• Erika Stevenson

Treasure Hunt and Self-Care

Pretty much how I've been feeling lately.

Anxiety rears it's head!

I've not hidden from anyone that I suffer from anxiety and impostor syndrome, the last month has been plagued with feelings of unworthiness and self-doubt. I had a major professional certification that I had to renew before the first of the month and after paying my certification testing fee and studying it - I failed it. By like 12 points (I'm not counting, you're counting). But still that failure cut deep financially and psychologically. I rallied and tested again the following week, and managed to pass, but that first failure still rocked me. Continues to rock me. I can tell you the same things I've told myself.

  1. It's a hard damn test

  2. I haven't sat for a test like that in 3 years

  3. You only missed a pass by like 12 points, that's probably not even a whole question.

  4. It's a hard damn test (it warrants repeating)

But no matter what I tell myself, I've been pushing myself for more than 40 years and failure even temporary failure still stings and can cause cascading feelings of unworthiness. Even though I know that failing is a necessary part of success; I know that everyone who's succeeded has usually failed multiple times on the way to that success. Perhaps because failing cost me an extra $300 I couldn't really afford, but it was tough. But I passed the test when I took it again! So I should be over it and let it go now, right? It feels like that's true, but somehow even though I passed easily when I retook my exam, the failure still seems to burn brighter.

When anxiety gets the better of me, I'm really trying to remind myself that I'm awesome and I deserve kindness. From other people, certainly, but especially from myself. So when I don't meet my own expectations, I'm working on resetting those expectations or even proactively assigning malleable goals. Changing the goal to be more attainable before I've failed, seems to be easier to swallow sometimes.


Jordan the amazing, brilliant and accomplished!

My beautiful, amazing, awesome and accomplished daughter is celebrating her 21st birthday this month. But she's not the only one celebrating! To celebrate 21 years of motherhood as well as my own design business, in this way combining the two things I'm proudest of - I've activated a sale in my Ravelry store. The whole month of April you can take 21% of all my designs using the coupon code 'BABYDUCK'. But wait! That's not all, I promised you a treasure hunt!

On April 21st, to celebrate the whole day, all day long I have patterns to give away. Here's how it works. Throughout the day, each of my patterns and e-books will at some point be available for free to the first 21 'buyers' during the designated time period. So between midnight and 2am PDT one of my patterns or e-book will be free to the first 21 people who find it. Then between 2am and 4am PDT another pattern or e-book will be free to the first 21 people who find it. And so on and so on for every 2 hour period for the whole day, PDT (or GST-7). There is an exception. I have 13 items for sale in my Ravelry store (patterns and e-books) so between 2pm and 4pm PDT, there are two items that are free to the first 21 people. All of the giveaways use the same coupon code 'Babyduck21'.

So the gist is, at 00:01 PDT on April 21st, you find the free pattern, put it in your cart and use the coupon code 'Babyduck21'. If you're one of the first 21 to find it and use the code, you get the pattern for free. As knitters, we're problem solvers, so I have no worries that you guys will form your strategies and figure out how to find the pattern that's free. If however, you haven't found the free pattern in the first hour of it's promotional period, check my Instagram feed, 1 hour into the promo period, I'll post a picture of a sample of the pattern that's being promoted for that 2 hour period with the pattern name. And if you miss all the free patterns, you can still purchase the pattern at a 21% discount with promo code 'BABYDUCK'.

At 02:01 PDT, you'll have another opportunity to find another free pattern, and then again at 04:01 PDT there's be another pattern or e-book available for free to 21 lucky purchasers and every two hours all day long! The plan is to give away 273 free patterns and/or e-books. I'm most excited to see what you guys make with these free gifts. I may get more excited seeing your projects grow and finished, than I do when I make a sale!

New Designs Published Since We Last Chatted!

Since I blogged last, I've published two more patterns! They're both one skein adaptions of previously published stole patterns. You can click on each picture to take you to the Ravelry pattern page.

Rainforest Summer Scarf is a bias-knit scarf adaption of my original design, I Stole a Rainforest. Using the same lace and cable panel featured in that pattern, I wanted to develop a single skein project in honor of the approach of spring.

Waterfall Summer Scarf is a bias-knit scarf adaption of my original design, I Stole a Waterfall. Using the same lace and cable pattern featured in that pattern, I wanted to develop a single skein project in honor of the approach of spring.

New Projects in the Works

I've completed a new design, including preliminary pictures. I've designed it to use either fingering or DK weight, or really any weight, although the schematic includes measurements for only fingering and DK weight yarn. I submitted the pattern proposal to Pom Pom Quarterly for consideration for inclusion in their Fall 2019 publication, but I'm still waiting for a response. I figure if I haven't heard back by this coming Friday, it's likely that they have decided against including it, but I haven't quite given up hope yet. I'm not quite ready to share pictures of it with the world at large, but my inspiration for this was bipolar disorder and womanhood. It's called I Stole a Moment and for me it was very allegorical in the way that women steal all our moments. Every moment we spend doing something for ourselves is often a moment that we feel we've stolen from other people or responsibilities in our life. It's a very personal journey for me and I hope that no matter how it's published, that when it is, it becomes a personal journey for you as well.

Test knitters are working on this one as we speak and likely testing will be mostly completed by the beginning of May.

I'm working on a new design, called Puzzler, which I intend to be a stole that's knitted in pieces, then knitted together. I expect it'll be highly customize-able and hopefully very fun, but I've decided to slow my roll a bit. Although I've begun working on this design, I'm taking my time with it and hoping to release it in the fall, September/October time frame.

In the interim, I'm working on a few other things. It was always my intention to release the green man collection as an e-book, but I didn't want to just slap it together and put it out as a collection, without forethought. Publishing a book is something that's been a fantasy of mine for as long as I can remember and how it's put together is important to me. To that end, I'm looking into how to do that in a way that works for me, so it's going to take awhile, and paying for it is going to be a challenge. How it's done is more important to me than that it's done, so I'm going to take as much time as I need to to do it. I'm hoping though, that I can get it done by the beginning of October. Part of this is reaching out to dyers to collaborate on colorways and getting all the patterns tech edited, and I'm working on some additional design stuff to make the book purchase a value-add.

I'm also working on strategies to get more samples of my designs in shops. If I learned anything from In the Deep Hue Sea's trunk show at Yarn Del Sol in California, is that samples sell patterns. My plan is to try to find a couple more shops locally that I can knit samples for.

So that's a lot on my plate, but all stuff that's incredibly exciting to me! I'm going to go work on something fun for tonight, but until I post again -

Go forth and craft with kindness,



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