Friday, July 30, 2010

I've Finally Done It

After years of planning and writing patterns down and then chickening out, I've finally put up a group of patterns for sale on the internet. Anyone can now knit or crochet a recycled t-shirt rug just like the ones I sell on Etsy and use in my home. You can buy one through the Etsy link in the left side bar, or through Ravelry by clicking this button: Why all the hesitation and procrastination? Well, I hate selling stuff. I still remember everyone who yelled at me when I worked retail, and that was selling stuff whose workmanship or undiscovered mistakes were not my responsibility. Now I'm putting stuff out there that I made. I am now directly responsible to the buyer. The biggest thing that gives me pause about all of this is that I know that some women can be really nasty, especially about buying things and especially about a perceived slight. There are women out there who will try to take down a dyer's entire business because they bought 2 different hand dyed rovings and felt they weren't a close enough match. I don't need that. I'm not sure what's wrong with us as a gender. It seems like a man who felt he hadn't gotten what he paid for would yell once, or punch once, or (in the case of the internet) post one angry comment, and then forget about it and go on with his life. Whereas a woman who feels cheated, at least one of the nastier ones, can spend weeks, months, or years stewing in that emotion and actively working to take down someone's entire business or even their life.
This idea isn't new to me. Look at all the stories of teenage girls whose boyfriend was "stolen." Read "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. No really, go read it. It's a great book. I'll wait here.

* * * * *

That one shows that it's especially bad to cross a rich white southern woman with nothing else to do.

So how did I finally overcome all this adversity and post the damn pattern? Well, I've now sold 8 handmade items on etsy and no one has demanded a refund. Over 30 people have knit the 2 free patterns I posted here on the blog and linked to from Ravelry. A few have asked me questions and all seemed to be able to finish successfully with the answers. One found a mistake in the
pattern and pointed it out in the nicest way possible. No one died. No one even yelled at me. I hate being yelled at by strangers.

So I've taken the plunge. Four people have already marked the pattern as a favorite on Ravelry and 5 have viewed it on Etsy. We'll see if anyone buys.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I work with my hands. My work is delicate, requires great precision, and is often repetitive. Sometimes I spend all of a 12 hour day standing at my cutting table (well, all but lunch, dinner, and breaks). I have known other costume technicians who have gotten repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel or series back problems. I've always made an effort to pay attention to my posture when I work, to switch hands when I can, and to change tasks as much as possible throughout the day because I dread these injuries and the possibility that a serious one could take me away frommy work forever.

So what injury has kept me from typing for 2 months, seriously curtailed my work for a month, and *gasp* kept me from knitting?

Sitting at a damn desk.

I thought sitting down for spells in between the standing to pattern, cut, and teach would only benefit. Little did I know that after 17 years of making costumes it would be managing a shop and spending time at my desk creating class materials, doing committee work, and sending and replying to emails that would finally injure me.

It took the whole summer and lots of careful stretching, but I am fine now. I can knit again, and garden, and type or mouse on my laptop.

Then I went into school yesterday to begin prep for the coming year, sat at my desk for maybe a half hour to make sure all my files had been transferred to my new computer, and replied to maybe 3 emails, and pain shot up my arm.

I won't go back again without the new office chair Chris got for me. The adjust-ability should help as I've been using a straight back wooden chair at my desk for the last 2 years. The desk does not seem to adjust heights so I need to focus on adjusting the chair.

If anyone out there knows something about office ergonomics and what position I should be in at a desk, please send me a link!