Free Patterns

It’s been an interesting six months on my end, and I came to a place where I had to make a decision about what to do with my patterns. I’m not in a position at this point to run a business; however, I wanted the patterns to remain available. So I went with the only logical solution: I made them all free.

Some of them are written out on the site, and some are downloadable from Ravelry. All of them are available at no cost, but I do ask that you please refrain from distributing them yourself without contacting me first.

I’m expecting that you will see more content here, so I hope very much you’ll visit again and see what’s new!

Deb

Making a Muslin

This is a term I just heard last week, because I’ve been sewing for about 30 seconds now and am thoroughly shocked that I stumbled across such a useful concept in such short order.

This is especially true because it seems that the compulsion to design is not limited to crochet or even knitting, but apparently extends to sewing as well. I made my girls two identical skirts from a Sewing for Dummies pattern as my first real project. The second one I’m designing myself. It’s a very specific thing and I could not for the life of me find a pattern that was close enough to what I wanted. I made a quick mockup for feasibility and got ready to make the real thing.

But then I heard of the making a muslin thing, and I’m so glad I did. I decided to do it. I’ve been working on this on and off all day and I’m not more than half finished. Turned out to be more complicated than I thought to put this together. And I’m not doing it using fabric that I’ll be bothered by destroying. I’m very pleased. Means the project will take two weekends instead of one, but it will be worth it for a truly awesome finished project. Yay!

A bit of design news

I was waiting for word on a submission, and I got it: I’m going to be self-publishing, which is my thing anyhow. No disappointment, because the design still gets to reach the world! It’ll probably take me a couple of weeks to get 2 samples finished along with a few decent images, because things are Just That Busy (are you as tired of hearing that as I am of saying it?) But I’m really looking forward to getting this one out there for you! :-)

More soon.

A couple of quick notes:

Shapely Boyfriend is coming along nicely. I haven’t done much work on it since my vacation ended, but it’s not fighting me back when I do work on it so at this point it’s a roaring success.

Work is nuts at the moment but staffing relief is in sight. I have a ton of design ideas right now so I’m hoping very much that I’ll have a chance to execute them soon. I miss turning my ideas into awesomeness!

Also, I am now terrified of plants.

The Tyranny of Ritual

A big reason that I don’t get more done crafting-wise (and life-wise, too, tbh) is something that I’m coming to think of as “the tyranny of ritual”: that is, there are too many damned preconditions to doing anything to get anything done.

This is sort of upside-down from how I expect things to work. Ritual is supposed to be good for creativity, right? How many times have you been told that to (for example) write well it is helpful to write at the same time every day or at the same desk or to always brush your teeth first or some other variation on the theme that if you arrange your body properly your mind will follow? Half a hundred, I’d guess. Possibly half a hundred this month alone, if you hang out with the right folks.

There is no denying that you really can affect your creative mood this way, or that you can help yourself through small rituals to slip into the flow just as you can help yourself drift off to sleep with some of the same tactics. You also run the risk, however, of not being able to work without the creative equivalent of your favorite teddy bear. This is the problem that I’m having right now.

If this and that and the other thing have to be right before you can start, and you have a full-time job and three kids and relationship issues and money problems and all of the other things that most of us deal with in one combination or another, those required conditions can be paralyzing even if your required ritual is something as simple as brushing your teeth.

So I’m trying something new. I’m trying to learn to just jump in.

This post is an excellent example. The idea was at the top of my mind, and I wanted to write about it. Usually before I work on anything I feel like I have to have my morning ducks in a row; I’ve showered, had breakfast, checked around the internet for anything really exciting (OMG R. Lee Ermey with knitting in his hands!) and because feeling like I’ve caught up clears my own mental state up a bit for some reason. (I’ve been reading blogs in the morning for ten years or so now. It’s a terribly ingrained habit. Sort of like the overuse of parenthesis.) I used to have a cigarette or three. By the time I’m done with all of that, it’s either time to rush to work or time to hang out with the kids, and I don’t ever get to the important part: the work I’m doing, the work I love and feel like I never have time for. By the point where I feel I can really settle in and get something done, the launch window has closed.

So this morning I got up and took a shower and instead of making breakfast I came right in here and wrote about what was on my mind. And you know what? It felt good. Sure, I’m a bit hungry, but what’s a brief delay in breakfast versus spending a little time doing something you truly enjoy doing?

I think I’m going to spend a little more time breaking the tyranny of my rituals. I have the feeling I’m going to surprise myself.

Not dead, Jim.

Day job out of control, trying to get the pattern that just got out of testing into final shape to release, and summer vacation just got underway. And it doesn’t help at all that Michael finally badgered me into reading George R. R. Martin. Page-turners, but long when you read in half-hour chunks.

Coming soon: pattern release, finally a Peaches & Creme review, and more. Stay tuned…

Progress

Slow and steady, right?

Work continues to be a bit of a living nightmare. Home Office keeps adding things to the must-do list while cutting payroll. I know that a lot of folks are in the same boat with this right now, because employers are well aware that they’ve got us trapped. They’ll no doubt be surprised when their best people leave as soon as things pick up. It’s part of the cycle of corporate life.

I have a pattern ready to go to testing. It’s been a 5-minutes-here, 5-minutes-there thing, with the day job having to take precedence, so I’m wicked excited about the possibility of finally getting another pattern released. Hopefully that will happen in the next couple of weeks.

Spent last weekend in Maine, trying to relax and pretty much failing. It was gorgeous, though, and the company was good. We went to see X-Men First Class at the drive-in…I don’t think I’ve been to a drive-in since high school, and the movie was fantastic. Crazy fun!

I made an addition or three to my growing stack of dishcloths this weekend. School is inching closer to getting out, and the summertime is adding a level of chaos to the kids’ behavior that’s just a tad exhausting. It was 90-odd degrees today, so they’re even nuttier than summer normal. Lovely New England weather, lol.

And that is, I think, about it for the moment. :)