Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The glamorous life of a knit designer.

As I resave the gazillionth pdf file with a new group of settings so that it will print more prettily, I decided that I needed to write a post about the glamorous life of this knitwear designer.

7:30 am - hit snooze, then drag out of bed after realizing I have to get the kids' lunches ready, make sure their backpacks are cleaned out, stuff them with breakfast and somehow get them and myself out the door by 8.

7:45 am - yell upstairs and hope that signs of life are soon forthcoming.

8:05 am - drag the kids kicking and screaming out to the car and speed them to their respective schools.

8:45 am - pick up coffee and head back to the nice peaceful house.

9:00 am - try to tidy up a bit and throw a load of laundry in the washer as a nod to my latest FLYlady kick.

9:30 am - surf Ravelry while telling myself I really need to get to work.

9:45 am - have bright idea to offer Hurricane Socks pattern as a fundraiser for the Red Cross. Quickly throw up pattern page on website and post to blog. Format pictures in different sizes for various web purposes. Add a special announcement to front page of website, linking to Hurricane pattern page. Spend half an hour trying to figure out why adding a picture to my index.html page has put a blue line under the newsletter sign-up box. Realize I forgot to add a "< / a >" after displaying the picture. Fix this, and then tinker with the text and display boxes around the AKD banner and Independent Web Designers webring code so that it all matches my stylesheet.

11:00 am - add pattern to Ravelry. Can't leave without perusing the forums.

12:30 pm - realize I'd better get off Ravelry and take a shower. Realize that going for a walk is something that's getting less and less likely with the passage of time. Wonder if I can get to the grocery store, bank and library before I have to pick the kids up.

1:00 pm - pack up patterns to mail out to shops.

1:30 pm - realize that if I'm going to get to the grocery store before I have to pick up Owen, I'd better get moving. Decide to quickly format a Ravelry banner ad for the Hurricane Socks first. This involves removing the background from the original photo in Photoshop and then formatting the text and graphics of the ad in Illustrator. The computer decides to have memory issues, so I have to close one application before I can open another. It is not helpful that I have to flip back-and-forth several times and each program takes forever to load...

2:30 pm - upload finished ad to Ravelry. Grab bank deposits and run upstairs to kids' room to get nearly-overdue library books. Have bright idea that I'll go to the store after picking up Owen since Sydney has an after-school playdate down the street. Grab grocery bags and list.

2:45 pm - dash books into library, dash deposits into bank.

3:05 pm - breathlessly run into Owen's school to pick him up (official pick-up is at 3 - he's waiting for me on a little bench right inside his classroom door). On the drive home, he tells me how he got mad at his teacher because his teacher wouldn't bring him home during the day. I try to explain that that's not the teacher's job, it's mommy or daddy's job. He starts talking about helicopters.

3:25 pm - drive by Sydney's bus stop to confirm playdate with Sydney's friend's mom and arrange pick-up. Owen is just about falling asleep, which means he will wake up in two hours with the personality of a grizzly bear. No store trip for us.

3:30 pm - Owen is livid that he doesn't get to go with Sydney on her playdate. I promise that he'll be able to ride his tricycle when we go to pick her up, and I hear "is it time to go yet?" for the next 45 minutes straight, followed by ear-splitting screams when I tell him that no, it's not quite time yet.

4:15 pm - I convince Bill to take Owen to pick up Sydney while I head to the store.

5:00 pm - kids are watching a movie and Bill is downstairs working, so after putting the groceries away I settle in at my laptop and send out Hurricane Sock patterns to the kind folks who've ordered them while I was away.

5:15 pm - I need to put up pages for all of my new patterns on the website, so I start formatting photos. Each photo has at least two sizes it needs to be cropped to, and there are 2-4 photos per design, so I crop and save a total of about 35 photos.

6:00 pm - dinner, anyone? I'm going to make cajun catfish with boiled red potatoes, so I go to our tiny potato patch to dig up some spuds. I pull up the potato plant and the potatoes are about the size of olives. I decide to pull some beets instead.

6:15 pm - faced with a sink full of dirty beets, I start to seriously fade. I go downstairs and beg Bill to cook dinner. He reluctantly agrees (reluctant because I made him stop working at 4 to go get Sydney, not because he isn't willing to cook dinner) if I'm willing to wait until he's gotten a little more work done. I happily agree.

6:20 pm - I go back to my web pages. I realize that I still need to save front pages of all of my new patterns for the website, which involves opening each one in Illustrator and exporting it to pdf. I start with Amethyst, a new pattern, since it's alphabetically at the top of the list. After I save Amethyst, I realize that I may as well do all of the patterns, not just the new ones. I discovered a new way of saving pdfs that strikes a nice compromise between file size (don't want it too big) and image quality (don't want it too crappy). All of my old pdfs were small but had bad image quality. The new method makes a bigger file but the pictures are much, much better. I've also figured out how to import schematics into my patterns from Illustrator without them getting all bitmapped, but I haven't updated all my downloadable patterns with the new versions. I hope my pdf vendors don't totally hate me for making them switch out all their pdf files YET AGAIN.

7:30 pm - halfway through the list of patterns, resaving all the download files and front page files with the new settings. Bill makes me stop to eat dinner. We watch The Office and the kids complain about having to eat fish.

8:00 pm - after loading the dishwasher (I am REALLY trying to keep up with my FLYlady stuff, really!), I head back to the computer for more fun with pdfs.

9:00 pm - pour myself another glass of wine, and start coding pages for the new patterns. Double-check all of the file names of the front pages and download patterns I just recreated to make sure they're the same as the old ones.

9:30 pm - upload all of the new download patterns to the website where my pdf retailers can grab them. Send them pleading e-mail, begging them not to kill me.

10:00 pm - realize that my original description on the Hurricane Socks pattern, which was written well before the current hurricane season, is a bit too flip (it says "Celebrate the rainy season with these socks...", which may not go over too well with those who've just had their homes demolished and will be without power for the next two months). Fix it and recreate front page pdf and download pdf.

10:15 pm - test the new pattern pages, make some minor tweaks and then ftp them all to my web server. Test them again to make sure I didn't forget to transfer anything over.

10:30 pm - check Ravelry to make sure no big debates have flared up while I'm away. Read my political forums and alternately get hopeful and depressed. Wonder why the guy raised on food stamps by a single mom, who has pulled himself up by his bootstraps in the most American of ways, is considered "elitist" while the guy who has 9 houses and a private jet is considered a regular guy.

11:00 pm - realize I'd better go for bed, but want to watch a little bit of tv first. Finally pick up my knitting (for the first time today). Knit a few rounds, then realize I'm too tired to knit and head up to bed. Set alarm so that the whole thing can be repeated in the morning. Second verse, same as the first!

Doesn't that sound like fun? :)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad it's you not me. I prefer my slow paced, educate my children at home lifestyle. :)

11:05 AM  
Blogger Janet Szabo said...

During one of my classes in Portland last week, Carson asked me to talk about "how a busy mom, knitting designer, teacher, author and publisher gets it all done." I started laughing. :-)

Your days sound a lot like mine, but with younger kids.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Corrina said...

Sounds like a day in my life. Except I don't get as much design work accomplished!

1:19 PM  
Blogger larissa said...

It sounds too familiar, actually. I'm sitting here vacillating between being excited about my new pattern ideas and realizing I may not really get them done in time for when they would sell best (e.g., fall!) Maybe we could have a designer meet-up where we force ourselves to get off the computer and out of the house to work on designs hands-on for a couple hours.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Alison Boon said...

Oh the glamour. Way to go Flylady.

2:01 AM  
Anonymous Leslie said...

I love the 10:30 political observation.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Meghann said...

school.....god, I can't wait until mine go! LOL

8:56 AM  

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