Search This Blog

Monday, January 26, 2015

Please Don't Yell...

I doubt there's any readers still around to yell with such a long break between posts. But I do come bearing gifts! Yay!

What kind of gifts? First, lots and lots of pictures. I promise. Did I mention for Christmas I got a new camera? I have taken it out and played with it a few times.

It's funny how different a new camera can be from the old one of the same make and slightly different model, isn't it? I have got a lot of playing to do but it's so nice to have a camera that focus's again!

Well, sorta... Okay, so maybe there's a learning curve here.

As you can see, we got snow! Not much, but snow it is.

Most of it is gone already from our couple of warm days this last week, but there's supposedly more on the way, so fingers crossed. Still, not enough to get the skis out in the park, but I have high hopes.

Ever wonder what dog hair is good for? Especially long shaggy coats?

As it turns out, it's nice for snapping pictures of snowflakes.

Who knew?

Tucker helped me out the other day as we were coming in from a walk. His coat was already cold so the flakes didn't melt as they hit him and I snapped a few with my phone.

Then I had to get busy making The Guy his dinner.

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie!

Sorry, no recipe for this yet. I once again added a bit too much celery seed to my mix so I need to tinker with this one before sharing it, but I will. I promise.

Speaking of recipes to tinker share... Find this one here at the Brown Eyed Baker. She's wonderful. they take a bit of time so either get up REALLY early like I did, or make them up before hand and pop them in the fridge.

With all the new snowfall and then sunny days, we've seen the Michigan wildlife, or proof of their existence around the house. I found these tracks looking like they were hunting up squirrels in our pine trees along the drive. Lets pray it's not skunk...

And speaking of squirrels. We have a silly one I've seen doing a lap of our back yard a few times. He runs in here from the West, across the deck, over the wood pile, to the east fence line, through it an up the far side to the north. I guess it's his daily territory boundary run. He's always fast and on the move when I see him doing it, but I've seen him run it several times always in the same manner and direction. The Guy thinks he's using the fence as cover from swooping birds of prey, which he may very well be. Makes sense to me limiting the way then can attack from either straight down or in from two sides instead of four.

And then there's the birds... Caught this Red Bellied Woodpecker at the suet the other day. Ran up to get the camera when I saw him and the Downey Woodpecker on the feeder together but missed my chance at the smaller one never came back.

Then there's the numerous Tufted Titmice. Let's face it, that's just fun to say...

I think these are Dark-Eyed Junco's. See them from time to time, though not daily and I need to look them up.

Also, one of our many resident nut hatches. These guys are warming up to our presence though still quite shy when we move about or make much noise.

I finally got a good picture of one of these guys!

I've been trying to get a jay as long as I've been working on getting a cardinal picture. At last, there were no cardinals at the feeders on the day I got these, but I have high hopes with the new camera I can get a shot of them finally.

And what else have I been doing in my absence? Well, there's been a bit of knitting. Okay, a lot of knitting, it is the cold months after all, no?

I shared a peek at this item before I believe the last time I posted. Lets not discuss how long ago that was, shall we?

I saw a woman wearing a similar scarf that just kind of sang to me. She thought she bought it somplace like Marshal's or TJ Max. I came home and I looked through some things to see if I could find a pattern for such a thing. I found a lot of things similar, but not quite what I wanted.

The one item I found' was a bit pricey for the pattern and I thought, "screw it, you're going to change the pattern to suit your needs anyway, so you might as well just make your own up."

So I did. 

And I actually wrote it down! To share!

Holy Smokes Batman! I am not charging for this, because, well I'm not a designer. There are probably issues, so feel free to share them with me. As you notice, there's no picture of this piece actually being worn. Betsy, congratulations, it's yours and I'll be mailing it soon, but I need someone to model it, just for one shot. I'd be willing to do some face editing... Just saying. Why is it Betsy's? Because from the point of casting it on, the pattern and the yarn screamed her name to me. Don't be jealous.

So, where can you get this? Here, of course! It's in PDF format so hopefully it's usable on all kinds of devices. I even hope to throw it up on Ravelry soon too.

Oh, I also have something else. What else? Another pattern...

This pic isn't on the pattern, I just liked the sun effect that was present in it and saved it for the blog.
I know! I went kind of crazy lately, feeling a little stuck I guess so the creative mental diarrhea started up... Luckily for everyone else, I wrote it down.

I've been needing a more neutral hat to go with all my jackets. And this is what I came up with. Who needs a pattern for a hat?!? A lot of people I guess because people always ask me for them when I throw one together.

This is just a nice simple masculine hat with a simple wedge stitch pattern and a gradient color change. Most guys I hope wouldn't balk at wearing such a hat. If they do, then they don't deserve little piece of hand knit love. Screw's.

And who get's this one? Me! Sorry guys, this was an item that was all about me. See how I play? But you can go here and knit yourself or that fella in your life one too...

Again, it's in a pdf format and I hope to add it to Ravelry later.

All right, that's enough and I'm getting hungry. Talk to you all later! Promise I'll try harder in February.

Oh no, almost forgot!

I've been spinning a bit too! I needed something a little summery with how brown it was all looking as our snow melted. It's a beautiful Super Fine Merino/Silk/Bamboo 50%/25%/25% mix that almost looks like it was colored with crayons.


  1. LOVE those photos! Thanks for sharing!

  2. The pictures are fantastic. Yummy looking supper, too.
    Ron in Mexico

  3. Once again, beautiful pictures! Miss you and yours! Cindy

  4. was admiring the photography with the new camera..congrats!! then i was admiring the scarf...:-) now i'm beaming. was out watching northern lights last night in -18 temps til 3:30 am!! thank's beautiful!!

  5. Well, you have at least one brand new reader here. Thank you for the patterns! And the lovely look at the wildlife in your neck of he woods. Here in Dublin, all is grey, grey, grey. Knitting Water Dragons in a flamboyant colour might be just the remedy for the late-winter blues.

  6. You need to bring your camera up here....I have a Pileated Woodpecker at my feeder daily! Nice to see you blogging again.

  7. Thanks for the patterns; I am going to make that scarf!

  8. A delightful post, indeed! I've been missing hearing from you. Betsy is a lucky lady because that scarf is absolutely beautiful!

  9. Wow, it is super not cool to knock off a designer's pattern and put it out yourself for free. Designers put a lot of work into coming up with the concept (and actually editing and testing their versions). Most of them have a tough enough time staying afloat. It's totally fine to reverse engineer something for yourself if you don't want to buy the pattern, but encouraging other people not to buy

    1. Considering the item that originally caught my eye was purchased at a box store and that the closest pattern to said item were not the same piece of work, no, no I didn't knock off their work. Neither did I buy someone else's pattern and re-write it as my own. I took what I remembered from the piece that the stranger was wearing and my own needles and yarn several days later and figured out how to do something similar but reflected more of what I wanted. That is my work. If that offends you, don't look at the pattern, don't knit said pattern. And definitely, don't pay me for it. Oh wait, I didn't ask a $12.00 price for a PDF download pattern that may or may not fit what your thinking of, just resemble an item that caught your imagination. Nor did I state what patterns I perused or once tell anyone not to purchase any of them and instead use mine. Thank you for stopping by and reading this blog, the hit in the web traffic is greatly appreciated "Anonymous Jen".

    2. Let's say you spent a lot of time learning a skill - like flying a plane.

      You spent hours, money, heartache, but you did it. You got really good while putting in even more hours. Really really good, to the point where you got certified and started teaching other people to fly.
      And you're good at it.
      Good enough to quit your day job.
      Good enough to charge what you're lessons are actually worth—based on your time, skill, and importantly, your attention to detail.
      You have testimonials, a sales record—you're a professional.

      Not long after that, someone else in your area who has the same basic background (he took flying lessons), machinery, but not quite as much skill—and you *know* he doesn't go through safety checks as thoroughly as you—well, he starts giving flying lessons away.
      Annoying, sure, but one lesson or two isn't going to kill your living.

      At first it's no biggie. This dude tells his friends and a couple of people take the free lessons—who doesn't like free stuff!? Sweet! But then they tell their friends and this guy posts his free lessons in the paper. Then on Craig's List. Then on his blog.

      And now you're starting to notice that a bite is being taken out of your livelihood.

      But when you talk to him he gets defensive. He's not doing anything *wrong*. It's not like he's teaching *exactly* the same way you do. he just teaches the way he remembered learning. It's not like *he's* asking for money—and certainly not as much as you're charging for *your* lessons.

      At least he hasn't told anyone where he took his lessons. Phew!

      (I'm not trying to post anonymously, but the system is making it look that way. Apologies.)

    3. First, drop the pretense. Lets talk about the skill in question. Knitting and designing ones own piece. Now, I'm going to make an assumption, you did all that heartache and hard work and have now quit your day job? Way to go. Where do we go to look at your work, so I can judge whether you have in fact the same skill level that you are assuming I have? Okay, now that I got the personal slight off my chest that I felt you dealt me, I do sometimes teach this skill. I'm quite good at teaching though I don't care to. When I do; however, I do charge for my time, my experience, and my said skill level. Just as I assume you do. Though, I would truly love to know where your work is, I would like to peruse it for possible purchase or let people know of it. I have been known to push and advertise other peoples skill and goods here.

    4. Now, let's talk apples to apples. What I designed was inspired by a store bought piece that has NO AVAILABLE pattern for knitters. Let's say since we don't for sure where the lady bought it, it was bought at Target. The people who see this lovely item at Target, are probably not going got be tempted to knit their own, so any dent I create in the sales of said item will be negligible in deed. Therefor I doubt I will harm the designers livelihood in any measurable manner.

      As I re-read this comment of yours, I feel that there is an underlying issue. Does my designing and not chariging for said design work somehow demean your work? I think not. Now, should I have bought your pattern, reworded it and put it out as my own with my own name on it, oh yes, I think so. But that is not what I did. As a designer, can you say the basic concept for everyone of your pieces that you now charge for, is completely original? You have nothing that took inspiration from something you saw somewhere out and about in the body of your work? Because, how I read your comment, if you in fact have taken inspiration from other items, you damaging other designers livelihoods.

    5. If what you are in fact saying, is that by myself (a lowly knitter who has made a point of working through issues, teaching myself new skills, and making ancient techniques work for me in both my pattern guided knitting and my own design work) sharing a pattern I wrote that was inspired by something with no commercially available pattern for said craft work is damaging your livelihood (that you have gone through great time and money to make sure is a better earned background than my own - regardless you don't personally know my own skill level), then we better let know. Because by what I can tell, they have 15,000+ hits to your livelihood in just their pattern library for should you search free scarf patterns.

      Now, let us discuss the patterns I did find when I tried to find something that I could substitute with. I never downloaded any because they either weren't the right shape, fit, or dimensions. They were not what I had in mind. The one that was close, was $12.00 for a single pattern. Excuse me but the original knit scarf at target was probably 12.00. If this was your work, it still wasn't what I wanted, but more to the point you're not using your well earned education to market yourself or your goods well enough to cut it as a designer at those prices, and that isn't my fault either. You took yourself out of the competition at that price. Well, the competition at that level, but you have all that learning under your belt. I suggest you up your game and hit these little boutiques and high end knit shops that have a clientele that can afford those prices. Then we aren't competing at all and your livelihood is intact.

    6. It was my choice not to charge for that pattern because I don't have a posse of test knitters to assure there are no errors before releasing. Now, by what I can tell, there are at least 15 finished scarves that used my patterns directions. I was notified of errors and corrected them. I guess, at this point I could consider it tested and charge for the pattern. I still won't because I don't see myself as a designer. I see myself as a knitter who can do my own design work and I like to share my work as it's my right to do so. Speaking as a knitter that has bought patterns that were supposedly tested before release, and having found many a mistake and had designers rudely respond if respond at all to comments, I don't think have a batch of test knitters at my back makes me a designer. So forgive me if I think its appropriate for any knitter to balk at the price that was being asked, especially since it wasn't exactly what I wanted.

      I would like to know, do you consider myself copying someone else work because there are other "winged" scarves? We better let all those people who wrote their own pattern for a plain newborn hat know this. They must go to Debbie Bliss and buy one of her patterns for she wrote that down first! We cannot have similar items out there, especially when they hurt your livelihood. The job you created for yourself out of your own hard won education and skill!

    7. What I think this is boiling down to is that we can't see eye to eye on this. You are going to choose to be offended that I would write said pattern, much less share it with others. I'm going to choose to not be swayed by your argument because it doesn't make sense to me. Mainly because you chose to try make a silly analogy, and I fail to see how my pattern hurts you if you actually took your education to heart and are creating awesome patterns, marketing them appropriately, pricing reasonably, and backing up your pattern with your skill as a teacher. Me putting my pattern out on my blog for those that choose to do it shouldn't hurt your livelihood one bit. However, I think it's an easy place to point a finger at should you not be able to use that so said skill and education to cull out your piece of the market. Or, I can be completely off the mark. Either way, I'm now choosing to enjoy the rest of my weekend and not think any more on this conversation.

      And no, the system is requiring you to add information to no appear to be anonymous. You're choosing to not to add/share such information, or not to have such information available. So, you're still Anonymous Heather. Thanks for stopping in.