hour ago, actually. The server is currently in surgery and I keep hearing heavy sighs coming from the office. That may or may not be good. I’m not sure and I’m not going in to ask. I do hear the box being booted up (the fan is really loud on this box and it sits by the door to the living room) and then turned off. Fingers crossed everyone…..we’ve now been down for 5 days. πŸ™

This morning I did some swatching for the next yarn company project, chatted through email with my contact there, was able to turn around and go a slightly different direction and send that to her, and now I’m just waiting for the yarn to get here so I can get started.

It’s good that it’s been a slow day, my body needed the break. So I took the much needed nap and am just relaxing. Tomorrow I will start working out some of the math for the next submission project (soon to be titled SSP#3) since that yarn should be here soon, too. Busy busy time.

This weekend is turning into another girls’ weekend. At least for part of it. Friday morning I’ll head to Dani’s and meet up with Margarita. I may be working while we hang out and chat, but it’ll be good to get out of the house. On Saturday Margarita is going to come out here and hang out. Sunday may be the day John’s motorcycle goes down the road for the first time. He’s so very very close. It’s exciting.

I’m taking Monday off. I figure that even though I work from home, I should still take the holidays off. Besides, at this point I’m not sure what the weather is going to do so I can’t make any other plans than that. Apparently Gustav is on his way and will likely be a Cat 3 by the time he reaches the gulf. Eh, we’ll see. The porch is still cleared so I’m not too worried about that. Water is still in the freezer and I’m still good on yarn and batteries for my light up hooks. πŸ™‚

Okay, I need to go figure out something for dinner and see if the “surgeon” needs a soda.

Yesterday was the day for finishing

I had a rather productive day yesterday. I didn’t get my housework done, but I did finish quite a few things. I got my Ravelympics sweater done (as seen in the last post) and then I worked and finished SSP#2. Last night while watching Harry Potter I finished the end of the second sock that I’d had for a month. Here’s a pic of them:

Now I’m on hold for doing anymore socks because I’m out of sock yarn. πŸ™ Well, I’m out of nice sock yarn. I have some that I’m likely going to use to design with, but that will come later.

I did start a new project last night. I know, I have a few things hibernating that I should get back on to. But, I wanted something somewhat mindless and easy for me to work on. So what did I do?

I started another Seraphina Shawl. This time out of the Debbie Mumm Traditions yarn I got nearly a year ago at my birthday. This is the last of my “birthday yarn” that I’m finally using. That’s where my sweater yarn came from. If y’all remember, John gave me a gift certificate and told me that I had to buy yarn for me for a specified project. So I got the yarn for the sweater and the yarn for the convertible wrap (that I need to finish, it’s nearly done). The DMT yarn I got with a gift card to Joann’s for my birthday.

Anyway, today’s plan is housework and possibly taking a day off from crocheting. I need to weave in ends and block SSP#2, but I may let that wait until Monday. My hands could use a break. We have to go shopping later after lunch to Comp USA. The server has died. This is very distressing and sad because that’s where my website is hosted. So it’s imperative we get it back up as soon as possible. Everyone keep their fingers crossed that we can find what we need locally so we don’t have to wait for it to be shipped.

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. πŸ™‚

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

Announcement: Website LIVE!

Thanks to the wonders of my fabulous webmaster (hi John), we got the website up and running tonight. I coded it myself, bouncing between a Notebook window and a tab on my browser, checking and rechecking links and codes. I got most of the backbone of it done a few weeks ago and spent today finishing up the important stuff. So now you can see good sized pictures of my patterns and all the links to get them are there.

Anyway, here it is:

Fibers By Tracie

Go ahead, click, surf around, let me know if anything seems broken. πŸ™‚

Well, I better jet, it’s storming here and I don’t like being on the computer during that. Have a good night!

Floral Cami CAL wrap-up

One of the things I love about Ravelry and about the blogging world in general is that it’s so easy to look and see what people thought of different designs and such that they’ve worked on.

I just completed the Floral Cami CAL with the CGOA. It didn’t take long. The project is super fast. I used Plymouth Jeannee Yarn in a denim blue color (color 13 on the color card). It took under 4 skeins of this yarn.

The pattern moved super quick. I extended the mesh and did 20 rows to make it more tunic like. I did the mesh first for both the front and back before I put the shells on the bottom on. I was just worried I wouldn’t have enough yarn so I didn’t want to have to rip out a row of shells on the front to make the back work, ya know?

Anyway, I also didn’t want to do ribbon, so I made my own ties. I single crocheted down the two inches suggested by the pattern to join the sides at the top and then chained 91, single crocheted back up, did a slip stitch, chained 91, single crocheted back up, then did a slip stitch to the last single used for joining. I did the straps exactly as instructed.

So how’d it turn out? Okay.

So what would I do differently?

I would have made the ties longer and with only slip stitches back up instead of singles. While the singles made the ties a bit sturdier, it also made them too chunky. And because they’re short, I couldn’t make the top tie loose.

I’m not sure that I would have made it so long. Right now I don’t like the way the shells stop weird on the sides. Some of that is likely due to how the ties are pulling the mesh in. It might be also looking weird to me because of the top I have on under the cami. It’s not the tank I intend on wearing with it. So we’ll see.

I still may make another one. I have some more of the yarn in a khaki color and it was a quick crochet project.

Anyway, today’s work is website work. I have the two harder pages to do now (all my patterns that are available as downloads) and will sit and focus on getting them done. Once that’s done, then I need to look over the layout and mapping and see if I need to add anything else before sending the whole thing to my wonderful webmaster, John. Then he’ll get it uploaded to our server here at home and I’ll announce it here. So no crocheting today, just computer work. Have a good day everyone!

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