Friday, April 7, 2017

It Ain't Over Til......

I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there was not going to be a finished object for Friday this week.

It is not easy to get in enough knitting time to finish 207 row, top down triangle shawls, with beads and nupps, or beaded nupps.  Or doodling around with some ever so pretty blue yarn that will either be true love or "go down in flames", or miles of garter stitch collar on adult size sweaters that only get touched on the weekends.

Knowing this, I gave some thought about what I could post about today and came up with a plan.

And...in the words of Mary - muffed it!

So instead of a nice photo explanation of leading vs lagging stitches and front vs back loops, along with a nice question about What's your style of knitting, you will get to hear about my week! (Yeah, my kids rolled their eyes too!)

This week marked the first week of the second quarter of the year.  Which means, among other things, that it was time to take a look at the goals I set myself and tally up what were wins, what were opportunities, and which goals didn't even make any sense.  Anyone who has ever sat in on a goal setting workshop, or been coached knows that many people look at goals and ask are they SMART?  It is a fairly standard acronym, but I gave you a link just in case you hadn't heard it before.

At various points in my life the SMART goal has been modified to include SMART + 3 or SMART-ER goals which includes in each case some "scope of authority" and "evaluating progress".  I like the Evaluating Progress step so I always include it, along with streamlining like goals into each other once the task steps are completed, but the step that most frequently I see people missing is Tweaking the goals when they no longer make sense.

Looking back at the goals I set myself in January, I need to do some streamlining and tweaking.

One of the goals I am going to be adding is becoming proficient at using a program called Stitch Mastery.

Growing up, I was always made to feel that I was the 75 watt bulb in the package of 100 watt bulbs and not particularly adept at doing anything.  But, I will tell you, I can ROCK an Excel Spreadsheet for charting knitting patterns.  (Most of my designing starts with a blank spread sheet and turns into all kinds of beautiful things.) But, the one thing I could not get excel to do was produce accurate written, or line by line, instructions for complicated charts. I could get it to do easy stuff, but even that needed some serious editing in a word doc to be understandable.

Stitch Mastery will create the line by line from the chart  you enter....so when my earnings from pattern sales hit a certain point, and my tax refund came in, I decided that maybe it was time to switch how I did things and I bought the program. (Ok yes it wasn't that simple, I researched several different options, but as this one had the most favorable reviews from other designers and is the one used by several places I submit patterns to it made the most sense to purchase it and get used to it.)

First thing I tried charting...EPIC fail, straight back to Excel I went.  being able to merge and center cells when a two stitches were being used for a single action but still maintained their dual nature was so much easier in excel. (I still haven't quite figured it out in SM.) So I did what any 75 watt bulb in a 100 watt package would do, set it aside until today. 

Today I actually took an Excel chart and translated it into SM, several actually, and although I now have several open questions in the SM forum on Ravelry, I might be ready to start using it for some of my charting needs.

That said, I still think that I will start in Excel and then translate, because the only way to shut Minnie Mouse (the name now given to the muse of knitting designers) up is to go ahead and chart it quickly.

The rest of my goals?  Well, as I think I am more than hitting everything, it is time to up the ante.

It's funny how my life has a way of working out, upping the ante was literally delivered into my email box just a couple of days ago.  A new challenge, a learning curve....I can't wait to share it with you!

How did you do first quarter?  Did you have knitting goals?  Do you have designing goals?  Leave me a comment and let me know I am not alone here!

~M





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