Work Stuff

IMG_3313Hi stitch readers, sorry for having been MIA for so long. I hit a bit of a rough patch work-wise, regarding time-frames and number of assignments that needed to be taken care of simultaneously. It got somewhat unhealthy when the unexpected, extensive rewrite of a book translation was added to my already full schedule (tight deadline for a cookbook translation, finishing the first chapter of a fantasy novel I’ve been asked to translate, yay, fun stuff :-)). All this needed to happen over the course of a few weeks in January, and I would not advise anyone to try that shit.

I got a large part of my hands-on education in advertising, therefore aiming to please the client is part of my work ethic. Submitting my work on time is as second nature to me as trying to deliver the best work I can. Mostly, this keeps everybody happy. And then sometimes it just doesn’t, no matter how hard you try. One of the three projects of the past weeks went sideways, you can probably guess which one, and despite the many hours I spent trying to fix it and finding exactly what the client in question was looking for, she was not satisfied with my work, to the point of her questioning both my skills as a translator and my command of English.

Because I’m me, I was kind of shaken by the experience, and it got me thinking about the meta level. What was there to be learned from this? To avoid all the frustration for both parties, applying these rules might have been helpful:

1. Make new clients define upfront how literal a translation they want. (This in addition to test translations if required.)

2. Install in-between reviews.

3. Agree to be able to push the deadline in case of major changes so you won’t have to kill yourself executing them on time.

4. Strongly advise client to have the translation edited.

In my profession, every job ultimately equals further training. You hone your skill, you learn new terms and phrases, you try out new styles, you get faster and more fluent as you go. And sometimes, you learn things about people, and about yourself, too.

This time around, I practiced translating a novel as literally as possible. I stayed calm and polite in the face of shade thrown at me. I asked for help when I needed it. And I got invaluable advice from two generous, knowledgeable and level-headed colleagues.

Did that have positive aspects? It did. Was I grateful to my friends, family and colleagues for supporting me? Absolutely. Would I want to do it again? Hell, no! Not under these exact circumstances anyway.

All in all, I can say that it was a bitch of a start into the New Year for me :-). I do hope you guys fared better, and I promise the next post will be less dark. But you know what? Despite the aggravation and stress, there were good things too over the last couple months. One is our new baby cousin whom we finally got to meet. He has the cutest toothless smile you can imagine, and we were instantly smitten with Newborn Magic.

Also, I finished a labor of love for my sweet friend M’s baby, due any day now. It took a while, what with the skinny yarn and thin hook I was using. I couldn’t work on it as much as I would have liked because I had so many other things going on, but finish it I did, and I handed it over to the mom-to-be, who actually plans on bringing it to the delivery room with her. I’m very touched.

This was the swatches I made to decide on a pattern. In the end, I let my friend pick, who chose the ripple – there seems to be something about this pattern that makes it perfect for babies.

When I was finally finished, I knew it needed a border, and I must have tried out all the stitches I know, until I settled for the neatness of half double crochet. See how it gently reigns in the ripple without disturbing the peace of the pattern?

And then, I just wanted to add a teeny bit of color. I’d bought all these delicious balls of pastel pink and blue and yellow already, so I just needed to find a way to incorporate them. I couldn’t do the garland-like bobble border I’ve made before, because I wanted different colors, also just dots of it, really, and not a continuous line of one shade.IMG_E4492So it occurred to me to try and crochet the bobbles into the border directly, which I did, and which worked like the proverbial charm. Here, have one more pic, taken really close-up, before blocking:

IMG_2960Well, my job is done ;-))). Fingers crossed for an easy delivery, dear M.

Have a very good early spring, everybody, and thank you so much for reading.