Friday, April 07, 2006

I'm in a funk.

This is the first time since I started designing that knitting has felt like work. As in, I don't want to do it. Or rather, I don't want to knit what I'm supposed to be knitting. The Mag Knits sample is frustrating me (the shaping isn't doing exactly what I want it to, and it seems like it's taking FOREVER), and I have submissions that I really want to make and I just can't get into doing them. Things are piling up - the Mag Knits design, my Y2knit design, the Sockapaloooza socks... I also keep forgetting and remembering that the Creative Knitting design is supposed to be done either mid-April or early May and I still haven't heard a peep from the editor. I suppose I should e-mail her...

That said, is there anyone out there who would be interested in doing some sample knitting? It would be paid, but in exchange I ask a few things. First, you need to be an intermediate or better knitter. My definition of intermediate is that you are very comfortable reading patterns that don't spell every little thing out. You've knit some lace, you've knit some socks, and you've knit at least one sweater to completion. And you have pictures of stuff to show me your work. Second, you'd need to be able to work under deadline (sometimes very short deadlines). If you start working on something and you can't finish for whatever reason, you need to be willing to let me know IMMEDIATELY. You also need to be able to knit directly from my pattern and let me know right away if something doesn't make sense. No winging it. If I haven't scared you off, drop me an e-mail and we'll talk. Let me know what kinds of things you prefer to knit. I may or may not have any work for you anytime soon, but if things keep going the way they have been, I should need a few of you before too long.

Part of my problem is I just haven't been able to focus. It seems like I'm too frigging busy to get anything done. I'm trying to write, blog, read blogs, knit, swatch, type up patterns, entertain the kids and not tick off my husband so much that he up and leaves me. The laptop definitely helps (since I'm now typing from the dining room table, in a room that is babyproofed, instead of from the office where I'm constantly interrupted by a little goober who heads straight for the things he's not supposed to have - his current fave being the trash).

I need to schedule myself, something I've never been able to do with much success. An hour in the morning to write, an hour to design, an hour to swatch. Problem is, I live my life in five minute increments. Five minutes to type a blog post, then five minutes to fetch Sydney a cup of milk. Five minutes to knit a couple rows on a sock, then five minutes to change a poopy diaper. Five minutes to page through my stitch books looking for the perfect pattern for a swatch, then five minutes to calm a screaming baby who wants to sit on my lap all day long and gets really ticked off that I won't let him. I thought I was good at multitasking before I was a parent. These days, I can talk on the phone, hold a baby on the hip, pour a cup of milk and supervise a preschooler on the potty, all at the same time. If only I could figure out how to type and knit simultaneously.

In order to bring more structure to my life, I'm going to change the sock updates. I'm going to start doing what I should've done from the beginning (I was going to, but I got too excited about my little knit-along's success). I'm only going to do updates on the weekend. Since even my weekend time isn't reliable, I'll try to do them on Saturday with Sunday as a backup. I'm hoping that this will get me back to regular blogging about regular stuff instead of only blogging occasionally due to the fact that I'm dreading the sock updates.

I love doing the updates, but they take such a long time since I like to go and check out every sock and often end up reading down your blogs as I do it. I know you'd never know it, since I don't manage to comment very often, but I hope you know I'm doing more than a cursory compliance check! Also, thanks to those of you who have left nice comments about my work on the knit-along. It really helps to know that you guys are reading the updates and enjoying all the socks!

Since I don't have enough to do, my Master Knitter Level II folder came in the mail today. Ai-yai-yai! That is gonna be some work. I need to knit up a slew of swatches, knit a vest, knit an argyle sock, do a report on the history of knitting worldwide answer a bunch of questions, and write five book reviews. Sheesh! Of course I'm dying to get started on it right away. Discipline, Chrissy, discipline. Gotta get that work knitting out of the way first.

And now I must go. Owen is cranky, and Sydney has been begging me to play Baby Elephant Walk on the piano since she got home from school. Mommy's work is never done!


Blogger keohinani said...

Wow, Chrissy, you've certainly got a lot on your plate--the bulk of it being a mommy and wifey. But don't sweat the small stuff. If it helps, see what you can do that will count for double (with the work / Master Knitter knitting, anyway). Don't be overwhelmed with all the knitting. It's good that you're looking for ways to distribute the load. Relegating the sock updates to weekends certainly helps. And if things get to be too much, ask yourself which designs are really important and which you can do without. No sense burning yourself out over them. I understand it's part of your livelihood and person, but you shouldn't sacrifice your sanity or relationships with your family.
Take care, girlfriend ;)

2:24 PM  
Blogger Bitterknitter said...

Know that you are appreciated, and I'm sure you will find many able hands at the ready to help out when you need it! Above all, remember to breathe!

3:16 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Well, I'd say that you have two full time jobs, and every now and then it's okay to get in a work funk. It happens to everyone. We're all impressed that you manage to have this much work as a freelance designer!

I'm sure you'll find about a bazillion sample knitters, especially for your socks given the current success of your sock-along. But if you need one more... I have about 5 million flights coming up in the next few months and I'd be happy to knit some socks for you. I probably can't commit to much more than that... mittens maybe. Oh yeah, and there are, um, pictures of some of my finished works on my blog. ;-)

4:50 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I hear you about living life in 5 minute increments. You'll figure it out. The kids will get bigger and things will get easier. I'm exactly where you are unfortunately, but we'll get through it!

5:24 PM  
Anonymous jillian said...

In my heart, and in principle, I would love to help you out and be a sample knitter! But I really don't think I'm a good enough knitter across the boards to be trusted with a sample pattern, but most importantly I may not be able to get done in time. Working full time, I have to try consciouly not to make the knitting a chore by feeling pressured to get to an FO under any deadline. I try to be laissez-faire about it.

That said, if you have no other recourse, let's talk. Maybe for small projects.

6:32 PM  
Blogger Persnickety Knitter said...

Maybe you could split up your work into very small pieces that you could get done in the small segments of time that you have available? It might make you feel like you are getting more accomplished if you are able to cross things off your list, even if they are small things like sections of a pattern being typed up (instead of the whole pattern).
I don't know -- it sounds like your son is at an age where it is hard to watch him and get anything else done. Good luck.

7:11 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Yikes, it sounds like what you need is a vacation. Probably not in the cards right now though, huh. :( Please try not to put too much pressure on yourself though . . . I think trying to work out a schedule and structure your day more will certainly hep a lot (although I know the kiddo can make it difficult).

5:45 AM  
Blogger Christy said...

Thanks for the go ahead on the test knitting! I'm looking forward to it. As a designer, I'm sure it's got to be a good thing when you have too much knitting to do, right?

11:01 AM  
Blogger Cece said...

I'd also be willing to do some testing knitting for you - I've actaully done some for another designer.... give me a shout at ceceruth at comcast dot net

12:23 PM  
Blogger shetha said...

Hi Chrissy. I know the feeling you speak of, like you're sinking under water and all these people have expectations, most of all you! I know, too, that you can do it. I would love to help do some test knitting if my schedule permits... so if something comes up, let me know. When you present it to me I'll make the decision as to whether I can do it or not, but I will not let you down or mislead you. I tend to bend over backwards to fulfill promises. Another thing is that you might look into a nanny share or a babysitter share a few mornings/afternoons a week so you can solidify some work times. It's really hard to even get into the mode of thought for writing a pattern in 5 minutes much less get anything down. Also, I recommend using excel for calculations for size extrapolation. We should get together sometime maybe after the babes are in bed and chat. shetha at comcast dot net. Take care of yourself!!!

2:07 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

You're a busy woman, all right. I hope to eventually offer my services as a test knitter, but I just can't be reliable enough for you right now, with Sockapalooza going on I am focusing all my attention on that till it's over. When I do offer, though, you will be top priority.

10:53 PM  

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