We need to talk about the year you have been. It’s been a memorable year full of highs and lows, full of challenges and successes. I will not forget you in a hurry.
I first met you in a small, local pub surrounded by friends singing. I remember the cold walk home and the sore throat the day after. You continued to be cold and frosty. I am not complaining — it makes for great knitwear occasions — but I would have preferred if you had kept the coldness and frostiness out of your attitude towards humankind. I hope for a better attitude from 2019: more acceptance, more love, and more understanding. Just saying.
Paradoxically what you did do well was throw a lot of good people my way. 2018 saw me making new friends and forging unexpected connections across the world. In a year as cold as you, conversations with new and old friends made a huge difference. I particularly remember one July morning when I was sitting on a balcony somewhere in the English Midlands. It was 5am and already too hot to sleep. And there I was, talking with a friend in California as the sun rose and I was getting ready to pack my suitcase yet again.
Because I was also travelling a lot this year and the personal connections made me able to cope with always being on the road.
Anna and Dan who let me into their home and we watched Gus van Sant films; Hattie who took me to a photo exhibition on 20th century avant-garde photography; Kirsten, Chris, Ziggie, and Oliver who sat me down for the most hipster pizza ever; Nathan who found my keys; Kate who always knew when I needed her company; Tina who found the beach; Allison who had so many brilliant ideas; and Gillian who drove me to a strange hotel — they were some of the many people who kept me sane.
But you were an adventure, dear 2018. You were such an adventure. I saw so many wonderful, beautiful things and experienced places I never thought I’d see. The response to This Thing of Paper was something I could not have imagined — from the letters and postcards I received to reviews by people I have long admired to seeing the patterns spring to life in talented knitters’ hands. It was a labour of love, and a book that owes its existence to people everywhere as well as a truly amazing team of graphic designers, editors, and photographers. Seeing the book being nominated for awards felt huge.
Finding my design voice again after a long absence also felt huge.
2018 was a year where designing did not come as easy to me as it has done in the past. Perfectionism was part of the conversation (like it is every year) but this year also saw me change the way I dress and present myself which fed into my designing. My design work is an extension of my own wardrobe, in a way, and I needed time to figure out how my change of style worked with my design practise.
(I rediscovered jeans this year. Revelation.)
Dear 2018. You did not make it easy for me, but I think I worked it out. Eventually.
But, don’t take this the wrong way, I’m looking forward to meeting 2019.