House Sick (yet..?)

More kvelling.

We’re getting finished with the details in the house – actually putting AWAY some of the stuff would be a nice gesture – and I have two mounds of work in front of me for the weekend. And a special shout-out to Marni for sending me a scan of the IK article – I hadn’t read it yet (oh, merciful heavens, I don’t look THAT fat, do I?) and it was SO nice to get a chance to peruse it! Issues to non-subscribers go out after the 8/8 release date

Here are the latest pics. Can I just say how much I LOVE Ikea for the continued excellent, simple decor choices in inexpensive but durable fabrics and materials? LOVE them! The blinds are $9.99 (on sale from $14) from Ikea, and the curtains are $14 for 2 panels (6 are used in the large window, 1 each for the smaller windows). The curtain rods are $5 and simple, simple, simple to put up.

I’ve also been haunting Home Depot for the spring curtain rods for the other rooms. I’m not the biggest curtain fan – I prefer simple shades – but when I do hang curtains quite often I like to just hang them within the window molding so that as much of the painted wood shows. These curtains are actually vintage embroidered dishtowels I found at a yard sale a few years ago and squirreled away. I don’t think they were every actually used (a bridal shower gift?) and they seem very happy to finally be seeing the world (or at least my freshly painted kitchen!)

Gerry’s room still needs blinds – we’ve removed the heavy, heavy, wooden valanced roll shades that had been up since 1956 (literally) and will replace them with something a little lighter. Oh, Ikea… I hear you calling my name… We weren’t going to paint his room, just have the trim and ceiling painted, but when we removed all of the stuff so the painters could have a go at the trim I noticed that the walls weren’t in as good shape as we thought. So the room was painted Green Tea to match our bedroom (it’s right off the master bedroom – a lovely sleeping porch for the un-airconditioned days of 1927 when the house was built!)

I’m not sure how I’m going to get through what I need to get through this weekend – the laser prints are coming in for Men Who Knit today (they were due yesterday, but didn’t show up and the tracking number my editor gave me doesn’t work at the UPS site. She swears they’ll be in today – and in the same email told me that I had to have them sent back to her on Saturday for a Monday delivery. Nothing like working all day on Saturday – I always do anyway, these days) I’m excited to see them.

I also have the first chapter of patterns from Romantic Knits to revise this weekend. THAT’S going to be a headache. My tech editor sent me notes and I have to turn them around and make corrections as soon as possible (the deadline on this book is insane). She also sent a very kind note suggesting that perhaps I’m doing too much. You think, Donna?

Sidebar: Donna is the author of the new and very wonderful book, Arctic Lace which I’ve had the pleasure of reading. We don’t 100% agree on methods of knitting, but that’s part of the fun and beauty of the knitting community! At any rate, it’s a wonderful book to check out!

I think about that a lot. I am doing QUITE a bit

It’s partly because I love it so much, and also, sadly, I have to admit that it’s partly because pay for designers is so terrible. We earn less than the stylists, photographers and models who show off our designs in the mags, yet our work is so much more highly detail-oriented and time consuming.

I am NOT a detail person – I never have been – although I try to be when it’s important. And, not being a detail person, I have to rely on detail-oriented folks (like my tech editor) to help me see the error of my many ways when I write a pattern. I can come up with the design concept, figure a way to make the garment drape interestingly, choose the right fiber, draft a schematic and even create a “muslin” or sample garment quite easily. It’s the putting all of this into instruction form for FIVE SIZES that gets me fuddled sometimes – and, understandably – this is the most important part to the average knitter.

I think I’m going to try to move toward a model that works better for me. I’ll try to divide the work of creating a design and writing a workable pattern for it up between myself and a detail oriented tech editor/writer who can take my notes and my initial pattern and make it more usable/workable. How I’ll do this on the slim budget we designers get for each pattern is a mystery (I already pay more than 50% of any design fee to the knitters I use to work up that design – just because I’m not compensated as well as I’d like is no reason to stiff the person doing the actual WORK!)

I don’t mean to sound whiney – and as I said before, I’m the luckiest person I know! But I wish that there were a more fair way to compensate designers (and knitters!), keeping their fees in line with the fees of the auxillary personnel who model and photograph the designs. I certainly don’t think they’re paid too much! And I also know that the editors I work with do their best to compensate the designers as well as they can within the established framework. But perhaps the framework has to be changed?

Maybe the answer is fewer designs in each issue? Who knows. I don’t have all of the financial facts in front of me, and it’s easy for me to sit and make broad, general statements about fees, etc. But my tech editors comment about the fact that I seem to be doing too much really made me stop and think about how much I AM doing, why I’m doing it, and what the actual compensation is per garment. Something to ponder.

Do you love how I start the post by gushing over the cheap prices at Ikea (Made In India) and end by complaining about my own compensation? THAT is really something to ponder. Compensation is relative, and I can’t forget how relatively rich I am.

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