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Friday, February 27, 2009

Dear Tendinitis

Dear Tendinitis,

I've dealt with you for 2 weeks now, but I think it's time you pack your bags and leave. I've been quite patient with you, even going so far as to stop knitting for 7 days. I've tried ice dips, massage, tiger balm, rest, ice cream, but you just won't go away.

Considering I have to complete an entire sweater in 2 weeks, would you terribly mind letting me knit at least 16 rows a day? That's all I ask. Otherwise, without knitting in my hands, I'm going to go completely nuts and a get little testy. Just ask my husband.


Thursday, February 19, 2009


A few weekends ago I decided it might be fun to try out twitter. I figure this might be a fun way to share pattern updates, little things that happen at work at the sweater company, and other little non-knitting related things. I also thought it might be a good way to update when I can't post to the blog because I'm too busy with deadline knitting or can't post pictures cause it's super top secret.

If your curious, my username is neoknits and the feed can be found here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Thank You

Thank you for all of your kind comments and thoughts. It was a difficult weekend, but we managed the best we could. Grandma was so strong, it was absolutely amazing. She said after raising 7 children, how could she be anything but strong.

I'm also finally back to knitting. I hadn't knit in 7 days due to a slight case of tendinitis I developed while working on my deadline projects. I'm only doing a little at a time, but it sure is a comfort to be back. Luckily I received a much needed extension so I don't have to put too much stress on the wrist and elbow right away.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

To Grandpa

65th wedding anniversary
Grandpa, Grandma, Bryan and I at their 65th wedding anniversary party - June 08.

Grandpa, you were such a wonderful, kind and loving soul. You had such a profound love for your family and a strong faith in the Lord. After 65 years of marriage, you were still just as in love with Grandma as the day you two met and I hope Bryan and I can live up to your example.

You were an engineer and loved technology. You weren't afraid of email or the internet. You loved photography and when you went digital, I taught you how to re size your photos in Photoshop. You would document every moment with your camera and would bring out the projector every once in a while to look at days gone by.

Everything had it's place and was organized and exact. You used to measure out the wrapping paper for the Christmas presents with a yard stick and match the designs and corners perfectly.

When I worked at my summer job during high school, I would come over for lunch every day. You would eat your late breakfast and read the paper. We'd chat about how oil is refined, cars, family history, and your childhood growing up in Altoona, PA.

You still rode your motorcycle until you were 75 and finally decided to sell it.

You were generous with your time and talents and touched the lives of many people.

While we will all miss you very, very much, we all know that you were prepared in your heart and soul for this day. Bryan once made a lighthearted joke that he didn't believe in dying because there isn't a future in it. And you calmly stated, "Oh no, there is certainly a future in it." I truly believe there is a future in it, and we hope to see you again on the other side........

Christmas 2007
Bryan, Grandpa, and Dad - Christmas 07.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Designers Band Together

If you've been surfing around some designer's blogs within the past day or two, I'm sure you've seen Annie Modesitt's post about valuing our work as designers.

If you haven't seen it, go take a quick look. Even if you're not a designer, it has valuable information for you as a consumer.

I've never been published in Vogue, but I have been published by Knit Simple which is under the Soho Publishing umbrella. This was quite awhile ago and was actually my first big magazine gig. Being a bit naive and a relatively new designer to the magazine scene at least, I signed away all my rights to the pattern. Was I uncomfortable with it? Yes. Did I think I could do anything about it? No.

A bit further down the road, I was accepted to IK for the first time. Did I question the contract a little more? Yes. But then there was this deal about digital downloads and royalty payments. I was a little uncomfortable with only making 10%, but I signed it anyway. Then I saw Annie's post which she had written on the subject. I was really down on myself for signing and knew Annie was absolutely right about the consequences my actions would have on the future of our business and being paid fairly.

IK opened up an honest dialog with Annie and the designer community and worked it out. Thankfully, even though I had already signed for the 10%, I was still sent the new revised contract and was entitled to the better rate. But what if Annie had never been brave enough to raise her voice for designers like me to hear?

Now that I know the ropes a little better, I'm a little choosier with where I send my work. I take a long hard look at the contracts and ask for the terms in advance. If the publisher doesn't have terms that I like, I submit elsewhere. If they are negotiable, I negotiate.

But that is now.

As a newbie, there is nothing like getting THE email - "You're IN!!!". It's so exciting! You tell your friends, family, and anyone who will listen. You get so wrapped up in the excitement of it all that you sometimes don't think of your best interests. Once things settle down and you get down to the knitty gritty, you might question some things, but you just let it go. It's experience you say. It's exposure you say. I'm just building my portfolio you say. It's a big, well known magazine for goodness sake, what are you to them? What choices do you have?

That's just it. You can make choices.

Some publishers have already answered the call: Interweave Knits, Yarn Forward, and Twist Collective to name a few. Then there is always the option for designers to self-publish and get away from the contracts all together. Either way, publishing a design is hard work, but knowing that your rights are safe and you're being paid fairly for your work is a very good thing.

As a consumer, you also have the power to make choices that help designers make a decent living. Support the publications who respect and value designers. Support independent designers (I personally thank you for your support!) Support other venues like Ravelry who help give designers a place to showcase and sell their work.

I don't know how Soho Publishing will react to Annie's post, or if they will react at all. I hope they'll be open to make some changes and engage in an open dialog with the design community. I look forward to seeing how it all plays out.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Interweave Knits Spring 09 Preview

The interweave knits spring preview is up! And there is a pattern by yours truly in there - the zickzack tunic.

Zickzack Tunic
Here it is being modeled back in September before being sent off to Interweave.

Over all it looks like a very promising issue. I can't wait to make Connie's Soap Bubble Wrap when I have a free moment. I've seen the sweater in person and it's gorgeous!