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Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Bit of This...

and a bit of that.  That's what this post is going to be about.  First off, Craftnicity posted a helpful review on September 13th of a Knitting Daily TV DVD that I thought some of you would be interested in:

Also, the FaveCrafts blogger did one of her round-up questions "do you follow a pattern or just wing it?" and I participated, so here's the link to that post: This month's question "who inspired you to become an artist? was a fun one to answer too, and I'll pass the answers along when that post comes out.

Also, for those of you seeking resources for launching your own business enterprises, let me take this opportunity to give a shout out to Jessica Swanson, the Shoestring Marketer.  She's got a lot of new offerings up on her site and she's very generous with lots of free resources and tips to get you started:  I like her stuff because she makes practical and actionable suggestions.

I'm still working up some of my own tips for you based on my experiences trying to market the book, etc., but right now, I'm preparing our new quarterly newsletter and catching up on posting some new crochet tips on my Guru site, so ...

Ok, try to stay dry for those of you on the East coast!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


So, Ollie the Octopus now has a big sister named Pollie!  During the grand opening of Looped Yarn Works last Thursday, I figured it was time to revamp the amigurumi octopus to take advantage of this fabulous Cascade Classic 100 percent mercerized cotton yarn that the shop is stocking.  Here are the results:

Pollie and Olllie are both available on Ravelry.

Ah, I have to say, Looped is such a fabulous place!  It was just so comfortable sitting in their beautiful "living room" and crocheting!  I'm so looking forward to teaching there -- please check out their class schedule at

Now, figuring out the next project...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kitschy Stitch in Rehoboth

Ah, back home again...  Nice, but I miss the ocean lapping around my feet :-(

But, it was a great vacation, and here is a big shout out to Allison and her beautiful Kitschy Stitch in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  It's located on 75 Lake Avenue, and it's just a wonderous place.  Lots of space, lots of yarns and accessories, and lots of comfortable atmosphere.  I was sad that I could only visit once and missed the Sit and Stitch on Monday morning, but I did bring home some yarnie goodies (I'll post before and after pictures in an upcoming post).

Check out Allison's blog at and plan a visit!

Ok, speaking of fabulous local yarn stores, Looped Yarn Works is having its official Grand Opening starting today, and I'll be stopping by to provide crochet support :-)  Come on by!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Send in the Clowns

Whoo hooo!  Clownie has made it into an Etsy Treasury.  Take a look at the posting shop, LizzieJoeDesigns, she's got some clever items made of wine corks.

So, I am here in beautiful Rehoboth Beach, Delaware!  The weather has been so great, so I even got a chance to dip my toes into the warm (but very rough due to the latest hurricane!) waters of the Atlantic.  Must have walked at least 4 miles yesterday and hoping to keep that up.  And, I visited the relatively new LYS here -- Kitschy Stitch.  It's a wonderful spot, and I'll be posting so much more about it when I can upload the hopefully lovely photos I took!

Ok, off for another trip up and down the Boardwalk (2 miles!)

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Clownies Are Ready!!

The clownies are all finished!  I hope my friend likes her pink one, and the green one will be posted on Etsy pretty soon.  Once the finishing touches are on the pattern, it will be posted as well.  Whew!  Oh, and a big shout out to Margaret, the best pom pom maker I know :-)  Contact her at her shop, WinterCrochet, on Etsy for your own wonderful poms.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Down Dog

So, as I was holding the down dog pose tonight in yoga class, it struck me that putting the book together was probably the easy part -- now, how to convince folks that it is worth $9.95 of their hard-earned dollars to buy?  Even before that, how to get the word out to people that it even exists?!  Oh, if only I had the answers...

My first challenge is for it to be fully available on Amazon -- I really do think that I've created a useful resource for crocheters that's a good value, and, if people can use the feature that lets you see inside of the book, they will seriously consider making the purchase.  So, I'm exploring what, if anything, I need to do to make that happen.  Right now, I'm under the impression that CreateSpace placed it under consideration with Amazon, it is awaiting approval, and I don't need to do anything but be patient, but I want to be sure!

Self-publishing is pretty nerve wracking!  Every time I went through the darn PDF version, I'd find a little thing that I'd want to tweak, so it took me forever to push the "submit" button.  Even now, I'm thinking of ways to improve the final product, but I've got other projects in the works, and the best advice I can give is to let it go when you know, in your heart of hearts, that you've created something good (versus perfect).  No one's going to scrutinize it the way that you do, so don't let the perfect get in the way of getting a really good product out there.

Now, that's not to say that you shouldn't be striving to create the best book that you can.  Ask everyone you know to take a look at it and give you honest feedback (ok, so your friends might soft peddle it a bit with you, but you'll sense how they feel).  Keep refining it and get it to where you need it to be.  That is where your time and efforts should be going, but having said that, you should really read through all of the submission requirements of whatever self-publishing service you decide you are going to use (from personal experience, plus reading some other authors' experiences, I think CreateSpace seems to be the service to go with right now).  That way, you can create both the substance and the "looks" of the book at the same time.

If you do not want to master a software program, like InDesign, to format your book, then you might want to consider hiring someone to help you.  Services like allow you to learn about and "interview" service providers and have them bid on your project.  Again, I just want to emphasize that you've got limited time, so I would encourage you to focus on creating the substance and, depending on your resources, then seek help in putting it all together.

That is the best advice I can give you -- everything takes time, and you can't get it back, so really think through how you want to spend your time, then see about how to get help on the other tasks that need to get accomplished.

Of course, more on this soon, as soon as I gather my thoughts better!

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Crocheter's Design Companion is Now Available!!

I've done it!  I've actually published a book!  Actually, it's a notebook with graph paper pages, including round ones for amigurumi, to help you design your own crochet projects and project pages to keep track of the patterns you are working on.  It's also got useful guides for crochet hook sizes, yarn weights, and a glossary of crochet terms and abbreviations, all in one handy and cute 5 1/2 by 8 1/2 inch book that will slip right into your crochet project bag!

You can order it from my CreateSpace publisher's page: or from my website (where you might just find a special deal or two ;-)  And, it should be on Amazon soon too!!

I'll be posting on the process I went through to get to this point for those of you itching to be published authors also!