Month in the Life of @frogginette: Day 1: Workspace

This month I’m taking part in Create and Thrive’s Instagram challenge (#ctmonthinthelife).

The idea is to provide a sneak peek inside the lives of “creative types” by posting a photo a day on Instagram. Each day will have a different theme (the list of themes is listed above).

Today’s theme is Workspace, and this is the photo I posted:

The nice thing about doing knitwear design is that it’s a very portable thing, as long as you have a laptop, your knitting and something to scribble on, you can do this anywhere, anytime basically.

More often and not, this is how I do work: on a corner of the couch, trying to eat lunch while writing up a pattern, answering emails, posting in Ravelry or doing some knitting. I try to take advantage of my kids’ nap time, though my eldest doesn’t really nap anymore, so if he decides to get up and come hang out with me, I just knit or do some easy stuff on the computer. In general I keep activities requiring concentration (i.e. grading, making charts etc) for the early morning or after the kids’ bedtime.

In a perfect world I’d have my own little studio space, or even just a few consecutive hours every day to get things accomplished. One day maybe…

Hand-knit-downs

The other day I was sorting through baby clothes (this is a big part of my life nowadays!) and I came across this lovely little cardigan that I had painstakingly made for A while I was pregnant with him. Here’s a photo of him at 4 months wearing it:

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Baby A

It’s a pattern called “Korrigan” by a fantastically talented French designer (her line of yarns is also gorgeous). I remember that, even in a 6-month size, it seemed to take forever using fingering weight yarn (I used madelinetosh merino light in the Candlewick colorway).

I was really proud of the result, it looked really precious and beautiful, and had that special heirloom quality.

Z now wears this little cardi often, and seeing her in it brings back so many memories of her brother as a tiny baby. I love that these sweet hand-knits that I poured a lot of love into are being worn by my second baby as well :)

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Baby Z

A look back on 2013

After feeling for a long time that I should just give a final send-off to this old blog, I’m realizing that I still get a lot of visits (hey, I’ve been around for 6 YEARS, which is pretty unbelievable). It’s also nice to have a record of what I’ve made and where I’ve been. I’ve lived in 4 different states/countries since starting the blog!

I’ve also been inspired to start blogging again by Lauren and Rae, who are both very cool and driven ladies (not that I know them IRL, but I feel like I do! You know how that goes). They also have managed to get their ducks in a row with 2 young children at home, so I feel like I should get more organized and give this a try. Here’s a good resolution for 2014! More blogging, more regularly.

Rae just had a great Top 5 for 2013 post, and boy, she’s been busy! Things haven’t been exactly quiet around here either, but since I haven’t documented much of the behind-the-scenes stuff, I though this post would be a good way to catch you up!

#1 Thing That Happened in 2013:

I had a second child! She is my little knitting assistant from the previous post. She was born in late September after a pretty exhausting but uneventful pregnancy and a lightning-quick labor — although she was technically born inside the hospital, I didn’t make it to the delivery room, ha!

little _zora

I have to admit that I am still a little traumatized by my new mom-of-two rhythm (or should I say total chaos) but I vow to do all I can to get it somewhat under control.

#2 Thing That Happened in 2013:

I’m more than a little bit proud to say that the money I earn from my knitting pattern sales can now be considered an actual income, and things really took off in 2013 for me, with a few patterns that became “hits” and a serious increase in sales overall. My Entrechat, Latte Baby Coat and Tiered Baby Coat patterns have been especially popular.

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I no longer feel a bit embarrassed/stumped for an answer when people ask me what I do besides take care of my kids (which is of course a very respectable and busy-making occupation in and of itself).

It’s so rewarding to make real money from something you absolutely love and I’m so grateful for every person who supports this little enterprise by buying my patterns.

#3 Thing That Happened in 2013:

I started treating my knitting pattern business like an actual business. Much progress could still be done here, but I’ve started doing things I had previously neglected:

- I’ve started selling my patterns in places other than Ravelry, I now have an Etsy and Craftsy stores and this has been a great experience for me so far. Craftsy especially has worked out great.

-I’ve started paying more attention to social media to get more connected to my customers and people who appreciate my patterns in general. So I now have a Facebook page, a Pinterest and an Instagram. I don’t think I’ll do the Twitter thing for now though, but I will definitely emphasize blogging more.

- I’ve gotten a couple of my patterns professionally translated, to test the waters, and it has been a positive thing, so I think I will get a few more translated at least in French over the course of the next few months.

-I’ve started thinking of knitting-related purchases as business expenses, and I’m so happy I don’t have a nagging sense of guilt when I buy yarn anymore :)

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Lovely lovely yarn

#4 Thing That Happened in 2013:

I now put a lot more thinking into which designs I publish. I have notebooks full of ideas and it would be nice to have the time to turn a lot of them into patterns. But the truth is that I still have precious few hours every week to devote to knitting and pattern writing, so I have to be ruthless. I have a few strict conditions that a design has to satisfy in order to be selected, but this will be the subject of another blog post :)

What about you? What is your roundup for 2013?

A new knitting assistant

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Hello everybody, miss me? Here’s little miss Z, who explains in part why keeping the blog up to date has been a challenge of late. 

As you can see she is already very fond of yarn, just like her mommy! As we say in French, “ça promet!”

If she lets me, I will catch you up this week on what I’ve been up to. But right now someone is grumbling a lot, so, I bid you farewell for now.

Coming home outfit

So… I had mentioned that I needed to get you all caught up on what’s happening in my neck of the woods. This should partly explain my long silence, too!

As you’ve probably guessed from the title of this post, we are expecting Baby #2, a baby girl!! She should arrive sometime in September. I’ve already knit a few things, including this little outfit:

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The crossover cardigan is an improvisation, it turned out quite small, a true newborn size. I’m happy with the contrasting i-cord edging, that was fun to do and gives it a nice “finished” look I think. I also had the perfect tiny vintage buttons for this project.

For the pants, I meant to follow the Balloon Baby Pants pattern but ended up skipping the increases (didn’t want them too “balloon-ey” after all!) and I also did the crotch differently (didn’t understand the directions). I think they turned out way cute, a bit clown-like, but in a good way :)

As far as the hat, it’s the ubiquitous Aviatrix, which is such a fun and quick little project, especially using the German Short Rows method, which I recommend you google immediately! I did a simple i-cord for the tie instead of the strap and button, because the strap wasn’t the most practical when I made this for Axel, so I always ended up leaving it hanging.

So there you have it, more baby stuff, specifically girl stuff in the pipeline! By the way, any baby name ideas?? Needs to work both in English and French (similar pronunciation if possible)

Bonne Fête des Mères!

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J’adore cette photo. L’air sévère/amusé de ma mère et moi, cachant le BN et tentant de l’amadouer avec un petit sourire espiègle… C’était en Afrique, où j’ai passé une bonne partie de mon enfance.

Bonne fête Maman!

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In France, today is Mother’s Day! So I unearthed an old pic of my mom and me… Love it. Her face is trying to convey parental disapproval but you can see that she really feels like cracking up… And me, trying to hide the cookie while giving her a mischievious (and hopefully charming) smile. This was in Africa, where I spend most of my childhood.

Happy Mother’s Day!