Monday, January 23, 2012

Midwest Yarn is Almost Here!

The hard work is just beginning, but I'm happy to report that Midwest Yarn, a Cherished Moments company, has filed its paperwork to establish it as a business!  To the right, you'll see the logo I designed, with the help of Vistaprint.

I'm building the website and meet with my first yarn sales rep in a week. The best part is that I am completely overwhelmed with excitement.  I also wrote a lot of the business plan tonight which is a combination of all the notes I've made for myself over the past several months.  I have not decided on a deadline for launch of the website, but I'm aiming for March 1st. 

Even with that deadline so close, I'm still optimistic that I can continue to design patterns, knit, and maintain the Cherished Moments website and site in the process.  I'm pretty efficient when it comes to running a business, that's why I am able to keep those things in my life and not get burned out.  Once my website is launched, I'll also be working on setting up my husband's online vintage shop, also to be run as a Cherished Momens company.  You won't be able to access the shop's website yet, but I'll keep everyone posted as it becomes available.

My reboot is going well.  I am on Day 5 and have lost almost 5 pounds.  On Day 4, I did have a lot of problems with lightheadedness, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations.  While I do believe that it's because of the lack of sleep the night before (Peanut stayed up all night), I have decided to end the fast sooner than the 15-day deadline.  It's unhealthy to lose more than 2 pounds in a week and I definitely felt that yesterday.  The 5-day express program is more realistic for me, which means I'm done as of today.  I'll be repeating this program once every 3 months or so as suggested, just to maintain good weight and results.

With so much going on with the business start up, I don't want to make myself sick to the point that I cannot work.  Over the next few days, I'll be adding in nuts, legumes (beans), and whole wheats, slowly as to not make myself sick that way either.  I'll continue to juice and keep fruits and veggies as a main part of my diet, but I'm sure adding these things back in will slow down my weight loss.  My ideal weight is 125-135 and I'm already at 135!  Wish me luck!

Coming soon
Working on advertising for Midwest Yarn.  You may see ads on Ravelry and other places soon.  I'm also almost done with the test for pattern #2, so look for that on Ravelry as well!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Recipe for Change

Nope, no yarn or knitting updates today.  Today, I'm talking about this Reboot that I'm doing.  No, not rebooting the computer, my body (in a sense).  I recently watched the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead just for kicks on Netflix because I wasn't in the mood to watch much else.  Imagine that, a guy made himself healthy by changing his eating habits.  For 60 days he consumed nothing but juiced fruits and vegetables.  He called it a reboot.

Basically, it's like de-toxifying your system with weight loss as a side effect.  There are a select few who may gain weight from doing this too.  The website for this craze is  I'm currently working on the Reboot Standard Program:
  • 5 days whole fruits and vegetables and juicing
  • 5 days just juicing
  • 5 days whole fruits and vegetables and juicing
They don't recommend this before talking to your doctor and I recently just had a physical and bloodwork done.  No risk for diabetes or high cholesterol.  The recommendation on the website is that this particular program can be repeated once every three months if you need it (please, read the guidelines and FAQs if you attempt this).

Today is day one for me.  Weight: 140 (with clothes on).  It took an entire year of dieting and such to lose 35 pounds to get to today's weight.  Last year at this time, I weighed 175 pounds, 3 pounds more than I weighed the day I gave birth to Peanut!  I had put on an unhealthy amount of weight, was considered obese for my height, and my mental and physical health were questionable.  Slowly I lost the weight and can proudly say that I went from a size 14 to a size 8!

Now, I want to lose a few extra pounds and get back down to an ideal weight of 125-135 pounds.  Ideal because when I was anemic I weighed 100 pounds and when I was at the height of my ballroom dancing I weighed 130 pounds.  I seem to be the healthiest and most active right around my ideal weight.

I noticed today that I've been craving bread (my major weakness) and cookies.  What did I actually eat?  For breakfast I had a banana and some green tea.  For lunch, 16 oz of juice made from pears, cantaloupe, and carrots.  For a snack, another banana and some water.  Finally, for dinner I had a salad with balsamic vinegarette and fresh green beans sauteed in olive oil with garlic, sea salt, and pepper.  Excellent tasting food!

Some things to note can increase movements.  You may notice somewhat of a "withdrawal", which is typical of most diets.  You may have headaches or feel foggy.  I didn't notice any of that today, just the cravings.  We'll see how that goes.

I'll report on the diet again on day 1 of the juicing phase.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Doin' The Yarn Thing

Green layette set, featuring
a version of the
Garter Stripes Baby Cardigan

I am ecstatic to announce that my first pattern is available on  The "Garter Stripes Baby Cardigan" is available for $5 and also available to LYS shops on ravelry for purchase.  I had a lot of fun designing the yoked cardigan and even made a version of it as a layette set for my husband's boss (whose wife is due in February).

Green layette set
Hat, mitts, socks
I decided not to list the whole layette set so that I could be able to have some of my own "trade secrets" for posting on Etsy and taking to craft fairs.  I love how the layette set turned out, but I did have a dye lot problem.  When I initially bought the yarn, I did not make sure that it was all one dye lot.  I didn't notice until I was most of the way through the WHOLE SET.  I was not about to rip out a week's worth of knitting, but I have learned my lesson.  UGH!

Knitting Madness
Yes, I've been knitting (and working) like crazy for the last week and it absolutely paid off.  As mentioned before, I finished my first pattern.  I also finished the layette set.  While on my knitting breaks I made a lot of phone calls to yarn distributors, talked back and forth with some LYS owners, and worked on my business plan.  All that while attempting to keep Peanut entertained (he did have several temper tantrums, since we're apparently now at that stage).

With all this work, I came to the realization that I love designing, knitting, and getting feedback from other talented people out there.  My mother put it to me that I shouldn't sell myself short and proudly call myself a designer and a business owner...because I am!  So now, I'm working ten times harder to make this business a success.  The journey has its ups and downs, but I'm glad to put in 80 hours a week to be happy doing what I do and supporting my family in the process.  Stay tuned, you ain't seen nothin' yet!

Coming Soon
Believe it or not, this yarn business is going to get off the ground.  I'll be working on the business plan and setting up the website because I'll actually have inventory for sale online soon.  *happy dance*

I'm also working on testing another pattern.  More details soon.

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year, New Opportunities

When I found myself with nothing to do on New Year's Eve, I got to thinking about all the projects and ideas I'd been putting off.  I was learning new knitting techniques in order to write patterns for items that I wanted make, but never doing anything with them.  For some reason, I was inspired to change all that on New Year's Eve.  I sat down with my laptop, some measurements for different infant and toddler sizes and jumped into my first formal pattern writing process.

I designed a yoked baby cardigan.  I opted to make it striped to add texture to the product.  Several hours and recalculations later, I had a finished pattern available for me to test.  While knitting, I did realize that I didn't account for some simple things, like decreased stitches and such and did a re-write mid construction.  In the end I came up with the finished project shown at the right.

I initially botched some of the blocking, but it was easy to start over.  I then attached the buttons and it was done.  It is now listed on etsy for $35.

I will be selling the pattern on soon.  I'm working on making it a full outfit that includes a hat and pants (maybe shorts since spring is coming up).  I plan to have the pattern posted by the end of the month for somewhere around $7-$10.  I'm leaning toward the lower end since it is my first pattern to post to Ravelry.

I am making the full yoke cardigan set for my husband's boss, who's wife is due in February.  That will be in a spring green, tan, and off white with brown buttons.  It will include a hat and pants, all size 0-3 months in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.  It's so fun doing these designs and I hope to increase my pattern library quickly this year.

My parents have also wanted me to design them a Groundhog Day hat since they own a Bed and Breakfast that was filmed in the movie "Groundhog Day".  I came up with the idea to deconstruct the idea of the groundhog and make it more like a hat with pom-pom ears in wool that was the color of a groundhog.  Peanut modeled my mock up design.

Other news...
I posted before the end of the year about our sick fur baby, Baby Buddy.  Although he was not diagnosed with cancer, he took a turn for the worse shortly after the new year.  He wasn't able to digest food anymore, his growth had noticeably increased in size, and he lost more than 2 pounds in less than two weeks.  At the recommendation of our vet, who just like me could tell he was starting to go, we decided to end his suffering.  I'm sad to report that on January 7th, he passed away peacfully in my arms.  He was tremendously loved and will be missed terribly. 

Knitting Madness
I've been working on getting in contact with yarn sales reps in order to jump start the yarn shop.  But after a poignant conversation with my mother, I'm having second thoughts.  Will owning a yarn shop take away from my love of knitting?  Will I still have the opportunity to design as much as I want to?  Will the costs of owning the yarn shop outweigh the benefits?

These are some tough questions I will have to deal with as I get in touch with the yarn distributors.  Mainly because it will be a stretch to fund the start-up of the shop.  I don't want to have to take out any loans, but I don't want to blow my savings on something that won't pan out.  I'll be thinking about this more as I talk with other yarnies out there.  Please, let me know what you think, the uncertainty is killing me!

Coming soon
Spring designs.  Even though I have limited drawing ability, I've been working on some sketches.  Liking what I see so far.  :)