26 December 2010

At Last! I'm a Published Knitting Designer

I've been knitting for ... well .... let's say a long, long time. Most of that time, I've been either designing my own patterns or heavily adapting patterns I found elsewhere. I write them up as if they were published patterns, and take them with me.

I thought about selling my patterns, but the work of printing and marketing them to yarn stores across the country (or getting paid peanuts for meeting crazy magazine deadline) seemed like too much trouble. So I gave up on the idea, and eventually took a break from knitting altogether.

Well, people need mittens, and old ones get lost/outgrown/worn out. Both my husband and son needed new pairs, and I was not about to buy inferior products! So out came the needles again. My son's came straight from my favorite mitten book (_Flying Geese and Partridge Feet_, by Robin Hansen, unfortunately out of print), but my husband's are an original design.

I wandered over to Ravelry (a large, friendly social web site for knitters and crocheters) for the first time in a couple of years ... and they now allow designers to upload and sell patterns. Cool! I puzzled out the instructions for setting up a shop and posting patterns for sale, and put up a couple of old patterns I had ready to roll — one sold within 3 hours of posting! You can bet I'll be putting up a lot more in the future.

So, for any knitters out there, cruise on over and see if you like my work. As with my other online shops, my Ravelry shop is under the name Cartesian Bear.

31 August 2010

Today at the Borg

So, this morning, my daughter "Ocelot" and I went to the local Big Orange Box so I could get the lumber I needed for my saw bench, and a box of cut nails. I needed one 10' long 2 by 8, any cheap wood.

I've found there are two types of BORG employees. One understands that anyone can buy anything, and they shouldn't pass judgements. The other is sure the "little lady" and her daughter couldn't possibly need a 2 by 8, and tries to "help" by steering me to the decorating aisle.

I got rid of the clerk and made it, unscathed, to the lumber. We found the 2 by 8s, and it didn't take long for me to find a nice, almost knot free board. Not only that, it was flat, with just a little crook. Off we went to the cashier (who did not pass judgement).

I drive a Subaru wagon. I am short. Therefore, the 10 foot long board would not fit in my car, and I couldn't lift it to the roof to tie it in place. I planned for this, and brought my plans, and my tool kit. So the construction jocks got a lovely view of a middle aged woman, wielding a ryoba, sawing a 2 by 8, with a teenage Goth girl sitting in the way back, holding the board in place. Fun.

Just as we finished, a friend who is also a Maker walked by, and we chatted about the uselessness of most Borg employees. More fun.

It's Been a While ...

... and I'm taking this blog in a new direction. Go ahead and unsubscribe, I won't mind.

This past summer, I've taken up a new craft — hand tool woodworking. I'm mentally buried in it, so that's what I expect I'll be blogging about for the conceivable future.

Ever since I first saw The Woodwright's Shop in its first year of production, I've wanted to build furniture. But Life has always gotten in the way, and though I watched the occasional TV show, and bought the odd book/magazine, I did very little else. However, I finally decided now is the time, and I've been collecting the tools I need to get started.

Fall, 2008 I tool an adult ed woodworking class at the local vo-tech school. As is typical, it was machine-heavy. I learned to use circular saws, jigsaws, chop saws, band saws, routers, belt sanders (not the table saw, the teacher wouldn't let us near it) ... and I learned I hated them all, the noise, the safety requirements, the migraines from fine dust. But I loved the end product. So, I've decided to work with hand tools as much as possible.

I've been collecting a starter kit of hand tools. I don't have nearly as many as I'd like, but I do have enough to get started. And I decided on my first project: a saw bench, that I can use for sawing boards as well as for a mini-bench.