Bet you thought I’d forgotten all about you.
In truth, I’ve been thinking of you all a great deal lately and there has actually been a huge amount going on. Some of you I see (semi) regularly so you know all about it, but this might be news for others.
The big and really exciting thing is in July, I quit my very secure job with regular pay, benefits and regular vacation to buy my local yarn store!
Superficially, it was a mad and hair-brained idea but in truth I think it’s the best thing (also the scariest thing) I’ve ever done for myself. This path allows me to combine all skills gained in various jobs I’ve had since I was in my early 20s. I learned to track and manage a large inventory when I worked for HMV, I learned web development and e-commerce when I taught at a tech school and gained a lot of experience teaching adults at my most recent job. All these elements combine with knitting, spinning and to a lesser extent weaving to put me in a good place with regards to the skills needed to run a yarn store. I have no doubt that comments and observations about owning a yarn store will appear from time to time here. If you have specific questions, ask!
Other things have been going on as well. I am still knitting though right now, I’m in a bit of a slump. I was looking through my past year on Ravelry and the number of items I completed is quite low. This struck me as odd because I feel like I spent the entire year frantically knitting to meet deadlines. I made eight sweaters, though two were for a baby, three big scarfs/shawls, a cowl, four pairs of socks, a baby blanket, a beanie and a pair of colourwork mitts. And then it hit me – I DID spend the past year knitting frantically but many of the items I was working on were secret test knits with aggressive deadlines so I wasn’t able to make project pages on Rav, post photos of them to Instagram or even really talk about them.
A few of the items I can talk about now but were secret at the time. I took part in test knitting for Woods which was published by Making Stories and made a scarf.
The pattern was a gift for people who pledged a certain amount in the crowdfunding campaign. I also worked on one of the sweaters. The thing with this sweater is it didn’t end up being part of the final publication so I knit most of a heavily cabled sweater in sport weight yarn, only to have the test stopped. A few months later we were sent a new pattern as a last minute substitute (I actually like the new pattern better). I did start working on this and knit most of it but then I bought a store and that really took over my life for a few months so I never finished it. Truthfully, I probably won’t finish it – I’ll rip it out and reskein the yarn – again – and keep it for something I pick myself. The yarn, however, is absolutely stunning!
Which leads me to the next thing – I’m done with test knitting for the next while. Apart from all the tests I did, I only made two things last year which were for me and only a single pair of socks for my husband. Much of what I made was really quite lovely but none of them were really ‘chosen’ by me. I didn’t sift through Ravelry looking for a sweater with a specific weight and specific design features to fill a gap in my wardrobe, I simply answered testing calls. So this year, I’m being much more conscious of my time and how I choose to spend it. There are things I want to make for me and for my family. The lopi from Iceland I’m supposed to be making for my husband is still looking at me. The body is finished and I’ve started a sleeve but really – it doesn’t take nine months to knit a sweater!
I had wanted this to be done much sooner because at about the same time as I bought the store, he took a new work contract in Kiev, Ukraine. Fortunately, they are having a very mild winter (so far) but I’d be much happier if he had a big sweater.
So I think you’re all caught up now. There will be lots to add in the next while. I’ve done some spinning as well which I’ll save for another day.
Wishing you peace, joy, health and happiness in 2018.