Taking Stock

April 2014 879 Just over a fortnight ago I waved goodbye to my part-time job with Rowan Yarns. It took me a few days to get used to my new routine and, crucially, having more time to do my own work. There was some initial panic (which briefly me led to consider an art school degree!), then my stomach settled down, and I got on with work.

Right now I am working on winter designs - both commissions and my own work. Publishers tend to work around 4-12 months ahead, so I have been knee-deep in Christmas things since April.

I find myself marvelling at how quickly I get through work when I now have long sustained periods of time on my hands. My working routine used to be stop-start-stop-start. Things that used to take weeks now take just days. I can get through my all my emails in one fell swoop rather than take days to reply to queries.

No matter where I go or do in the future, I think I have already learned important lessons about how my working week needs to be organised. In short: I had no idea just stressed I was until now - I need sustained periods (not pockets) of time to feel energised.

In other news, I met up with the most excellent Louise Scollay of Knit British. We went to The Queen of Purls before settling down for a good, long chat at Mono.ย We are both advocates of a more thoughtful approach to knitting: it is not a blinkered, parochial passion where we shout "you MUSTย  knit British!" but rather a desire to make people think about where their yarn is produced, how it is processed and what stories they are telling via their knitting needles. We also discussed future plans (thanks for the enthusiastic shrieking, Louise!) and exchanged thoughts on the British knitting community. All good stuff.

This weekend I am heading across to Edinburgh for the inaugural Indieburgh Yarn Crawl - it's another exciting addition to Edinburgh's line-up of knitting events. Actually, I am a bit of a spoilsport as I won't really be doing the yarn crawl as much as I am meeting up with a future collaborator/editor. Okay, I may be doing some yarn crawling too. The three shops taking part are: Ginger Twist Studios, Kathy's Knits and Be Inspired Fibres - GTS is colourful and vintage-inspired, Kathy's centers on locally sourced yarns, and Be Inspired is high-end luxury yarn. It promises to be good.

Not long to go until Unwind Brighton either! My class on Continental Knitting is sold out, but there are a few spaces left on the Beading class and the Beginning Crochet class. I am still overwhelmed by the sheer quality of the line-up: Bristol Ivy, Kirsten Kapur, Carol Feller, Asa Tricosa, Olga Buraya-Kefelian .. and that is just the start of it. The vendor line-up is also unbelievable AND there is the PomPom Seaside Shindig featuring John Arbon DJing. I'm still wanting to sew myself a new dress for the event (Brighton Frock, anyone?) but time is running out. Ahhhhhh, so excited about being part of what promises to be an absolutely amazing event. Huge thank you to Dani Sunshine of Lionness Arts for organising everything.

So, it's all good and I still cannot believe that this is my life now.