I got my letter last night, and I did not win the scholarship to SOAR. It's kind of funny, when I first found out there was a scholarship to SOAR, I was so excited, but I really only planned to apply as a lark--I figured I had no chance of winning. Heck, I didn't think I even had much chance of assembling the three recommendation letters required to complete the application! But three wonderful ladies, Merike Saarnit, Lynne Vogel, and Meg of Yarn Expressions, were so encouraging and supportive and wrote me letters of recommendation without the slightest hesitation. It really blew me away that these talented people, who had met me a total of once or twice each, believed in me so much and were willing to go to extra effort to help me!
Well, in short, I labored over the application--I think the essay is all I did every evening for a week, and I finally got it really good. But the competition was fierce, it was a tough decision, yadda yadda, I didn't get it. So disappointed! I had started to believe my own press, always a dangerous thing.
Anyway, writing this has reminded me of the positive: these ladies believed in me and helped me when they really didn't even know me. Looking back, it's that experience that gave me the push, the courage to take the leap of faith and start the yarn business. I've been thinking about it for a long time, more and more seriously as time has passed, but there's a world of difference between thinking about it and actually taking action: getting all the tax paperwork done, getting insurance, setting up wholesale accounts, buying a mountain of yarn and equipment, getting business cards and bank accounts, setting up a website and a store. I think I would still have done it eventually, but that push really helped. So ladies, if you're reading this, thank you! (I did send them proper individual notes as well--no need to smack me, Mom!)
Anyway, what's next? Well, I'm working on a logo for the business, which is not as easy as I thought. I have PhotoShop at work, plus some other great goodies, and I had a basic lizard that I wanted to start with. I figured I'd just apply some filters or something and be done. Now, this is not totally irrational: I actually had a summer job back in the day where my job was to use PhotoShop to correct pictures for print in the Hattiesburg (MS) American, a daily newspaper. And when we had some downtime, we always played with the filters and other features in Photoshop to see what cool effects we could get. However, last night I couldn't get it to do what I wanted and I was getting all frustrated and angry. I ended up staying at work until 8:00 (knitting night starts at 7, and I was planning to go early to look at books first!) and getting super grumpy. I almost skipped knitting night altogether, I was feeling so foul. But luckily I went. I love the knitters. They're funny and smart and truly nice people. They fussed over my cape in progress and made me feel special and talented. It was just what I needed.
I finished a second row of the gold rayon yarn, which is truly lovely, and then I started with the next yarn, which is a really special crazy one.
Dude, can I just say that I love this yarn! It's shiny and textural and just mad with coolness.
I think I did a few too many increases somewhere, though. It looks ruffley and frilly now, which I really like, but I'm not sure how that will work out with the next yarn I plan to add. Maybe I should just make the present yarn the end and leave it all awesome and ruffley. Or maybe two versions: this one and the original plan (which means I still have to figure out how to make the original plan work). Also, I almost ran out of the gold rayon, which means there definitely wouldn't be enough for a larger size. Buy more yarn in case people want large size kits? Redesign for the larger kits using only one row of gold, or two rows of a shorter stitch? Hm...
Meanwhile, the whole disappointment with SOAR has reminded me that I have a design submitted to Interweave Crochet--they've had it for nearly two months, so I may hear something soon. I've submitted enough things for publication in the computer science part of my life to know that if something gets rejected, it doesn't mean it's worthless and you should give up and quit or whatever, it means you need to send it somewhere else. But I've also submitted enough things to know how very frickin' discouraging I find it to have stuff rejected. My goal is to get at least one other design out there, submitted somewhere, before I hear back on this one. Then if it is rejected, it's not The Only Design in the World. Guess I better get on that. I do have two pretty solid ideas and the yarn to back it up, so maybe tonight I'll do some swatching. And unlike last time, I'm not going to spend all night changing the fonts on the proposal this time!