Friday, May 28, 2010

A day in the life...

Busy, busy. I'm so close to having the book done. Next week at this time... I'll be mailing it in! I can't wait. But until then... more stitching and more writing to be done. I have seen a preliminary edit on two patterns and I'm thrilled. I'm seeing progress!

For all of you out there waiting for CGOA mentors...I'm working on it! I haven't forgotten you. Kind of like eHarmony or some internet dating service... matching aspiring crochet professionals with current crochet professionals is tricky.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pom-Pom Rug Revealed!

2010 in color... here we go!
Here's the Sneak Peek you saw...

and now for the reveal...It's in the new issue of Crochet Today, July/August 2010.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Knit and Crochet Now DVDs now available!

The Season 3 DVD includes 13 episodes and a 28-pattern CD-ROM. Get it here. The show does a fabulous job of giving knit and crochet equal time. I have a blanket pattern in one episode and my interview on another. I especially enjoy watching the knit segments because I am still learning. Go buy one to support this great show.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The role of simplicity vs. complexity in crochet

I often ponder what makes a crochet project "good". Remember my previous posts on 'Showstoppers?'. I've begun to wonder... what role does simplicity and complexity play in the success of a crochet project? Does it have to be complex to be successful? By simple I mean: all one stitch, or an easy stitch pattern, little or no shaping, easy to memorize. Complex would include larger or more complex stitch patterns, complicated stitch layering, must-follow-the-pattern-carefully shaping.

Examples of my work that I consider simple: Driftwood Cap, the Sunny Spread, the Let it Snow throw, Still Waters Shrug. Examples of my work that I consider complex would be: Medallion Afghan, Brocade Throw, and the Larkspur Wrap Sweater. All of these examples can be seen on my Ravelry Designer page. You don't need to be a member of Ravelry to see them.

I think there is a time and place for both simple and complex crochet patterns. Sometimes you want an easy pattern you can stitch while watching a baseball game and sometimes a more complex pattern is a fun challenge. Which do you like better? Do you go back and forth too?

In the photo are the 10 new babies, but really, they are already twice this size.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Conference Planning: What I'm doing today

I have two great conferences coming up this summer: TNNA the industry event, and CGOA's Knit and Crochet Convention for everyone. I have already registered for both and have secured my lodging and travel for both. I have started a folder for each event. I the folder is my registration confirmations, travel information, etc. Today, on the outside of the folder, I'm starting to pencil in my itinerary while I'm there. I need to have coffee with super awesome author A, and meet up with totally awesome tech editor B, I'm having dinner with yarn rep C, and meet up with Ravelry group friends at some point. And of course, coordinate these meetings with the official schedule of the conference so that I don't miss anything! That's what I'm doing today.

Above, Chickee harvests one of the first strawberries off her garden vine. Charlie looks on, puzzled. Chickee is just thrilled that this strawberry went unnoticed by the bunnies.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Become a Designer! I'm teaching...

I'm teaching at PDD day!

Ok, let me explain. The Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) and the The Knitting Guild of America (TKGA) hold an event every summer. It is called the "Knit and Crochet Show". Apparently, it used to be called "Chain Link" and many people still refer to it as such. The event is FREE to CGOA and TKGA members. The event includes opportunities to purchase tickets for classes, Fashion Shows, and other events. There is an auction for charity. There is a Crochet Design Contest for CGOA members. During the show, there is a "Market" with yarns and tools and notions from lots and lots of great vendors from all over the country. If you are not a CGOA or TKGA member and want to visit the market, tickets are $10 admission the first day and $5 each additional day. The event is in Manchester, New Hampshire July 9 and 10. Follow the link above for all the details.

Now, the market is just Saturday and Sunday. But classes are Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Fashion Show is Friday night. WEDNESDAY is a very special day for people interested in becoming a Crochet Professional. It's called "Professional Development Day". (PDD). The room will be SWARMING with professionals, editors, yarn company reps all networking and teaching about becoming and being a professional. I am teaching on that day, a breakout session in the afternoon called, "The Business of Crochet" where we will talk about the day to day business tasks of organizing a crochet career. Like I always say, there is as much (or more) business tasks that go into being a designer as there is crocheting. Anyway, I hope to see you there! ALSO, there is a group for PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DAY GROUP on Ravelry so you can ask questions, hear about the topics in advance!

BY THE WAY, you do NOT have to be a professional to attend PDD or to join the PDD Ravelry group.

Above is a Sneak Peek!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sneak Peek

Here's the sneak peek I promised you! It warms my heart.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Crochet for ME

I'm thinking of placing a few crochet projects for ME on my to-do list with a deadline and everything. How else am I ever going to get to make something that I get to keep? I need to put something on the list for Chickee too. She's outgrown most of everything I have ever made for her. She doesn't really wear sweaters except for the one Doris made. Maybe I could make her a little drawstring skirt. Wouldn't that be cute! Makes me want to go to my yarn stash... but I can't, I need to finish these two projects first that are due Monday.

TOMORROW there will be a sneak peek! FRIDAY, there might be another one...

Here's a photo of Sweets, you haven't seen her lately. She's been pretty quiet hanging out in her pig condo. She's only loud when you open the produce drawer in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Schedule for Tuesday

There's not much going on in the 'day in the life' of this designer for today. Tasks that I do everyday are:

Check email
check Twitter
check Facebook
Get the kids ready for school.
Check Ravelry: Answer questions, respond to comments, moderate the group, send 'Thank yous' to those people who left messages.
Have breakfast.
Write here on the blog.
THEN, some days I go exercise and run errands. I usually take my boxes that need shipped on the way to Jazzercise.
Come home, check and respond to email. If there are tasks related to the CGOA Mentor program not everyday, but I'll take care of those. If I had to go to the post office or buy supplies for crochet, when I come home, I log those expenses on my Excel balance sheet and file the receipts.
Have Lunch
THEN, I likely get to start crocheting and writing. (note, this is often the first time of the day I get to crochet, unless I skip exercise!). I work solid until the kids come home, then it's a little more spotty.

This is a typical day in my life as a crochet designer. The variety comes in the types of emails I get, and what project I work on. The highlights of my work day are usually in the emails or the mailbox!

Have a great day!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Whisper Wrap CAL and question

Does anyone have any progress to report on the Whisper Wrap Advanced Shawl CAL? Deadlines have gotten in the way of my progress and I'm stalled at about the 6" mark. I'm still hoping though, that I can get mine done in time to wear to the Knit and Crochet Show in Manchester, NH in July.

Here's Chief tough guy. Sigh. He fell off a chair and scraped his eye on Saturday. He is wearing his injuries as badges of honor.

I finished a couple of major projects that were obstacles to the book. Now, I have 2 smaller projects to do, then I can focus on the book, and only the book until the deadline. I am always juggling multiple projects... but when it comes to reading, I usually only read just one book at a time. What about you? Are you a monogamous crocheter? or do you share the love with multiple projects at a time?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Crochet Worthy?

We all know it... time and money are short. So how do we decide whether or not to spend our limited time and money on a crochet gift for someone? Are they crochet worthy? Will the recipient understand the time and effort put into the gift? Will the recipient care for the project and use it without felting it? Does the recipient, in general, seem to appreciate your crochet talent? While you may want to make a special crochet project for a loved one, he or she might not be 'crochet worthy' and you can save your time and yarn stash and instead they may really be just as happy with a store-bought gift.

However, when you find someone who is truly crochet worthy, that really is a gift isn't it?

Some stitchers call themselves, "selfish stitchers" (knitters, crocheters, etc.). I get it. In the absence of crochet worthy people to crochet for, it's easier for everyone if a stitcher doesn't give away her stitched projects. As hard as it is to believe, some unusual and rare people do not care for yarn/thread handmade gifts (GASP!) These people are to be loved anyway despite their eccentricities. Respect yourself. Respect your craft. Don't give stitched handmade love in yarn form to those who are not crochet worthy.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thank you and Crocheting in Public, etc.

Thank you, thank you everyone. I now have over 200 Followers! As I like to say, wow, Wow, WOW. So, so cool.

Another one of my very colorful projects of 2010 is finishing off the hooks hopefully today! And this one... all the little boys in the world are going to love it.

What else is going on?

April reported that she ACTUALLY SAW a license plate in her area that read "dc2tog". O my goodness I want to meet that person. Thanks for the note April. It's good to know there are other like-minded people in the world.

Yesterday, at the hospital I used another, less colorful, but way more luxuriant yarn while waiting with Chief to get an x-ray on his broken arm. This pattern that will be in publication.... I don't know when... is perfect for the hospital waiting room. Easy to memorize, doesn't take up too much space, easy to put down and pick back up again when your name is called... When it actually does publish I'll let you know that it was the, 'ideal waiting room project!'. LOL.

Chief is doing well. He doesn't seem to be in much pain and is enjoying resting in front of the tv and in general trying not to bang it around.

I think, as a thank you, you deserve a book sneak peek, pictured above.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I was wrong.

Chief's arm is broken. I don't know what I expected a broken arm to look like or what a child would act like if he had a broken arm, but I thought it would be more obvious. Sorry, Chief, we have you taken care of now.

Conference planning: What I'm doing today

TNNA (The National Needlework Association) for needlework professionals is meeting in Columbus, Ohio next month. I have about 1 month to get ready for the event. I wish I had more time to devote to preparations.

There are many things on my to-do list. Today I'm hoping to assess my business card situation. I need to make sure that they are up to date and that I have plenty. I'll stash my cards in several spots: my purse, my date book, and my badge/ID holder for example. I have also made sure I have key phone numbers of people I need to get in touch with. I have my date book. Before the event, I will also print out my email address book and put it in my date book. This serves two purposes... one, it's good in case they get lost, I have a hardcopy and two it serves as a "cheat sheet" because most email addresses include the person's last name and where they work. So as I am approaching great yarn company's booth, if necessary, I can look at my email list and look for the company name and it will jog my memory about who is who. Often in my contacts on my email, not only do I list their name, but in the field for "middle name" I will put in what they do at that company. So on my contacts list it may say, Terri sends yarn Smith @ yarn company name or 'Karen does contracts Jones' @ publisher x.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

When will I get to crochet?

Being away from crochet for a day can really through me off rhythm. It can be so hard to get back in the momentum of a pattern. Last week week was hugely productive, but not since Friday. I'm hoping to get back in business today, but it's not looking good.

It's been crazy around here the last few days. We've had injury scares with both kids. They are both fine. We had an impromptu party. (hence the injuries).

On Sunday afternoon I went out to the yard to check on the chickens and spied a pile of white feathers and the back of a fox's red head bounding away from me into the woods. He got Mrs. Poole. We have 2 big chickens left (of the original 6). And of course we have the new 6 babies. Now I'm not so sure we should have bought them. If we have a fox who is so brazen as to steal a chicken in the middle of the afternoon. We are brainstorming fencing options and hope to keep all the remaining 8 chickens safe.

Above is a photo of Chief assembling my new electric skillet. Note he is at his own workbench and he is standing on a bucket. Too cute.

Monday, May 10, 2010

New babies

You have to see these adorable photos. Tom took the kids to get more chicks, since we lost 3 of the six last week. Apparently, you can only buy chicks in groups of 6... so now we have 3 teenage chickens and 6 just hatched chicks. Here are some of our new babies.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Keeping Financial records

I often tell you, if you want to be a designer, there is a good deal of business tasks that are required. I keep a running spreadsheet of all my expenses and income and I add to it every time there is a transaction. Somehow, my file got completely lost. I went to my back up external harddrive... and it's there... only I hadn't updated it since January... HOWEVER, I print out a hardcopy at the end of each quarter just in case.... BUT, I forgot at the end of March, BUT I remembered on tax day, 4/15/10. So, I only lost data for 21 days... BUT I have all my receipts and check stubs in my manila envelope where I keep these things. So, it could have been much worse. Stay on top of your financial information designer wannabees! This is your INCOME we're talking about.

Above is Charlie playing in a paper grocery bag.

No news on the 3 prodigal chickens. We have searched as much as we can and have found no evidence of them.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


I have been given a Random Act of Kindness! M&M stitch markers! Thank you, friend!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sneak peek and lost chickens

These squares are for a blanket for a GoCrochet friend who's daughter is sick. Under the squares, is a book project ready to ship! I wish I could go back to doing more sneak peeks the old way, but a few buyers don't care for sneak peeks and I have to respect their wishes. Also, with the book, too many sneak peeks and I'll give it away!

Three of our 6 chickens have gone missing, including these two favorites of the kids. I could make jokes about how we suspect fowl play, but really we are all upset that they wandered off and can't be found.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Crochet License Plates?

I'm thinking if I ever have so much money I don't know what to do with it, I could get a personalized license plate that says, "Hooked" or "DC2TOG".

I'm sure there would be many clever crochet themed license plates...any suggestions?

"GoCrochet" would probably be too long and shortening it to "GoCrcht" might lead people to think the wrong thing.

Monday, May 3, 2010

One of Everything

Now, I get it. Now I understand why I would love to have one of everything from this Athleta catalog. Because it's part of the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy group. AND they win the "YAY CROCHET" award for having multiple accurately described crochet trimmed pieces.

Check out this selection of crocheted pieces. oh, let me just show you.

And, though it's not crochet, look at this too cute swim cover up tunic:
They do, however, get the "BOO" award for having limited sizing. Most items I saw stopped at XL/16.