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    Saturday
    Dec182010

    Two Sleeves Forward, One Step Back

    I've been furiously trying to get the last project done for the Winter issue of the newsletter so I can get it printed and mailed off (as it is, it's going to arrive in 2011, not 2010), but last night I realized that the sweater was going to have to take a trip to the frog pond. I had envisioned it as a raglan pullover. I don't know why—raglans are my least favorite garment style both in terms of appearance and in terms of ease of pattern writing—but that's the direction in which I was heading. And neither the sweater nor I was happy with the way it looked. Raglans with cables can be tricky if you don't get the math exactly right, and somewhere along the line my math went way wonky. 

    I ended up ripping out the entire yoke, and now I am back down to two sleeves and a body, both knit to the underarms. Plan B is to change the bodice to a modified set-in sleeve. It will work, but it's going to require another couple of nights of intensive knitting. The good news is that it should go more quickly now that I won't have a monstrous piece of fabric sitting on my lap. 

    These are the parts of designing that most knitters never get to see (why would we show them off?). I usually plan well enough ahead of time to avoid an epic fail like this. But it still happens from time to time. I'd much rather have an end product that makes me happy than one that I finished just to get it done. 

    Both the girls are home now for Christmas break, and I'm off to work at Camas Creek today. We all know what I'll be doing when I get home tonight . . . 

    Friday
    Dec172010

    Crammed Into a Phone Booth

    I think these chickens are just hilarious. Here are three of them crammed into the magic nesting box. The other two were trying to get in just before I snapped this pic. Quite a bit of arguing ensued:

     

    No one else I know has chickens with this particular habit. Oh well. It makes gathering eggs very easy.

    For those of you wondering what's happening with the site, well . . . here's the story. As part of my year-end review of my business, I realized that the way I have things set up is very fragmented. That wasn't on purpose—it's more a result of the way things have evolved and changed in the knitting world over the past couple of years. When I first set up my website, I was selling mostly direct-to-knitters and selling mostly hard-copy products. That involved paying a fee to the hosting company and a fee to the bank to process credit card payments. Along the way, I began having to pay additional fees for the ability to offer digital downloads and to sell through Ravelry. Oh, and the bank got greedy and began tacking all sorts of additional fees onto my merchant account (like $10 a month for me to receive a paper statement of my account activity and a yearly "membership" fee in addition to the processing fees—really?!?!?!?). More and more of my sales are happening through places like Ravelry and Patternfish and fewer directly through my website, so it no longer makes sense for me to pay for some of these features when I'm not using them as much. So I felt it was time to streamline things.

    I've been quite happy with Squarespace as my blog hosting company. A few days ago I began playing around with the site to see if it would be possible to build a completely Squarespace-hosted site that also offers e-commerce and isn't just a "gallery" of my work (Squarespace doesn't have a built-in shopping cart feature). It looks like I'll be able to ditch the bank's merchant account service (yay!) and move the site totally over to Squarespace from my existing hosting company. The best part of all of this is that my hosting and e-commerce costs will drop from something like $300 a month to more like $100 a month. That's huge. And I'll still be able to accept credit cards, but it will be through PayPal now and not a separate merchant account. 

    This seems like a good time to do this. I've finished my classwork for this semester, and I have a few weeks before the new semester begins. I usually spend this time getting the current year wrapped up and ready for our accountant anyway. I really didn't mean to obliterate the existing blog; while experimenting with Squarespace, I pressed the wrong button and poof!—there it went. I won't do that again. 

    I'm off in a few moments to pick up DD#1 from the train station. She's getting to be quite the seasoned traveler, getting herself from school to home and back again. It will be nice to have her here for a couple of weeks. 

    Wednesday
    Dec152010

    Some Site Work

    You may have noticed that I am doing some work on the site. It appears that I have made the blog as we knew it disappear in the process. I will make an announcement when it looks like things are back on track. Sorry for the inconvenience, but you can always go knit, right?

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