Friday, March 13, 2009

Never Say Never

I said I wouldn't do it again. I said it was over. No more, never again. But there I went - again.

It has been almost ten years since I left my job at Classic Elite. It seems a lifetime ago. Although I loved that job as Creative Director, the time came to change my life, move on, try new things. That's how I came to live here on this farm with The Farmer and Julia. Am I happy now? Yes, I am. Are things perfect? No, they never are. But we are happy with our decision to uproot ourselves from eastern Mass and try something new.

I've learned a lot living here - about the idiosyncrasies of life in the country, the communities that make up the Pioneer Valley, the weather, living in a rural community and on a working farm. Every day, I know there is more to learn and that's good. Never stop learning - one of my mottos. But sometimes it is hard to do it - you have to break out of your comfort zone and try new things.

If you have gotten this far with my blabbering on, you're probably wondering where I am going. So here's what I have been learning the last month -a computer program called Adobe Indesign. Yikes - I was a wiz at a program called Quark XPress - I could desktop publish in my sleep. It'a a lot of what I used to do - put handknitting patterns together, design ads, produce marketing materials, the list went on and on. But I don't own Quark and Indesign came with my Adobe CS2 package. It's all I have and I felt like I had to give it a go.

Last year I made it a goal of mine to start selling some downloadable patterns on my website. It has taken longer than I thought - doesn't everything though? But over the last few weeks I have been working in earnest - trying to figure out Indesign. It isn't very friendly, if you ask me. Where is that shortcut to jump a page? It was Control J in Quark. Why can't I find it? Now I remember why I used to curse frequently at my computer....... I still haven't mastered Indesign yet - I am far from there. But I did figure out text boxes, lines, using color a bit, dumping in photos.

And here you have it...... my first newly produced "Kristin Nicholas Design" available exclusively on my website..... Click on over to the Julia page to see some more photos and read some descriptions about the pattern.....

Then click on over to the Shop page to order the downloadable PDF.

So there you have it, one of my new ventures. Trying to develop some new products to make ends meet here on this little farm. We just got our health insurance bill and the renewal is sky high. But we need it for Julia and all her health issues. There are more patterns in the works and I am hoping they don't take as long as this one did to produce. Many thanks to my friend Lori Gayle who proofed all of this and helped make it happen technically..... And thanks to Julia who endured the photo shoot in December during the crazy beautiful ice storm.

So I can honestly say, the moral of the story is.... Never say never......."


Nanci said...

So many little roadblocks on the road to land. I feel your frustrations but am glad you managed to do the program and the photos look wonderful.
By the way, your photos just make me feel good about visiting here.
I wish I was a knitter instead of a visitor!

Turtle said...

Hey there, good for you to keep plugging through it. You'll be a wiz by the time you get things done though! Never say never....remember that song by romeo void? (you should have that playing in the background as you work)

Deborah said...

Great, good for you and the photo of Julia is adorable! It will be fun to see your patterns for sale!

TerriMoran said...

Yay for you. I love the pattern and will be downloading it this morning. I, for one, am glad you kept plugging away on it.

Leslie said...

You have such a beautiful model - the smile on her face makes me tear up. I shall be making my little purchase when I'm home - right now I'm stealing a bit of time from work to reward myself for a hard morning's work (sound familiar???)

Harpa J said...


Mo Barger said...

Congrats for new adventures! I hope you aren't still running InDesign2 It's been upgraded... a little. :)

alison guinee said...

So happy to see this new line of patterns. I am ever impressed and amazed at how you do it all—do you ever sleep? I got my copy of Knitting Daily the other day and they had a copy of the Seeing Dots pattern up. This internet thing is so surreal sometimes. I saw the photo and immediately thought, "Oh look at Julia...she looks so adorable!...she must have been about 6 or 7 in this pic." It was this weird moment of recognition, like looking through a friend's baby album or seeing a photo of a neighbor's kid in the local paper. Funny that, but so nice.

Anonymous said...

Are you leaving the farm (which is what the word "uprooting" implied to me)? Or are you entering on new home-based enterprises in addition to sheep-farming? If it's an actual move, your readers will miss the farm as much as you will, I'm sure.

Lori Gayle said...

When Kristin mentioned "uprooting" from eastern Massachusetts in today's blog entry she was referring to when the family uprooted themselves ten years ago and made the move *to* the farm, which is in the western part of the state. Those roots are sunk pretty deep now, so I don't think she's going anywhere. :-)

Anonymous said...

New ventures are so exciting!

But didn't you used to publish your own patterns--waaaay back? I think I have one or two of them somewhere in my files--printed on single sheets in black and white, maybe. I swear I knitted a couple of your sweaters for my own first little one (now in college). They were wonderful and I can't wait to see the coming patterns in your new line.

Willow said...

Yes, I learned that lesson of never say never a long time ago. Except about playing volleyball. Never. Again.

Great pattern and the yarn is beautiful.

marlaine said...

Congratulations on the new venture!
The pattern looks adorable. Can't wait to see what else you have in store for all your readers/fans.

Deborah Robson said...

Sending good thoughts for your transition from Quark to InDesign. I did it in 2003.

CS2 is what I've been working in until . . . some time this weekend. I'm switching PC to Mac and cross-platform upgrading in the process. There's a lot of power in CS2. (There was a lot of power in ID2, pre-CS.)

InDesign does some things that Quark wouldn't (just as vice versa). You'll discover them and feel better about the whole shift.

Susan said...

Yay!!! So excited about this and the pattern looks so great. I love the idea of the sock yarn held with Julia, very cool idea. Julia is adorable, what a good and patient model.

Excellent news! This is a very good move for you, people are going to love the quick accessibility to you patterns.

Take care, Kristin,
susan b anderson

MJ said...

Never say never is a good attitude. I switched from Quark Xpress to Adobe InDesign when it came out. There are a few key commands that have stayed; one of them is actually page jump. It's still Ctrl-J, Kristin, at least for CS3.

Here's a link to a list of CS2 key commands, downloadable as a pdf:

Hope that helps!

michelle said...

love your stuff, blog, knitting, interesting life and family, sheep-happy and sad. my advice for new software such as best money i have ever spent. you may even be able to get what you need without buying anything. it keeps the cussing to a minimum, in my experience.

kate said...

glad you are plugging away so faithfully- good work! Will order patterns, but people here won't be wearing mittens or hats for a long time- spring is here...but I can start!

Love photo of Julia :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Kristin,
what I learn from this post is that my english is terrible.
It´s my fault, I know. I was first shocked, because I thought you and your family will leave the farm. But after reading three times I think it was only the introduction to talk about the new way to your designs.
I hope so.
Never stop learning - you are right. I have to improve my english.
I don´t understand every sentence you write, but I visit your blog every day and I loooove to come back.
Liebe Grüße aus Deutschland von

Grand Purl Baa said...

Congratulations Kristy. Well done you. The very best of success and not too long in coming either.

wvkelly said...

This might be helpful for you to know:

In IDCS, Command-J highlights the page box at the bottom of the doc window. You can then type the page number you want.

If Command-J does not work for you, check in Edit/Keyboard Shortcuts to see what the current shortcut is for "Access page number box" in the Product area menu under "Views, navigation".

I thought you might like to learn all of the commands and the keyboard shortcuts. You may change them also.

Love the pattern!
Happy Knitting!

Laura Timmerman said...

Good work, Kristin. I hope this works out in a big way.

Anonymous said...

iccckkkkkk....I really hate Adobe products, and I'm a computer geek. Someone must like them! They keep developing more.

It's so painful to learn a new "language" when you don't want to spend the time doing it. I hear ya on the words....cuss words that is. Lately, I've been slamming on my keyboard/mouse cuz they're not functioning, and the prophesy is that they aren't going to function much more if I don't stop banging on them and making words to go along with the situation.

The farm life Rocks! (she says as she avoids going out to take care of the chickens).