Had a lovely day with grand-daughters Izzi and Ava, yesterday, so today I've no excuse but to knuckle down. The cats are being supportive, Django has a lot to say as ever about the design process and sits at my desk as I write, Arlo is reading the Guardian.
Left to my own devices I'm disorganised in my life, but organised in my work, and the first thing I do is to clear my desk so there are no distractions and I can focus my thoughts. Then I have to get an idea of the book as a whole in my head - the theme, the chapters, the colours, the stitches and the techniques - and make sure there's a good balance. This demands a chart which I can then pin up and work to. Once I have this, with the intended designs in the appropriate chapters, then the nitty gritty hard work begins.
This consists of crystallising the thoughts I've had during the cooking time and so turning them into concrete designs - basically transforming ideas into knitted stitches, charts, and a written pattern. Often, the best laid plans change in the doing, but the structure helps to keep me on track. If this all sounds very anal, all I can say is that if I don't go through this process I feel I'm wading through treacle and often going down blind alleys, and unfortunately time is always at a premium in the hectic world of publishing.
So here I am with a blank sheet, but with a head that's bursting with ideas that have yet to be made manifest on the needles and on paper. I've only been able to concentrate fully on doing this since my upcoming book, Sweet Shawlettes, was sent off to the printers last week. Writing a book is similar in some ways to having a baby and it's cathartic to know that one is finished before starting another.
Hugely exciting time, at this moment I don't know where my needles will be taking me, but I do know that the knit design journey is never dull. I'll just make some leek and potato soup to share with girlfriends tonight before taking the plunge. What's that saying? Procrastination is the enemy of inspiration? Wish me luck!