Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Notes on designing, hooded cowl progress and, oh, yeah, making money.

In the past, I typically procrastinated on actual work. You know, the stuff you do to get paid? Nowadays, I've moved on a bit and am procrastinating on thinking. That's a first.

I need to do some heavy thinking, mon amis. I have to do business planning, some profit/loss analysis and some serious goal setting. As there is highly unlikely to be room for my naughty fantasies involving Aidan Turner, a large tub of Nutella and some spiffy fingerless green gloves, I really don't want to be bothered.

But I think I must. (Knitting stuff after the cut; I'm experimenting with my blog. Apologies!)

My writing is going swimmingly, for the most part, but I begin to chafe under my self-created limitations. I only write for my little clearinghouse, and it's becoming more a trial than a joy--not the writing, but the bureaucracy. They're a good company, and I do like writing for them, but trying to do it for all the money I need in a month is stifling. Besides the fact that the titles are beginning to sound of a sameness (they probably always have, but I accessed it so rarely that I never really noticed that), there's a disturbing fear in the back of my mind set to the tune of 'don't put all your eggs in one basket.' As a freelancer, it's dangerous to depend on one source for all your income. I've not seen any indications of imminent danger to my income from said clearinghouse, but this is something I feel deeply to be true.

I need to be agile, I need to be mobile, I need to be prepared--prepared for swift changes in the market, in my client base, in my future. I'm getting stagnant again by depending on this one place for my income, and that is very, very dangerous.

So. I must think. Think properly, too, not just half-buttocked. It's more work than my work, sometimes.

After I finish up this post, I'm going to visit Thing One and Thing Two before they move to the Big City, pick up some pierogis at Whole Foods and then sit my butt down at the table-desk thing and do some serious small business brainstorming. And maybe clean my room for a while, too, because nothing puts my inner house in order like putting the outer houses in their order. Plus I really need to get some of those books off my shelves. I own way too many, more than I really ever read. They should be free to find a new home with someone interested in turning their pages, no?

Anyway, on to more entertaining matters. Look:

It's half a hood! Actually, more than half. I've got about three more inches to go before I can three-needle bind it off and wear that puppy with pride. I've got about sixty trillion, billion, gillion other projects I should be working on, but I hate the word 'Should', and I have serious want for this thing. It's no longer cold enough to make wearing it practical for most applications, but I don't care. I wants it, my preciousssss.

Helps that it's alpaca. I have serious pervy love for alpaca. Mmmm, alpaca.

And since swatching for my sweater (yes, I'm still planning on knitting the sweater), I realized something interesting. First, let's review the swatch:

 As you can sorta see, the seed stitch portion gives me a gauge of roughly 4.5-5 stitches per inch--not bad, all considered. My hand model pulled the smocking portion out so I could get a decent look at the gauge (I took a picture of her first attempt, it was not the best.)

Ahem. The smocking section, however:
After smocking came to about 3.5 stitches per inch, at the tightest point. Given the nature of the stitch, that's going to be my overall gauge for the smocked parts.

This adds an intriguing dimension to the design process, doesn't it? I have been envisioning a sweater made in three parts--the top, including the arms, a waist band and the bottom. The swatch and its different gauges now mean I can simplify the design needs of the top half, as the smocking itself is going to provide waist shaping.

Maybe I'll add some design thinking to my thinking chores of this evening. I'll need something to break the monotony of balance sheets, finances and skill sets. Blech.

I vastly prefer the yarn.


adriene said...

Sounds like you've got some heavy-thinking days ahead. I'm afraid I'm the same: I'll avoid thinking about the tough stuff for as long as I can. I'm impressed by your drive to work for yourself. It's something I'm not sure I'm brave enough to try it myself.

I also have a pervy love for alpaca, but I haven't knit with it recently. I think I have some in my stash that needs some attention...

Silver Phoenix said...

I'm not sure I have much choice about working for myself. I can't go back to working in an office (for health reasons which most medical professionals, not to mention the state, don't recognize). Really, it's just the prudent choice.

Probably save myself money in the end, if only in medical bills. :-)