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Archive for January 29th, 2008

Sniffle…

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Dang. It’s not even done with January yet and I have a cold. Trust me, I’m counting my blessings… I didn’t feel crummy until just after our Friday concert was over with. First I had a doozy of a headache, then the cold set in but luckily without the headache… I’m all for a cold rather than a headache, personally.

We don’t perform again until February 8 (Foods For Living, 4pm-6pm). So I’ll surely be feeling fine in time for that performance. It’s a cold. They don’t last forever.

Meanwhile, I toughed it out through my classes Monday at Haslett Community Ed. What I do there is unusual enough that I know nobody who could substitute for me. My students were wonderful and understanding, and it went fine.

But when I got home I was so wiped out I just plopped down on the couch. Brian thawed us some dinner from the freezer. (I can not tell you how wonderful my crockpots are, we cook two full ones at a time and freeze, and then we need not cook some nights. Just like tonight.) A couple of Excedrin and dinner, and I already feel better.

Planning a Mostly-Lazy Day

ravzigbagzbig.jpgTuesday I don’t work at all, though I have 2 short appointments scheduled. I think I can cancel one but not the other.

I will work Tuesday with my feet up on the couch. Thank goodness for laptops, I can do email from there now.

I will also finish knitting a few straps on bags that are nearly ready to be shrunk/felted for my new ZigBagZ patterns. And I will go back to learning InDesign (computer program for laying out patterns and other documents).

The Dreaded Learning Curve

I spent Saturday diving in deep, with this new program. I do not enjoy learning curves for computer programs, but I have a list of projects all waiting for me to master this one. I played with a simple pattern first, so in case I really messed it up I wouldn’t have wrecked something big. I have a mitten pattern almost ready to roll.

In the end I will use this program for many purposes. Most of the documents will be my patterns, and probably some promo materials for The Fabulous Heftones. I’ll also use it on menus for Altu’s Ethiopian Cuisine… and my mother’s incredible very-beginning-reader books.

I will talk about Mom’s books here more when they become available. Mom is totally brilliant at teaching reading, and these books are her life’s work… her Opus. So that will be the very coolest thing I’ll do with the program, and very soon at that.

Nearly-Ready Pattern… Finally(?)

The ZigBagZ are really five separate bags. I have been discussing the possibilities for them with friends (yarn shop owners, test knitter/proofreader/collaborator Diana, knitting buddies).

It looks like I may decide to split the bags into two patterns, one for the three smaller ones and one for the two larger carry-all bags. They are all zigzag with the same number of stitches in a repeat, but there are different charts, different handles, different button flaps. The big bagz are significantly different in many ways, from the smaller bagz.

With five designs, I had to say “start with section A then go to Section C then D & E” or the like, for each of the smaller bags, which made it a bit hard to navigate. And at 15 pages, I would have to price the pattern higher than my other patterns which could be a hassle as I (and shops) sold them.

The pattern idea started out as a plan for a large carry-all. I made the smaller bags basically as gauge swatches, and they were so fun and useful that I kept going with them. They are all tested and mostly ready to go (it’s the two big bagz that have taken so much work and time).

The photo above is of the first two large bagz knit… the front one I knit, zigbagbottlezigsmweb.jpgthe back one Karen knit. Mine was from prototype numbers. Diana just finished another from actual pattern specs and it should arrive here tomorrow for me to shrink. Cross fingers. (Photo at left is small bottle bag, this one I kept for myself and use frequently.)

February 7

I have announced on Ravelry that this pattern will be available February 7, and I bought an advertisement on Ravelry to run from Feb. 14-29, so everything that is looking good needs to proceed as planned at this point.

But I’m thinking that Linda and Diana and Rae are right, that things would work better for me and my shops and my customers, if things in this project were more streamlined than they seem to be right now. Fifteen pages is TOO LONG for a pattern. At that point we are in booklet territory.

I wish for folks to make these bags without wondering what I was thinking when I set up the pattern I have a reputation for easy-to-follow patterns. I want to keep that reputation.

Cooking Sweet Green Pea Soup

greenpeasoup.jpgAnyway… that was a digression but maybe it was interesting to my knitting readers. The point is that I can still work, at least when the Excedrin is doing its job. And I will be as horizontal as I can. I will even limit my cooking time to as little as possible. In the end, it’s just a cold, right? Irritating but temporary.

Green pea soup works well in a crockpot. And it’s SO good. Check out this recipe at Paz’ website for a recipe which was my inspiration. Yum!