Based on a True Sweater

Jul. 18, 2009

Following Through


On April 13, I finished my first year of the 365 Days project. The next day, I started my second year.

I continue to get a lot of satisfaction out if this project, and it continues to have a surprising number of benefits. It makes me think in an articulate way about what's going on in my day-to-day life. It gives me a way to express thoughts or ideas for which I may not have another outlet. It pushes me to do something creative and short-term each day, even on days when my creative energy is really depleted. I keep learning more about photography, and about how to use my cheap little point-and-shoot camera to best advantage.

There are days, however, when I really don't see the point of continuing with it. I completed the first year, which was the important thing; my follow-through on projects is often not what it should be, and I was determined to change that pattern. Do I really need to follow through on the second year, or have I made my point? On days when I am really devoid of ideas, it just feels like a self-indulgent waste of time.

But then I get a shot like the one above. I am really satisfied with this photo, I feel like it says what I was trying to express. I'm pleased with the perspective and lurid colours, and I think it has the qualities my friend Libby often uses to describe my work; it's a little sexy and a little creepy. This is when I remember what I get out of this project, and why I continue with it.

Jul. 16, 2009

Putting it Down and Walking Away


This year so far has been one of change and upheaval on all fronts, both good and bad. Most of the time things feel like too much to write about, or even talk about. There is one big change that I need to share, though.

Back in the spring, Kim persuaded me to go to the Summer TNNA Show with her. It took some time for me to make the decision to go, and I almost bailed for financial reasons. In the end I went, I roomed with Kim and Julie Holetz, and nothing could have prepared me for how much fun I had!


I met a ton of wonderful people, many of them other designers with whom I've had online contact. I had a great meeting with Amy and Jillian about the fall issue of Knitty. It was so awesome and useful, I wish we could meet like that every issue. AND, I made some really exciting contacts with dyers, yarn companies, magazine editors... in short, all the kinds of people you want to meet in this industry if you want design work.

And so, I am now working as a designer in both knitting and crochet. I spend a lot of time swatching, sketching, taking notes as I work on samples. I have designs that will be published soon in magazines! I'll post here when new designs are available.

The next one will be a self-published sweater pattern that will be available Monday. It's the new-and-improved version of this sweater. Looking back at that blog entry, it's embarrassing to realize that it's taken me more than 2 years to get around to completing this.

I'm working harder than I can remember ever working before, and I have more energy and excitement to put into the work than I can remember ever having. Although I have had a number of designs published in books, I have resisted making design work a major part of my life. My stated reason was that I didn't want all my knitting/crochet time to become work time, that I liked having these activities be things I did for pleasure.

Really, though, I think I was just afraid to commit, and afraid of not succeeding. I had an experience this year which made me realize that I've been pretty consumed with fear of all kinds for a long, long time now, and that I could just put the fear down and walk away. Bits of it are still clinging to me, but I'm also making a lot of really positive changes in my life. This new career is one of the most wonderful things to come out of it so far, and I kind of feel like the changes are only just beginning. I'm looking forward to the future now in a way I haven't done in a long time.