Going to Big Places

If you have been keeping an eye on my Ravelry designer’s page you may have noticed that not much has changed in the last few months. Painted Plumes came out in March and has done very well but no new patterns have been added. After my father passed away in April knitting and designing took a back burner. I’m happy to report that there are new designs in the works!

Ravelry-Designer-Page-web

The first of the Fall 2014 patterns is on schedule to come out towards the end of August and there are three more for September and October. One of them is even a free hat pattern! Who doesn’t love free patterns. From the start it has been my intention to offer a selection of free patterns and this will be the first one.

For a preview of unreleased patterns you can check out my projects in Ravelry. There is a tab for JahDK samples and prototypes. As you can see from the image below, about two-thirds of them have yet to be released.

Ravelry-JahDoily-Knits-samp

My big news this week is that I’m heading out on a road trip! Tomorrow morning my partner and I start a little pilgrimage to scatter my father’s ashes in the Rockies and visit with family in BC’s interior. Along the way I’ll be checking out yarn stores, knitting and taking photos like crazy. Who knows, I may even pick up a skein of yarn or two. It has been many. many years since I camped or did any serious hiking but this will all be changing in the next few days! I hope my knees hold up. What ever shape I’m in there will be blog posts about the journey in the next few days. I must admit, I’m rather excited for sleeping in a tent again.

Worth Waiting For

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This gallery contains 6 photos.

Well, Spring is here and the Painted Plumes knitting pattern is ready! This Thursday it will go up on Ravelry, Etsy and Craftsy but until then, here are some teaser images of the long-awaited Painted Plumes Shawl. Continue reading

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Bleeding Hearts and Broken Bones

Remember how I spent October in Puerto Vallarta? Me, too. I didn’t want to come, if staying was an option I would have taken it in a heart beat. But it wasn’t, so home we came and, I’m sorry but, things have not gone so great since coming home. November was fine, I got back into the swing of pattern design and was feeling focused. Then December came around and things began to crumble. Continue reading

Reviewing expectations

Things happen unexpectedly sometimes and even the solid plans need room for flexibility. Six months ago when JahDoily Knits launched I expected to publish new designs every three to six weeks. Looking over my portfolio one may think that those plans have been abandoned but that is far from the truth. What has happened is I encountered unexpected events. Designs that took longer to create or write than a tight schedule allowed for, impromptu travel, family obligations, and sudden rushes of design ideas. Yes, a concentration of new ideas can set back progress. While my published portfolio may look slight, lots has been happening with JahDoily Knits.

As I review the first six months of JahDK I am learning to allow for the unexpected. Starting out I set too many goals too quickly. Some designs need time to percolate while others come swiftly. Trying to fit each into a tidy timeline stifles and takes the joy out of the process. Looking forward to the next six months I strive to give each design the time and space it needs. When I’m faced with a flood of ideas my schedule shall be set aside. Those ideas will be allowed to bloom or wilt in an organic manner – some ideas are better than others but they all need to get out.

Stack of tuques-Sept 20 2013 (1)

For the last two weeks I’ve been determined to design a cowl to accompany a hat designed in September. So many ideas have emerged, but not of them the companion I was looking for. Each idea felt like a failure – That’s not the project I’m looking for. What I’d been neglecting to acknowledge is that each of those ideas is the beginning of a new design. It has been an incredibly fertile few weeks but there is little to show for it. The ideas are rushing so quickly they can’t be knit before the next comes. Instead of allowing the designs to evolve organically I have been fixated on finished items.

KattiklooFiberStudio_knitCity colourway-DK-Merino Diamonds in the rough-blocking detail
No, I don’t have a pile of finished projects to show but what I have is so much more important. Gathering these ideas and setting them aside will give me a “stash” of pattern ideas to pull from. Some are full first drafts, written and charted patterns, others are swatches of stitch patterns and textures with notes pined to them, still others are scratches in notes books that hopefully I can decipher. As each idea emerges I file it away and let the next take form. When the ideas begin to wane I will dig into those files and begin knitting projects.

Going forward I will remind myself that creativity comes in waves and one must learn to work with the natural swells. A storm, such as this, may stall publication deadlines but there will be calmer days where editing and knitting samples will be a welcome distraction from the lack of fresh ideas.

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There was on my schedule a pattern to coincide with JahDK’s half anniversary but as it sits waiting to be graded and test knit, I give you this instead, 50% off my first design, Rosmarie’s Garden Shawl. The sale begins today, Friday November 22, 2013 and runs until midnight pacific standard time November 27th and is redeemable through my Ravelry shop – from the pattern page, click “add to cart” and the discount will show up.

If Mary Poppins was an artist

I don’t travel lightly and like being prepared. It doesn’t matter where I’m off to, coffee with a friend, running errands or taking the train up to Dad’s, my purse is packed. You never know when a friend is going to be late or creativity will strike. When extra time pops up its good to have a way to fill it and vital that you have a way to record that life changing idea.

I’d like to introduce you to my Mary Poppins bag. She is green leather satchel from Danier and perfect for everyday use. Zippered outside pockets on either side make for easy access to phones and what ever small items you are likely to need while walking and more inside keep things tidy. She’s a medium-sized bag, large enough to fit an amazing amount but small enough to keep from being intrusive. Lets not be that woman who hits children in the head with her big bag as she passes people on crowded streets.

Mary Poppins Bag1

Mary Poppins Bag2

Mary Poppins Bag3

This is just a regular summer day. As the seasons change so do the contents, and yes, an umbrella fits in there. Today’s items include:

  • two moleskin notebooks, a smaller hard cover book for general notes and a larger soft-cover writing journal.
  • ball point pen, mechanical pencil, fountain pen and white eraser. I recently discovered the joy of fountain pens and this is my first choice for creative writing, the pencil is for general notes and ideas and for editing knitting patterns, the ball point pen is just smart – you can always use an extra pen.
  • stain remover pen and wet wipes for eating on the go and coffee spills
  • paper back book. I’m particularly enjoying this one for carrying around, the chapters are short and easy to get through then when you only have a few spare minutes – like waiting for the train.
  • wallet
  • keys
  • oversized sunglasses, because, lets face it, I’m a diva in disguise
  • lipstick, this gets very little use but I always know where it is – in with my pens
  • phone and ear buds
  • knitting bag with current project & pattern in a clear plastic sleeve which helps protect it from coffee spills and wet patio tables
  • business card holder and cards
  • travel grocery bag
  • shawl kept in a cloth bag to protect it from snags, this one is Rosemarie’s Garden
  • knitting notions bag (stitch markers, darning needles, hand lotion, emery board, measuring tape, crochet hooks and a bunch of other stuff)

With this much entertainment carried around on my shoulder you never need to apologize to me for being late. My knitting kept me company and I got some writing done, I know to embrace free time when I see it.

What to carry with you?