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What's going on over here?

Well, not a lot of knitting, that’s for sure!

But, it’s been on my mind.  And I do want to do another Challenge.  But before I do a challenge, I really, really need to get the Free patterns/KALs squared away for the next several months.  I think I will not start the Challenge until at least February.  Things have been a bit crazier than usual around here and I remember how demanding the last Challenge was.  I certainly cannot take that on if I’m not completely ready to focus on it!  First, I need to focus on the regular stuff like Free Patterns!!

That’s where I need some help.  I have a nice idea to add a pattern for December (I know it will be late, but better late than never) and I need some ideas for the next few months.  I like to have my Free patterns try to keep with a monthly theme.  For example I’ve been trying to think of something for January that will be sort of Wintery that I haven’t done already, but between my boys being sick and the bad weather knocking my head down every few days I haven’t felt very creative.  Any ideas?

Leave me some comments and help me come up with some ideas for the year for free patterns. I always feel like I’m playing ‘catch up’ with them and would love to get them planned and out of the way before I try to do anything else.  February will also be tricky because I have tons of heart related patterns and I’ve already tried unsuccessfully to do a groundhog.  I’m running out of ideas to keep the patterns to a monthly theme.  They may just have to start being random pictures which I suppose will be fine, but a bit….random!

In other chatty news, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season.  I had a great knitting related Christmas.  Between my hubby and my mother I am now outfitted with some very cool new needles and gadgets and lots and lots of miscellaneous knitting notions.

My hubby got me the Harmony interchangeable needle set from Knitpicks that I’ve been drooling over for a while.  i can’t wait to try them out.  I actually haven’t done any knitting since Christmas!  My mom got me a ball winder and a scale.  I spent an entire afternoon winding up all the half knit balls of yarn I could find and weighing them.  I found 39 half balls of dishcloth yarn that had knit one dishcloth out of and then left lying around at the bottom of my knitting basket.  I rewound them all and refastened the label so everything is nice and neat.  I’ll be able to get another dishcloth out of each one of those, so I’m all set for a while.  Plus all the new balls of dishcloth yarn that I keep buying because I’m never sure of what I have.  Because I use small needles (size 5 or 6) and because my cloths are on the smaller side (cast on 37 stitches) I can very easily get two cloths out of each regular 2.5 oz ball. 

Did anyone else get cool knitting stuff over the holidays? 

I’ll post again in a few days about my progress with planning for the KALs/Free Patterns for the next few months.

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This has been one awful and crazy month for me.

We’ve had round after round of illness over here at my house.  Between bronchitis and pneumonia, the kids and I kept getting knocked down.  My two year old got pneumonia so bad around Thanksgiving he was in the hospital for almost a week.  But we are all finally on the upswing and healthy, just in time for Christmas.

I’ve also been working hard for the last month (when I’ve been feeling well enough) to redo a lot of “behind the scenes” stuff on the main part of the Designs by Emily website.  I’ve not been very happy with the download software that I purchased in the spring.  It always worked ‘ok’ but never ‘great’.  I wanted something to work GREAT!  I had decided to switch over to a shopping cart format.  And I wanted visitors to the site really not to notice too much difference if at all possible.

Finally after about two weeks of frustration of trying to do it on my own, I found a great shopping cart software that I purchased for a very reasonable price, and I’ve spent the last couple of weeks customizing it and setting it up.  I think it looks great.  The only two differences are that I had to move the menu over to the right side and the layout of the patterns.  But other than that, the site looks basically the same.  Purchases are still through PayPal and downloading the patterns are much, much easier.  I’m very happy.

That’s what I’ve been up to instead of knitting.  But now I can get back to it all.  I have a great free pattern that I want to put out for Christmas.  And I have to think of something for the December KAL.  I am going to delay that by a few days because starting a KAL on Christmas Eve really doesn’t make much sense.  And I know that I do still owe all my cheerleaders their participation patterns from the big Challenge.  I’m just so far behind on things!!  I will get caught up!

And I just thought of something…January is fast approaching.  Didn’t I say something about starting another Challenge in January?  Oh boy!  I better start thinking about that too! LOL  Stay tuned for details on the January Challenge.  That will be here before I know it (and before I’m ready)!

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The Weekly Winner…

I’ve drawn out the name of our lucky winner for week three!  I could draw out the suspense by writing about some new cloth that I’m working on, except that I’ve barely been knitting for the last couple of days.  I’ve been working on the same cloth for this whole time.  I really just needed to take a break.

So, without any delay…… week three’s winner is…… Helen Ensor!!!!!!!  Congratulations Helen!  I’ll be emailing you all the patterns from this week in a little while.  Thank you to everyone who cheered me on these past three weeks.  This challenge has been a lot of fun and has motivated me to add so many new patterns to the website.  I’m looking forward to running this challenge again in a couple of months, although I think I will have to modify the rules slightly to say something like 5 patterns in 7 days, or something like that.

I also drew out the 5 names for the end of the challenge winners.  Since the challenge lasted 3 weeks the 5 winners will each win 6 patterns of their choice picked from any of the patterns on my entire website.  The lucky winners are:  Debby C., Lynne, Laurie, Cheryl, and Pat! Congratulations to all five winners!  I’ll be emailing you about choosing your patterns. Pat cheered me on almost every day and also won the first weekly challenge.  Several of you cheered me on each day and I appreciate it so much.  I’m working on a couple of patterns for all of my cheerleaders — a couple of celebration themed patterns.  I was going to do a cheerleader pattern but I figured that not everyone has a reason to knit a cheerleader cloth.  The ones that I’m working on I hope will come in handy for you.  I’ll still need some time to get them ready though.

I think that’s all the news in closing out the Challenge.  I hope you all will still check in on the blog from time to time.  I’ll still be posting (although maybe not every day) about my knitting and projects that I’m working on.  I also do several other crafts that I may sneak in every so often.  You never know what you might find here!

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I give up…

I’m sorry to announce this, but I’m giving up the challenge.  I really enjoyed this challenge and it got me knitting and designing and thinking about dishcloths every day.  But on the other hand, I’ve been knitting and designing and thinking about dishcloths every day for not only the last three weeks, but also the two weeks or so before the challenge.  I’m a little worn out on dishcloths.  Also, I wasn’t excited any more to design new cloths.  It was getting to be a chore and I do this because it’s fun and I love doing it.  It’s time to stop.

On the upside, that means I have some drawings to do and some prizes to give away!!  I’ll be organizing all that tomorrow.  Since I lasted three weeks, I’ll be giving away 6 patterns (of their choice) to 5 lucky winners.  I also promised a free pattern to everyone who cheered me along on this challenge.  I’ve already been thinking about what would be a good design for that and I have a couple of ideas sketched out.

This challenge was a lot of fun and I’m already thinking that I’m going to do it again after the holidays.  Mid-January might be a good time to start.  I’ll have had enough time to recover from all the Christmas craziness, and I’ll need something to keep me going so I don’t slide into a winter slump.

Now that I’m in the habit of blogging, I’ll be blogging a little more often than I was in the past.  I’ve got a few new things that I’m going to be working on.  One that I started today, I’m super excited about and I can see that it could possibly lead to a great new addition to the website.  I don’t want to give away too much before it’s ready, but let’s say it’s a little larger than a dishcloth. 

The other idea I’ve been working on since this summer I’m also very excited about, is something completely unique.  I’ve spent many hours searching high and low all over the internet for patterns for this and I can’t find one.  So I’m staying completely quiet until I get more of it finished.  I’m really hoping that people will like this pattern because it is different.  Although it defininely will appeal only to a certain group of people.  Now if that isn’t vague enough to confuse the heck out of you, then I don’t know what!