If 2012 was my year of 'throwing out the oughts', 2013 was my year of discovering what happens when I try to 'do what I love doing'. And the answer? A lot of things happen.
The Edinburgh Yarn Festival was an early highlight for me. I was teaching a class and also helped Ms Old Maiden Aunt on her stall. I met a lot of fantastic people; most importantly I met a lot of you lovely blog readers (hello!) but I was also happy to meet fellow industry people. Working in the knitting industry can feel almost isolated at times so events like EYF are fantastic for meeting "colleagues". And a huge thank you to L. for bringing me breakfast at 2pm!
I also went to Woolfest in Cumbria at the beginning of June and the PomPom Magazine PopUp Xmas Party in December. Again, meeting a lot of great people and marvelling at people's creativity and talents.
2013 was the year of working crazily hard.
+ I also found time to do a limited edition kit, the Tenement Tiles gloves, with Ms Old Maiden Aunt.
+ I also worked on several other designs that are yet to be published.
+ I also did a nice amount of teaching, copy editing, tech editing, and knitterly translations throughout the year as well as keeping up with my part-time job as a design consultant for a well-known UK yarn company.
(Note to self: this is why you needed a holiday in December!)
Selfish knitting? There was a tiny bit.
+ I finished the Stevie cardigan by Sarah Hatton. I absolutely love it and it became my go-to cardigan immediately. I'd love to knit another one. I also knitted Sarah's Edith shawl in one of my favourite shades of Rowan Kidsilk Haze.
+ I am currently knitting the Castiel hat by Woolly Wormhead in some yarn I bought in Copenhagen. It's a nice, easy pattern that's great for when my head's tired and I need some comfort knitting.
2013 saw a lot of patterns that I loved on sight but haven't had time to knit.
+ Blanche Too by Susan Crawford made it to my queue the minute I saw it. It is a classic jumper with those tiny Susan-touches that just makes it stand out. It's next on my needles. + Cinnamon Girl Cardigan by Amy Christoffers. It's the shape of the garment that makes this cardigan such a stand-out for me. It is a contemporary take on the classic Aran cardigan - and how much do I love the reverse stocking stitch sleeves? + Rock Candy Pullover by Talitha Kuomi is the quitessential Karie jumper. It is a classic shape but has clever touches and details that make it special. + Happy Triangles by Kiyomi Burgin is one pattern I'll probably never make but it is so perfect for right here & now that it is ridiculous.
So. 2014? It will look quite a bit like 2013, I imagine.
I have things on my desk right now that I need to sign off by end of next week. I am back doing things with Glasgow University in early 2014. Doggerland will be wrapped up (and how I will miss it) and a new big project launched. More patterns will be released. I will be teaching classes - and I'll probably get all stressed out by mid-June!
However, Sarah has issued me with two challenges. Can I design a pair of socks? Can I design a garment? Of course I can.
2013 was insanely busy, so I do need to work on my work-life balance, but it has also been very rewarding on a personal level.
I think I have finally found my feet and I have a better understanding what I have to say as a designer. I have also met some really amazing people along the way and I certainly leave this year feeling stronger and happier as a result. It has been rough along the way but it has been worth it.
Thank you for 2013. Godt nytår - happy new year.