Current Projects, Daily Life, Knitting, Paid Knitting Patterns, Reviews

When Plans Change

Dolphin for Bear

(Photo credit: Claire Garland)

If you happened to have read Yesterday’s Post, you’d have seen that I was a tad overwhelmed for choice when it came to projects! However, today is a bit different. I’d say that a good night’s sleep fixes everything, but who am I kidding? I have 3 kids under 5, with the youngest being 10 weeks old. What is this “good night’s sleep” you all keep telling me exists?

Anyway, we’ve been clearing out the house lately because we’re moving in June, and in the process of clearing the house out, there was a lot of toy-throwing-out involved (any time I say throwing out, I usually mean donated. We don’t just throw out bags and bags of useful stuff!)… and apparently we threw out one of my oldest’s favorites. Let me tell you, I never knew that kids could have such long memories when it comes to something that has been thrown out or given away! This was at least a month or two ago, and when he gets really tired or hurt, he still cries for that darn dolphin. I’ll grant you, it was massive – the size of his whole body, so it was essentially a dolphin body pillow.

As a compromise/because i’m a sucker, I’m going to knit him a small, toy sized dolphin. I searched through Ravelry, looking for a pattern that looked like I would actually want to knit it, and I found Dolphin, by Claire Garland. As it turns out, she actually has a number of really neat knitted toys. I’ve downloaded and printed the pattern, and man, this is a COOL construction! There’s barely any sewing or assembly involved, and it’s going to be a two color dolphin WITH NO COLORWORK INVOLVED! Amazing!

I highly recommend checking out her work; I’m going to throw a couple more photos down below to tempt you, and because they’re stinkin’ adorable and I love to look at them! Her website is Dot Pebbles, and can be found here.

 

Current Projects, Daily Life, Designing, Housekeeping, Knitting, Paid Knitting Patterns, Yarn & Fiber Dyeing

Concept Exhaustion

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I believe it’s important for small business owners to be transparent about the way running a small business really is. Now, my businesses are VERY small; I believe they’re what are called micro businesses, since i’m the sole proprieter, operator, designer, dyer.. you get the point! The above photo is a pretty good representation of my designer brain today, so buckle up!

I’ve been pushing pretty hard on the design front for a little over a year now, having been designing off and on for about 3-4 years, and let me tell you, sometimes you just hit a roadblock. My current roadblock is having too many ideas to choose from design wise, and pretty much zero time to make them happen.  (Granted, many designers would take all the ideas as a blessing, as dry spells come too; then you’re waiting around for inspiration to hit!)

I have a notebook full of ideas, a spreadsheet of at least 18 designs i’m 100% sure I want to make a reality, and more i’m not sure whether I want to pursue or not. I know designs and projects can only be worked on one at a time, but I want to pursue them all while raising 3 small children (4.5 years, 2 years, and 10 weeks). Oh, and i’m also trying to keep up with an Indie dyeing business. And clean the house and feed the people who live in it.

See what I mean?

Today, for example, I think I knit about half a row of a 100 stitch project. So maybe 50 stitches today. Do you have any idea how long a fingering weight shawl would take at that speed? I’ll grant you, today involved food shopping, a business chat with other designers, and kids who wouldn’t nap, BUT, it’s easy to focus on what isn’t getting done. (Told you guys this was partially about processing!)

So, anyway, where do you go when you’ve got a spaghetti brain, a zillion ideas, and no way to make them a reality? That’s a good question, and i’ll let you know when (if!) I find the answer.

I imagine that design-wise my plan will be to pick the design that sings to me and work on it from start to finish. Just one. I’m the queen of a zillion WIPs (I literally have 30 entered in Ravelry, and i’m sure there’s a few lurkers that I haven’t entered (or that are from my pre-Rav days, which is frightening, since I got on it when it was in beta testing). So, for me, working on one project start to finish is a challenge, but possible.

For now, it’s 11:30 pm and i’m going to go to bed.

Crochet, Designing, Knitting

Having Patterns Tested Before Publication

I’ve been beginning to attempt more pattern writing, both for knitting and crochet, and i’ve run into a snag: finding reliable pattern testers. There’s a group on Ravelry called The Testing Pool, where i’ve posted a few patterns for testing, and thus far

This pattern got one tester: Full Pair

This pattern got none: Love on Fire

 

And This pattern got some:  Deck1

but I’ve been having problems with some of the people who were testing! One wanted to tell me how to write a pattern, and went so far as to post her own version of part of it, then dropped out of the test (or so I assume, because she now has ceased all contact. Super professional.), some are asking for more time, which is fine, and another just informed me that she has to take paid work (which she got offered right after committing to my test, but didn’t inform me), so she’ll not be finishing the test for me as previously committed, “best wishes.” I understand needing to do paying work, but it’s still frustrating to have people not honor their word! I’m fed up. So now these people just get the pattern for free, without fulfilling their commitments? I guess that’s what I get for working with a free testing group.

Has anyone that designs or writes patterns had them tested for free (or paid) with any amount of success? Please – let me know!