Monday, May 20, 2019

New Hooded Baby Blanket Pattern
I get so much satisfaction from publishing patterns.  Every time I publish one, I feel a surge of motivation and I tell myself that I need to set firm goals and get more done.  My good intentions are usually waylaid by general life stuff, so I guess I need to learn to coast on the high I feel when I actually do publish.

Do you ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes of small craft businesses?  I do all the time.  When I see a particularly great photo, I wonder how many shots it took to get that great one.  How many different set-ups did they try? Where did they find that model?  We in the crafting world have all had to become our own photographers and marketers which I always think is the hardest part.  I daydream about a magical intern who will do all my pictures and listings for me so I can spend all of my time designing.  Alas, it is all on me and not just me I fear.  When you are the offspring of a pattern designer, chances are about 100% that you will get roped into helping out.  

I have two son's, so they manage to escape quite a bit by virtue of being the wrong gender for much of what I make.  However, I am not shy about enlisting them for help. I have to giggle when I think that part of their childhood memories will be some of the weird things I have asked them to do for Wind Rose Fiber Studio. For instance, just yesterday, I had my 19 year old son hold a life-like baby in his arms so I could get a picture of my Hooded Baby Blanket for the pattern.  The poor guy had to sit there and play daddy with a baby doll and he was such a good sport.  I love my kids!
I guess I should share a bit about the pattern while I'm here.  I wanted to make something super soft and fluffy so people could use it as a prop for precious new baby pictures.  At the same time, I wanted it to be practical.  After toying with a few ideas, I remembered my kids old hooded bath towels and how cozy they were.  It was fun to wrap them up after a bath from head to toe and let them snuggle. I decided to make the same kind of thing only as a furry blanket. You can burrito up a baby with hood included or just use it as a nursery blanket. While the pattern is not difficult, it can be a challenge to work with fur yarn.  You need to be able to feel for where the stitches go, but as long as you are comfortable with a crochet hook, the Hooded Baby Blanket should be a quick and easy pattern.

Monday, April 22, 2019

The Early Bird is The Tired Bird

I just had a shot of my favorite cold brew, so hopefully I'm good to go. 

I am on Day 1 of waking up early.  When I say early, I mean the 4 o'clock hour. I don't know if this is a trending thing, but I blame, um, I mean, I give credit to WheezyWaiter for this little adventure.  I follow him on YouTube and last week he shared his experience with shifting to an early to bed, early to rise schedule. If you're curious:

This is one of those videos that stuck with me.  To say I value time, especially creative time, is probably an understatement.  I often feel frustrated when my creative energy runs out, but the night is still young.  I end up watching a couple hours of TV because who goes to bed at 8pm?  

So I tried it.  I slept with my Apple watch on and a 4:30 alarm set to vibrate. It actually took 12 minutes of vibration before I woke up, but I was trying to spare my husband an early morning alarm.  I'm sensitive like that. :)

I usually wake up around 6am, so this didn't feel like that much extra time.  Determined to make the most of it, I went for a sunrise run, listened to my current audio book, Creative Quest by Questlove and I killed a few zombies (PvZ 2). Now, at 3:12 in the afternoon, I am feeling the sleepies, but I am determined to push through.  I know it's going to take a few nights to fully transition.

I think I am going to switch my wake-up time to 4am.  I want just a little more am.  I'm hoping I'll have an easier time getting to sleep tonight.  Last night I tossed and turned which is adding to today's roughness. 

This may be a crazy, short lived experiment, but I can't resist giving it a go.  I would much rather spend two hours in the early morning being creative, running, or just generally doing stuff than that same amount of time laying in front of the TV.  I wonder how I'll feel a few days from now?   

Thursday, April 18, 2019

There Is a Better Way, But I'm Doing it This Way Anyway

There is a better way to do this thing I'm doing, but I'm going to go ahead and do it this other way anyway. This sounds crazy and yet with almost every design I undertake, I find myself thinking this kind of thought.  It's different from second-guessing or some sort of crisis of confidence, but rather my brain telling me that there is another way of doing the thing I'm doing that would be even better. I will ignore this intelligence and continue on, very often wasting some of my own precious time as well as yarn which I would argue is also precious. 

Case in point, my current project is a baby blanket for my nephew's first.  My idea is to take a classic doily pattern and make it up in a soft, baby yarn, modifying it just a little to take out some of the larger spacing in the design so that it would serve well as a blanket. The idea is sound, even kind of fun and appropriate for my vintage loving nephew and his wife, but as I work up the blanket, I know it would represent better in a solid yarn and better still in one with a less fluffy texture.  Yet here I am, ignoring my own reasoning and working through with my initial yarn purchase.  The best thing you can say about this variegated, furry yarn is that the colors will be appealing to the indented recipients and it has an impressionist air which will probably even present the suggestion of lace when complete. Even so, I know deep down that I will end up crocheting the whole piece over again and this will become something taking up space in my studio or at best, donated to a charity which will have no idea what it is supposed to be. 

Why do I do this? 
Do I want to prove myself wrong? 
Is it because I can't abandon a project once I've begun?  
Will writing this phenomena down create personal change?

Honestly, I think this is just a shout into the void, an existential "why?" and one of many I have about myself and my creative brain. Perhaps I'm just wondering if anyone can relate. 

I'll come back and share my finished baby blanket, both of them. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Daydreamer Dolman Sweater Pattern and More!
I was just reading my last blog post from September of 2018.  That's right, September! Blimey it's been a long time!!!

At least let me follow up my last ancient post.  Since the fall of last year, I have managed to get a couple projects done.  The Daydreamer Dolman Sweater is my brand new pattern that has been months in the making.  I really wanted to design something to showcase all of the fun, cake style yarns on the market. This was made using Caron Latte Cakes and I just love how the colors present themselves in cool, geometric patterns. Of course you could go solid or design your own.  I made
up this second one with short sleeves using Yarn Bee's Fur-Ever Style and trimmed it out with a pretty blue from my stash.  This one is lighter weight and a nice layer to throw on over a tank.  It's worked in a free size for all of us fans of loose, comfy clothes. 

So that's my big new pattern, but in my last post I was talking about my All Wrapped Up in Circles & Squares Applique and how I was working on project using this motif.  I ended up assembling two of the 10" squares and designing a handbag.  All of the details can be found on Instagram by searching #circlesandsquaresbag You can find me on Insta @jennofwindrose and here is what the finished project looks like...

Cute, huh?
I guess I have one last share before I call it a night.  I recently found a source for really nice quality Recycled Sari Silk Sliver.  It is free of little threads and bits that are commonly found in recycled sari silk so its pure pleasure to spin.  If you love all of the gorgeous and somewhat random colors that can be found in recycled sari silk, you will go crazy for this fiber.  Oops, can't forget the pic!

Okay, I am going to call this Wednesday done.  Hope life is treating you well!!