Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cross Promotion (& Life in General)

It's about time! 
cross pro·mo·tion (noun) the cooperative marketing by two or more companies of one another's products.

I just checked, and it was way back in late August that I received a lovely personal message from Claudine at Classic Elite Yarns. She congratulated me on the publication of my Rosebud Hat and she went on to add:

 "I am writing a post about the hat for our blog, most likely [it] will be published the first week of Sept. I mention in my post how knitting fair Isle in the round with 2 hands is the most efficient method. I googled 2 handed Fair Isle to see if there were any great posts about how to do it…only to find your blog was one of the top hits. I would love to link to that post on our blog. Please let me know if this is ok.

I will let you know once the post is live, so you can cross promote it if you would like."

Of course, I said "Yes (please!)".  And I told her how much I loved working with the Fresco yarn by Classic Elite. Good stuff, that Fresco!

Claudine forgot to let me know when the post went live (entirely understandable) and I forgot to look for it until near the end of September.  At the time, I was right in the middle of my own (self-promotional) series of posts on my Playground Shawls and I could not work in a cross promotion.

High time for it now!  Please visit the post by Claudine at CEY.  She describes my hat far better than I could myself and she features another very cool colowork project, Grapevine Hat by Amy Loberg.  (It is a free CEY web letter pattern.)  And, (Thanks, Claudine!) at the end of her post she does have a link to my extremely popular Colorwork Tutorial.

But Claudine is not the only one writing about me!  In my last post I mentioned how the organizers of the Ravelry 2014 Gift-A-Long have been doing a phenomenal job.  There are volunteer designers assigned to all these different jobs and some worked on things like advertising, and social media promotion.  All of the designers who blog (including me) were assigned other designers to interview.

I was SO VERY lucky to have Arlette designated to interview me!  Please go here to read the interview!  She works by day as a web developer, and is a great photographer as well.  It shows at her blog!

(The designer I was assigned to interview has not replied to my request to send interview questions to her by email.  It's entirely OK.  It's a busy time of year and she may have faced some obstacles similar to my own.)

Lucky for you and for me, Arlette also agreed to be interviewed by me (it was my own idea, because I like her blog and her designs) and I have her answers, and that will be my very next post!
 

(In case you have noticed that I have been absent for a while... I had an important magazine design due this Friday, and I can report that I have just completed the work on time.  As the deadline approached, I was delayed due to a death in my family.  God bless my Aunt F.) 
       

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Ravelry 2014 GAL Update

For a larger image with zoom:  http://i.imgur.com/QG9WVZs.jpg

My last post was my announcement of the Ravelry 2014 Indie Design Gift-A Long.  The promotion began in mid-November with a nine-day 25% discount on 3822 independent designer knit and crochet patterns.

The promotion continues to the very end of December... There is a whole lot of fun to be had!...  There are many games and contests with thousands of prizes!

11,512 patterns are eligible for everyone to use for the ongoing Gift-A-Long KAL/CAL.  You become eligible to play and win in the games (like Name That Designer) just by entering the KAL/CAL!  See the Ravelry Indie Design Gift-A-Long group rules thread for all the details.

I am blown away by all of the work that has been done by those who have organized this event.  Shown above are some statistics (larger image: http://i.imgur.com/QG9WVZs.jpg) that were compiled and graphed by a Raveler named 80skeins.  That last link is to her designer page on Ravelry, but if you have time you should take a look at her Worldwide Blog Tour: AroundtheWorldin80skeins.  She has already interviewed and posted about indie designers in 25 countries.  The posts are very interesting and the photographs are amazing!

I am thankful for the Group Administrators/Organizers, alextinsley, KnitEcoChic, ninaknits and Simone77.  These links are also to their designer pages.   

If you like Pinterest, check out this page with links to GAL 2014 Pinterest BoardsThis has been a wonderful time to get to know many great designers and their work!
       

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ravelry Indie Design 2014 Gift-A-Long


I would like to announce that I will be a returning designer in the 2nd annual Indie Design Gift-A-Long.  All of my Ravelry for-sale patterns are included in this promotion and all are eligible for the 2014 GAL KAL/CAL.  (My patterns can be found in a bundle right here on my designer page.)

The Indie Design Gift-A-Long is a 2 month long KAL/CAL of holiday gifts made from patterns designed by an incredible number of (293!) independent designers from 21(!) countries around the world.

From Thursday, November 13th at 8:00 pm (EST) to Friday, November 21, 2014 at 11:59 pm (EST) tons of (293!) indie designers will be discounting from 4 to 20 of their patterns by 25% for this event (3822 patterns will be on sale!)  You can read all about the details in this Ravelry post.

Once you’ve got your Gift-A-Long patterns, you can join a relevant KAL/CAL. (For instance, if it is a cowl, please join the cowl KAL/CAL.)  To join, simply write a post in the KAL/CAL thread you want to join, including the pattern name you will be knitting, and a link to your project page.  KAL/CAL participants are eligible for lots of lovely prizes but you gotta post to win!

The KAL/CALs will run from Thursday, November 13 at 8 pm (EST) through a group New Years Eve party, Wednesday, December 31 at midnight (EST), plenty of time to knock out all your holiday knitting and crocheting.  There will be several games, tons of prizes, great conversation, and a whole lot of fun, so pull up a chair and join us!  Ready, Set, Gift!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Playground Shawl KAL Update

I am very grateful to the three participants in the Playground KAL who have finished their shawls and have given me permission to share some lovely FO images with you.


Nancy (americana) named her gorgeous Cat's Cradle "The River".  From Nancy's project notes: "The reason for the name, I just got back from the 1000 Islands, and we stayed right on the river!! Beautiful place:o)"  Her words brought back vacation memories.  I have been to the Thousand Islands very many times and I totally agree.  I can see a river in the variegated blue stripes. The colors in the shawl include a more vivid blue (Madeline Tosh's colorway 'shoreline') than what appears in the photo, but this shot by the window is my favorite image.  Thanks, Nancy!  Good work!



Lisa (lacotter) worked up this stunning Red Rover in a rich pink with dark gray Heritage sock yarn.  Her project, named simply "Red Rover Shawl", was made as a gift for her cousin.  From a post by Lisa in the KAL thread:  "I’m excited to send it to my cousin. She battled breast cancer several years ago and her favorite color is pink."  Truly, a beautiful way to wrap that cousin up in a great big hug!  Thanks for sharing, Lisa!



Sharon (seffy) aptly named her Cat's Cradle "Cradle of Tweed".  I always love a good tweed!  (Got to get my hands on some of that Geilsk yarn.)  Sharon said, "The bind off took forever it seemed!"  I think that you will agree that it was well worth the time, as was the washing and blocking!  Great job, Sharon!

Thanks again, Nancy, Lisa, and Sharon, you have done my patterns proud!

These knitters won free patterns for being the first three in the KAL to finish their shawls.  You still have time to join in the Playground Shawl KAL, which will conclude at midnight November 30.  Two of these lovely knits were made in less than the three weeks that remain.  There are several great prizes to be won at the end of the Playground KAL.

In my next post, I will be announcing another KAL and pattern promotion that I will be just a small part of... This will be HUGE!  Shhhh!  I cannot say anymore right now, but please come back on Wednesday for my next post.  Until then, happy knitting to one and all!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Midweek Meditation


"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."       ~ Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry

This is a busy time of year for knitwear designers who like to send out submissions proposals for third party publication.

I sent out three last month.  I will have two of them published! One will appear in a magazine next year and the other in a book(!) early in 2016.  I have not heard back on the third proposal.  It has been almost a month -- not a good sign.  (That third one was really my favorite of the three, so, I think if a rejection comes, it should be my next self-published pattern.)

I will write more soon about the progress of the Playground Shawl KAL.  (Believe it or not, there is still time to join!  Playgrounds are all about fun and no worries.  See this post for the details.  Go to this Ravelry thread to sign up and enjoy the fun!)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Midweek Meditation -- O'Keeffe Style

“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.”


“I have been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.”    ~ Georgia O’Keeffe

In early 20th-century America, art was a man’s world, where women – even those with extraordinary talent and groundbreaking vision – were seen as no equal to men. Georgia O’Keeffe helped changed that. With an idiosyncratic style and bold use of color, O’Keeffe was at the forefront of American modernism. In a career that spanned more than six decades, she “made it possible for other women to explore a new gamut of symbolic and ambiguous imagery.”  ~ as expressed in her obituary in The New York Times*

My daughter painted the tribute to Miss O'Keeffe in an enrichment class at school when she was in the fourth grade.  I do love it!  I took these photos earlier today.  Laying the painting on the floor near indirect window light eliminated most of the reflections on the glass.  Normally it hangs in my dining room not very far away from a similar painting made by my son (Ref: Andy Warhol).  Love that, too!


* Source (Oct 20, 2014): http://www.womenwhochangedamerica.org/profile/georgia-okeefe/ 

 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Final Rose(s) 2014


This is my 300th blog post!

And my total number of "pageviews" recently surpassed 25,000.  (I think that means that 25,000 times someone clicked on a link -- from somewhere else -- to one of my posts  -- since June 12, 2011 -- the date of my very first blog post.)  (I do not think that is a lot for 3+ years, but it certainly has grown.)

The Playground Shawl KAL is off to a very fine start with a lot of lovely knitting happening!  I hope that you will consider joining us!

I shot all of the photos for the first group of KAL prizes while they rested on the very same corner of our deck (and on the same day) that I shot this photo of my final roses. 

(Sad it is for me.  The end of summer saddens me.)

My "final roses" are the ones that I carefully snip from my handful of rose bushes when I also make a stab at trimming those bushes for the end of the season.  I do love roses, but these bushes grow wildly in all kinds of wrong directions, and at least twice a year they require a whole lot of trimming.

(Sad it is for me to live in climate where roses bloom for only about 5 month a year.)

But about the KAL:  There is still plenty of time to get in on it!  You get a chance to win a prize for any project that you finish before the end of November.  I am getting ready to add even more prizes.  Just click on the links above to learn more!

I hope that you enjoy your fall wherever and whenever you are able!
 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Come to the Playground!

I would like to invite all of my readers to join me at the playground!  The Playground Shawl KAL 2014 has just kicked off this week both on Ravelry and at my favorite LYS, Gosh Yarn It!.  My great friends at GYI! have been extremely helpful in allowing me to host a KAL-information-and-discussion-thread on their group page at Ravelry.


All projects for the KAL will be shawls knit from one of the patterns in my Playground Shawl ebook.  Shown above are Cat's Cradle, Double Dutch and two versions of Red Rover. You can read more about the origins of these designs in my recent blog posts: here, here and here.  Each shawl has at least two colors, and I am so looking forward to seeing all the versions that will be created! 

Cast on anytime!  The KAL officially began on Thursday, October 2, and will end Sunday, November 30.  I just extended the end date by two weeks to allow more time for new participants to join us!  There is still plenty of time to get in on the KAL!

Oh, and did I mention the prizes?  Several prizes will be awarded and announced in the Ravelry thread, and here on the blog, during the first week of December. Each shawl that becomes a FO before midnight, EST, November 30 will be eligible for a prize.  Please make a project page for your shawl at Ravelry.  Add a photo and link it to the pattern page.  Use the tag playground2014.  When you finish the project, just mark it finished on the project page, and/or post in the thread that it is completed.  If you complete more than one shawl, you will be eligible to win a prize for each shawl that you finish.

Anyone on Ravelry, who knows of my work, is welcome to participate by joining in on this thread!  The first post describes all of the details.  In the second post is a list of all participants with links to their Ravelry project pages.  The third post has photos of the prizes.

Please come out to play!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Red Rover: The Third of Three Playground Shawls


Today I would like to introduce my third Playground Shawl, Red Rover, and to share with you its "spark" which is a term that I like to use to refer to the origins of any of my designs.

If you read my last two posts (here and here), you know that the first two shawls in my newly released ebook, "Playground Shawls", were designed and sample-knit in June and July 2013.  I had the goal to design the third one in August 2013, but I fell short on this.  Perhaps I should explain by telling you that the third shawl was going to be named "Hopscotch".  Perhaps I should tell you that I wanted to have a band of colorwork in the border.  Perhaps I should show you all of the many failed swatches.  (Perhaps I might remind you that all of the signs of every summer's ending make me very sad.)  Instead, I think I will just say that "Playground Shawls" fell into a dark period at the end of last summer.

It was bound to happen.  The others went so well... it was kind of too much to expect a third one so soon.  "Hopscotch" was not meant to be, at least not as a part of this collection.

The yarn that I bought at Gosh Yarn It! in August was Meadow by the Fibre Company.


I created a project page on Ravelry with this "August Camp" image.


Meadow is a lovely yarn, a sweet and light blend of merino, llama, silk and linen.  I am not sure when I finished knitting the body of the shawl, a true triangle, which began with a two-row garter stitch stripe.  I was swatching a lot of garter stitch borders last fall (as in Paper Lanterns).  The border I eventually used is from Barbara G Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns and called "Narrow Dice Edging".  I had to work it in opposite directions on each side of the shawl and then create a center point to join them.



The eventual name for shawl number three was "Red Rover".  I like to think of the two rows of triangular scallops as the two (equal) lines of players holding hands, and I love the red/pokeweed color.  The "spark" was the yarn... was the garter stitch... was the color... but it was altogether... enough.  (It pleases me that in my computer files, these shawls have such compatible nicknames: DD, CC and RR.)

My friends at Gosh Yarn It! often asked me how "my shawl patterns" were coming, but I had nothing to show them for several months.  A new test knitter emerged from those doing the asking, and she knit two versions of Red Rover after I finished mine in March.  I needed a new tech editor as well.  Then came this stage where I felt pressed to have the formatting be similar from shawl to shawl, and the photo editing and selection had to be the best that I could do, because my photos are most definitely not all equal.  But now these patterns are "all done", and I am looking forward to seeing what others will make to "wear to the playground".


Playground Shawls:  Cat’s Cradle, Double Dutch, Red Rover (in fingering weight and lace-weight yarns).

"Red Rover" is my third and final Playground Shawl.  Please come to the playground with me!

Thanks for reading!

"Playground Shawls" is my first ebook collection on Ravelry.  It is currently available for a purchase price of $11.  The three shawl patterns included in the ebook are also available for individual purchase at $5 each.

Much thanks to my Red Rover team.

Tech Editing:  Terese Chynoweth
Test Knitting:  Bonnie B
Stylist/Model:  Ali Dervin
Photo/Styling Assistant:  Mallory Kern