Saturday, January 28, 2017

Finally - My First New Publication of 2017!

Well folks, this publication has been 6 months in the making, and finally I can announce that the entire A La Maison 2 collection is finally released! I am beyond breathing a sigh of relief; there is definitely a wee bit of champagne in my immediate future.

I wanted to get all of these designs out in early fall 2016, but then real life intervened, first in late summer/early fall with a series of work issues that required immediate and full attention, to be quickly followed by the 2016 Indie Gift-a-long event, which really does just devour all free time. Throw in a living space move, and you have a recipe for design self-publishing interrupted.

However, this e-book is done now, and I am mighty darn pleased with my publishing self. Fourteen accessory designs for home and self for the modern maker in both knit and crochet (although predominantly crochet, in the interests of full disclosure). All of the designs are available for individual purchase, or one can immediately download the entire collection via e-book at the link above. The e-book has a few additions that one won't have access to from any individual design purchase: I have included a bag lining technique section which was, in pertinent part, published initially by in June, 2015. Additionally, to reflect and underscore the interconnected nature of this collection, I have also included a significant materials list at the beginning of the e-book. Much like a grocery shopping list, makers can simply take the materials list with them when they make their various supply runs if they should decide to make one or several of these designs for themselves or their spaces.

Finally, this is the first publication of mine that has charts for almost all of the designs (with the notable exception of those few designs originally published by third-party publishers that did not require an initial chart). I have been creating charts for many of my published patterns over the last few years, but it has, admittedly, been hit and miss. Not anymore! Since crochet has very limited charting software resources (there is one product out there, but with rather crappy functionality), many crochet designers develop their own symbols and methods of manipulating those symbols. I am no different, and I am feeling fairly comfortable with the system I have devised, so my days of not working up a chart for any design are officially numbered at zero.

Do feel free to click on the look-book below for a view of A La Maison 2. I hope you enjoy. I am off to pop that champagne cork.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Just #pussyhat solid. I'm doing it my way (cause hey, I can sing that tune too). 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

It Is Again Another New Year

"True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of
"  Q
uoted in Let the Trumpet Sound : A Life of Martin Luther
King, Jr
 (1982) by Stephen B. Oates
The beginning of every year is usually a time of contemplation for me, so it doesn't feel all that late that my first post of 2017 comes two weeks into January. This is also a holiday weekend in the United States, when we mark the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. What does amaze me is that I have only managed to previously mark this date only once here on the blog. I have been a U.S. VISTA member (twice), and for all CNCS members (Corporation for National and Community Service, which incorporates all of the various U.S. service programs, including Americorps) this weekend is a fairly big deal. During my last VISTA year I participated in a community service project on the actual holiday that was different from the site at which I was stationed. I remember it being not only personally fulfilling, but generally a lot of fun, as I was alongside all of my VISTA mates as well as other active members of the CNCS community in my area. Many past presidents, as well as policy wonks and other pundits, have each advocated for some sort of term of public service for all Americans, whether volunteer or mandatory (gasp!), as a way to create a common cultural experience. As someone who has voluntarily given up almost two years of my adult life in just such pursuit, I can wholeheartedly speak to the cultural learning curve involved and the cultural understanding gained since, in many instances, volunteers serve in communities removed from where they grew up or lived at time of enrollment. It is a difficult financial challenge (especially for someone of modest means), but the rewards are many. 

Of course, I came to MLK, Jr. initially through his writings and speeches. No student of literature and liberal arts can escape reading the "I Have a Dream" speech. During my instructor stint in the classroom, I taught the speech both from the page as well as the screen. (NB: For an absolutely amazing treatment of the speech, check out Ho Che Anderson's graphic rendition, written about rather extensively here, which includes some of the comic graphics). King's Letter From Birmingham Jail is a primer on non-violent protest (as well as a slice of political history). I can hear King's voice and cadence when I read many of his writings; he was that powerful an orator. 

I cannot help but be inspired by MLK, Jr.'s ultimate message of hope.