Tag Archives: newsletter

You Talk, I Listen

Thank you to all who helped (almost 750!) with the recent survey about whether the layout of the January 22nd HeartStrings newsletter looked ok or whether it went wonky when received on your end. The fun stuff has been the drawing for the Mardi Gras Bead Ball kit. And also reading all your comments. And I AM reading every one of them. You talk. I listen.

You might be amazed at how much of my Designing Day is filled with activities that are not strictly knitting design. In fact, sometimes it could be days, or even weeks, between times when I get to pick up knitting needles. It goes along with the saying … “There is more to the business of designing than just design“.

For example, the recent journey I undertook to improve the process for producing my HeartStrings newsletters and email announcements has taken on a life of its own. If you recall, I wrote last week about The new look of news from HeartStrings. The response has been overwhelmingly favorable. Of course, I am elated it is being received so well.

But upon getting replies to me that included the original newsletter, I saw that some things might be going wonky and not displaying as intended on the receiving end. For example, some text shifted or spacing was lost. It doesn’t devalue the newsletter itself, but I really want to make it as easy to read and aesthetically pleasing as possible for readers’ enjoyment.

I couldn’t discern why the newsletter layout went wonky for some people and not others. So I decided to ask for help via a short survey. Those who pitched in to help me make the newsletter even better also got a chance to win a Mardi Gras Bead Ball kit.

As stated in the survey, the drawing for the kit was yesterday. Congratulations to Janet in Virginia. When I heard back from Janet with her mailing address, she wrote: “To say I’m shocked is not really enough.  I never win anything.  Thank you so much for this gift!“. I already have the kit packaged and ready to mail to Janet today. She should have it in her hands before the weekend if USPS cooperates.

Mardi Gras Beaded Bead Ball
Mardi Gras Beaded Bead Ball

So that was the fun side of things. Now back to work. There were 742 people who answered some or all of the survey’s 6 quick questions. Of those 742, there were 504 who took the time to write something in the comment field. Either to re-confirm that the newsletter looked great to them (and what they particularly liked), or to explain more fully about what looked wonky on their end, or in some cases to just offer other comments related to the newsletter, or even un-related to the newsletter. That is fine. I really appreciate the time that people take to share and make comments, whether via this survey or writing to me directly.

So I have a lot of data to sift through. And I AM reading every one of those comments. If you offered a suggestion, please know that I am paying attention and will be doing what I can over time to make the newsletter and your association with HeartStrings FiberArts as enjoyable as possible for you.

According to the survey, the new layout for the newsletter looked as intended for 89% of the readers, for 10% it went wonky in some way, and 1% read the plain text version of the newsletter (i.e. unformatted). Unfortunately, with all the multitude of electronic devices and computer software, it’s impossible to test for absolutely every combination. By understanding more about that 10%, though, it will give me more to go on. I don’t fool myself that I can please everyone, but I certainly want to please as many as I can.

If you talk, I promise I will listen.

p.s. If you missed receiving the January 22nd HeartStrings newsletter, you can read it in the online archive.

The new look of news from HeartStrings

It’s been a long time a-coming that I’ve wanted to bring a new look and new features to my HeartStrings e-newsletter.

That is where my weekend was spent … TOTALLY in front of the computer. But I made big headway in not only laying out the new template, but also sending a newsletter in the new format to subscribers. After all, I was anxious to hear what other people thought, too!

The new look of news from HeartStrings

So far, it appears to be well-received. I am really appreciative of so many people having taken the time to write me or post comments on Facebook about the new look of the newsletter. There have been SO many comments, but just to give you a flavor …

From Donna:
” The new look is great. Quite enjoy the layout and navigable pages! 

From Cindy:
” I love the new look! Very easy to read & graphics are great! 

From Naomi:
” In the midst of re-design of my own blog, I was impressed by yours. All the elements, colors very engaging. And congratulations on all the recent success: wonderful reward for all your hard work over the years. 

Barbara wrote:
” Love it! Very refreshing and up to date. 

… and many more along the same lines. Well, it looks like the new newsletter format is basically a go. Let me know if you think of other ways or things you’d like to see. I can’t promise I can do everything, but it might be something I can and haven’t thought of!

All in all, I am feeling quite accomplished as I start off the week. Hope it stays that way, lol.

What do YOU think?

Also there have been several comments about the Yarn Bowl in this most recent newsletter:

Bonne wrote:
I love this wonderful creation! This should be a mandatory item in a spinner’s, crocheter’s, knitter’s collection of toys, er…… tools.

My thoughts:
Yes, so true. I’m going to rename that newsletter column from “Tools of the Trade” to “Toys of the Trade”!

Lynne wrote:
Thanks for featuring the yarn bowl. I’d seen them at craft shows but hadn’t known what they were because they were called string bowls.

My thoughts:
Ahhh! I bet that the craft shows were marketing them as “string” bowls so as to appeal to people who might just want to use them as a pretty thing to put their packing string into?

BTW, I’ve noticed that some of these type bowls only have a closed hole. So if you would ever need to take the string/yarn out of the bowl while you were still knitting (e.g. maybe to transport your project somewhere else), you’d need to cut the yarn. That might be ok for packing string (which you’d probably want to cut anyway). You probably noticed on the picture of this one, that the hole has a slit up to the top edge so that the yarn can be removed without cutting.

p.s. If you are not already receiving the HeartStrings newsletter, there is a convenient signup form in the sidebar of this blog page to do that now.

p.p.s. You can find the blog article I did about the Yarn Bowl here.