18 May 2011
Whew. I feel like I haven't been here in ages! So much has been going on. This is going to be a long post, but I really think I owe you at least a few highlights!
I guess the super gigantic whirlwind really started being a perfect storm right after I rushed Sakaki out, with my 3 secret projects, due dates all falling within a period of two weeks. My first, a small one thankfully, was completed way ahead of time and sent off to its new home. It is still a sekrit. Then came my offering for Kristine's Pro-Verbial Club. (Isn't that a great name?) Meet Cáliz, which will not be available to everyone until later this year. She was designed to take full advantage of the rustic camel/silk blend from A Verb for Keeping Warm.
Kristine's club ships right at the same time as mine. I rushed to get Cáliz to my test knitter extraordinaire, so that I could then concentrate on my own club offering, a more complicated confection that needed tweaking before going to test knitters. All I can say is that I have the absolute best test knitters in the whole world. I am so lucky! With their help, I was able to get it all together in time. Meet Lisianthus (which, btw, is also the nickname of a very dear friend of my mother's).
You can see the center leaf panel transition into the edging a little more clearly here, I think.
And here we have the detail at the neckline.
She is knit from String Theory's seri silk silk lacewight yarn, which is utter heaven. It reminds me of that incredible color of blueish-purple hydrangeas. I have several options in my club, and the "Romi's Choice" people, who receive my choice of yarn, pin metal and pattern, received the pictured shipment for April.
There's also a little polishing cloth thrown in for fun. The packages all went out over a period of about a week and half, as I try to give the international members a little head start so they don't have to wait as long.
After that craziness, it was time to start another secret project, take the boys to STAR testing (which is an event when you homeschool as we do) and allow the poor long-suffering Mr. Romi to catch up on some things that had been put aside to help me get everything together. So the couple of weeks before I went off to teach at Yarnover were spent at a lot of swim practices and putting together some sizable wholesale shawl pin orders. This made me realize how much I really needed to have a Mac laptop, so that I could work on patterns in my Adobe software while at practice. I already had Mac and PC versions of charting software and OpenOffice so that I could use my little Toshiba laptop in the pattern writing process, but I wasn't about to buy Adobe's Creative Suite again for the PC! Enter my new MacBook Pro, the most beautiful piece of technology I have ever owned. (Posing here with one of the extra projects from my eBook).
I finished laying out my Alcyone pattern - the last shawl from the eBook subscription! - on my new laptop, the next up for test knitters after those three secret projects. And then? Disaster. I discovered an error that changed more than half of the charts and written instructions. Not complicated once discovered, but terribly time consuming, as I had to throw out a huge amount of work. By now it was time to be going, and so off I then went to Yarnover. (Can I just add that I absolutely love Yarnover? If you have a chance to go, grab it!) It was their 25th anniversary and I was lucky enough to be teaching there! Here I am with a great group of people from my Ravelry forum (thank you for letting me use the picture, Nora!); it was amazing meeting everyone in person, and I so wish I could have gotten pictures of all! :)
Here's Cathy, who wove that beautiful bookmark as a gift for me! I was very touched. Thank you, Cathy! :)
And here's the wonderful Kristine's wonderful mother.
I also collected some yummy yarnz, and I will show you those in my next post!
From where I live out in the middle of nowhere, it takes pretty much a full day to travel anywhere, so I had loads of time to work on different projects. One was the afore-mentioned 4th secret, and one was a little extra for my eBook: a cowl out of decadent cashmere sock yarn from Artyarns.
When I returned, it was three days until Mr. Romi left on a business trip through the next (swim meet) weekend (by now we're up to the week before Mother's Day). I was still working on some wholesale pin orders and the secret project, while trying to keep everything else going in preparation for Mr. Romi's business trip, and working through Alcyone for the second time.
Around this time, silver prices went up to an all time high of $50/ounce. I had been expecting prices to go down, and so had been absorbing the extra material cost (my sterling pin prices were set when silver was $18 an ounce). It was obvious I couldn't do that any longer and still feed the kids. So, with a weekend approaching, and no fast site fix (I needed to update the database and my site both to change silver prices), I was forced to take my jewelry site down for maintenance, thinking I could get it back up after the weekend swim meet. Um. Not.
That weekend, I put everything work related away, except for some work on the Alcyone pattern in spare moments. We were up at 4:45 a.m. both days to get there in time to set up and warm up in the pool. We got a smaller pop-up so that I could actually put it up with the help of the boys. (Mr. Romi is much taller than I, and the big pop-up tent was too much!) I love the checked top. :)
It was a very very windy weekend. This is the timing tent. Luckily it blew in after the last race when no one was in the pool! If you look closely, you will see buckets attached to the poles. They were full of water to weight the tent down. Heh.
The meet was super fun, but left me utterly exhausted. Sunday evening I went to bed early and slept late the next morning. And I slept ten hours a night for about two more nights, actually going to bed before midnight or one in the morning. This is unheard of!
Mr. Romi returned Monday and was immediately back to work catching up, and with promises to pamper me for two weekends for the missed Mother's Day. (I thought that was a great deal). :) Alcyone was fixed and in testing, and I breathed a little sigh of relief.
Meanwhile, the yearly swim team fund raising swim-a-thon event took place.
Here's a happy Bear, who swam the full 200 laps for the first time!
Onward! Life and the secret project knitting continued, it started raining, and I came down with the world's worst head cold. Bleh.
But now? The sun is out, the secret project finally dried and sent out (amazing what 3 hours in the sun will do for drying that 20 hours inside will not), and I am finishing up the pattern, getting my site back up, getting ready to release some half year club memberships (tomorrow, May 20th at 9 a.m. PST!), doing a final edit on Alcyone, and getting the last two extra patterns ready for the eBook. Other stuff is happening, too, but more about that later. (Hint: another subscription is part of it!)
I know I've omitted quite a bit, but really? If you have read this far, you deserve a cup of tea and some chocolate for your patience. So...more later!