Posted in Knitting
March 26, 2012

Win $100, witness my chrysalis stage

The Cooperative Press spring survey is live and you have until the end of the week to take it. One randomly-drawn respondent will win $100! (Though of course we know you’re taking it out of love, right?)
CP takes up a lot of my time these days, so it’s very important to me — thank you in advance for taking the survey!
As for other knit-related adventures: I’m working on my design-other work life balance right now, and it’s a real challenge. First up, I feel it’s important to complete the overhaul of my existing patterns and branding before I start adding more new work to the mix, but that’s just part of the total equation.
Hiring a part-time assistant (the exceedingly talented Elizabeth Green Musselman of Dark Matter Knits) has helped a lot but it also means retraining myself. When you work by yourself for yourself for so long, the hardest thing is learning what and when to delegate. Honestly? That part is kicking my butt a little bit.
What’s even worse? Retraining myself to design in a different way. I do my best work on the needles. That’s not sustainable, now more than ever. If I want to produce the amount of my own work that I need and want to do, I’m going to have to hire outside knitting help. And funnily enough, you can’t just hand them yarn, needles and the inside of your own head!
(wouldn’t that be cool, though? get on that, science!)
So even though I mostly made it through the winter without a severe design funk (last year’s was really awful), I am realizing how much needs to change about the way I work, and it’s scary.
Change is scary, but change is also good.
What have you done recently that gave you pause or even scared you a little?

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  • Woolly

    I’m trying to delegate some work to Mr Tom & am failing. He’s keen, ish, until he realises that all the interesting parts he can’t do, and gets stuck with all the boring stuff.
    We need a change of work mode around here, too, and it *is* tough when you’re so used to doing it on your own!

    Reply to Woolly
  • Brandi

    Finding test knitters can be challenge. I’ve had a rough time with it. Too many ideas not enough hands to knit them. Finding reliable people is hard too. I was willing to pay people but they still didn’t seem to be able to follow directions. I will tell you what I learned. Decide exactly what qualities you want in a test knitter and then test them first. I first tried getting test knitters without doing this and it was a disaster. It worked muchbetter when I tested them to see if we were a good fit.

    Reply to Brandi
  • Jennifer

    I haven’t committed yet, but I’m thinking about something that will require a significant time commitment.

    Reply to Jennifer
  • Rebecca

    Man, it is the hardest thing to identify things that need changing and then actually work toward changing them, too. Go Shannon!
    My thing that is giving me pause is trying to find a more functional way to balance work stuff with necessary self-care stuff. I have some mental health challenges that mean sometimes, and unpredictably, I have to back off from the doing of things for a day or two at a time. It’s tough to come up with 1) any work ideas that permit this!; 2) task schedules that are elastic enough to fit my needs!; 3) ways not to beat myself up for being inefficient! Scary, but necessary too.

    Reply to Rebecca
  • Lori Versaci

    As you know, I had the “branding” meltdown at the end of last summer (thanks to your Design Bootcamp class!) but coming out the other side has been really great. I also changed my process — still doing some of my best work on the needles, but realize that if I have all of the measurement stuff thought through, I can actually pass off the knitting at a pretty early stage. So often I end up re-knitting anyway!! But I haven’t figured out how to actually hire knitters who are good! Can anyone help with that little issue?

    Reply to Lori Versaci
  • jenna

    How will you find your test knitters? I would be interested!

    Reply to jenna
  • Margret

    Something must be in the air both sides of the pond right now.
    I would so like to have more hands to knit up more of my ideas and to write up some of those that need to be written…
    What scares me? That time is not on my side.
    Life is shorter than I thought, at least some hundred years shorter than I need.
    ARE there really test knitters?

    Reply to Margret

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