Life has so many twists and turns. Today, Mahalo fired all their guides. Okay, maybe fired is a little harsh: they are “restructuring” and all guides have to write a little treatise on what their areas of expertise are. Then, there’ll be a month long pause in content creation, while the bosses decide who is worth keeping and who isn’t. I have a feeling that most people are going to fall into the “not worth keeping” area, partially because I think many, many of the pages on Mahalo are written poorly. They are trying to shift toward hiring area experts instead of quality writers, which I think is a step halfway in the right direction. Many of the pages suffer from poor grammar and style, which is partially because they don’t pay the kind of compensation necessary to have a stable of highly qualified writers. They also have such narrowly defined pages that it can be difficult to write quality copy that fits the minimum word requirement and fulfills the title of the page.
I’m not too worried. I panicked, at first, then realized I still have DMS to write for, where I get paid more anyway. And if Mahalo doesn’t keep me, it’ll be their loss I suppose. Funny that I preferred them when the pay was less.
For my petition to keep my job, I have to write about two areas of expertise and explain why I’m an expert. I’m considering Education and Hobbies for my two, though Food and Drink might be a good option as well, since they seem to produce quite a few cooking pages. My problem with that is, while I love to cook and have plenty of personal experience in the area, I don’t have any education in that area, nor do I have proof that I’m an area “expert”. For Hobbies, I can point to classes I’ve taught and workshops I’ve participated in, things of that nature. On the other hand, I don’t think I’ve seen a single hobby page up in the queue since I started there. They must be highly searched areas, since DMS has many many hobby type pages, several of which I’ve written for them, and DMS creates titles based on search engine stats. Hmm.
Speaking of hobbies, I’ve been working more on my own designs. I designed a scarf for my dad for his birthday in January, which I neglected to take a picture of (maybe I’ll have to convince him to take one of him modeling it), and of course the laptop bag I recently posted. I’ve also finished a cotton summer sweater which turned out beautifully and which I will hopefully eventually photograph as well. It was inspired by a halter design I saw, though I changed nearly everything about it, including the material used to make it.
My latest design is a nice little short-sleeved shrug. I had some lovely grey yarn, though not a lot of it, very soft and pretty and perfectly suited to a lightweight spring/summer shrug. I searched and searched for a pattern, but nothing fit the idea I had in my head, so I went ahead and designed one myself. I love that ruffles have come back into fashion with such a flourish – I’m a girly girl at heart and the recent push for ruffles and rosettes makes me happy. That’s what inspired the lettuce edge ruffle border on the shrug.
While these pictures don’t exactly do the item justice (it looks much better on) I hope that the subtle stripes on the back and the sideways garter stitch on the sleeves shows up a little bit. The back was worked top to bottom in knit and purl stripes, while for the sleeves, I picked up stitches along the edge and worked them in sideways garter stitch for a different look. The bottoms of the sleeves are finished with two rows of single crochet, as I find unfinished knit edges to be a little… well, unfinished looking. The ruffle edge is also done in single crochet. Mixing styles with both knit and crochet brings the best of both worlds to garments, in my opinion. I need some tips for photographing things better, though, if anyone has some to share!I’m going to use the leftover yarn from this project to either trim a matching scarf or make a rosette for my hair. Maybe both. We’ll see.
I’m thinking my next project might include granny squares. They have a lot of nostalgia for me. Maybe pinks and greens for a spring scarf, done in sport weight, a shiny yarn like luster sheen. Or possibly crochet cotton, wagon wheel granny squares for another spring and summer shrug or sweater. It’s hard to decide! I still haven’t finished that teal tank sweater, and really, really ought to. The pattern stitch is small and complicated, and making a garment mostly in single crochet on a tiny hook takes a long, long time. And lots of sport weight yarn, too.