Last year, my blog was seriously neglected in the whirlwind of making, teaching and selling; all I can say in my defence is, looking back through my year-planner, I genuinely don’t know how I did it all! – but I’m going to make sure I shuffle things round to create more time for the website this year . . . I do enjoy being here. Instagram is just so immediate that what I have posted has gone on there, but there’s nothing like writing a blog post for making you reflect on your practice – time well spent, I reckon.
These are just the pictures that people liked the most on Instagram; but they do give a pretty good impression of where my energies were concentrated last year!
It’s no accident that there are a few fond memories of Edinburgh Yarn Festival featured here. If you love knitting, crochet, weaving, spinning, and all the associated treasury of project bags, needles, roving and notions, and you haven’t yet been to EYF, then go! GO!!! Take my ticket for Saturday, because I bought it in denial of the massive probability that I wouldn’t be able to travel the 200+ miles by public transport after work on a Friday night from my tiny and relatively remote corner of the world, which is of course true. Can’t believe I won’t be there, after looking forward to it since last March when EYF 2017 ended – but I’ll be keeping up with all the gorgeous shenanigans online, and remembering 2017 highlights such as Knit Night, a wonderful Knitsonik workshop, the utterly staggering Marketplace and most of all the people, many of whom are now friends.
I loved going to EYF 2017 and mooching about as a punter; but last year also saw North Child taking a stand at a flock of yarn festivals, including Dornoch Fibre Fest, Highland Wool and Textiles Fair at Dingwall, Perth Festival of Yarn and Loch Ness Knit Fest . Seeing the same friendly faces vending at these events – and many more in posts online – brought home how much I love being a part of this hardworking, creative, clever and caring wool tribe. And meeting hordes of customers who had eagerly travelled from all over the world to squish hand-dyed, indie-produced, designer-made fibre creations was full-on fun. Here’s a picture from Perth, just after the doors opened, with my beautiful assistant holding the fort:
Teaching workshops was another big part of 2017 for me, and one which I was glad to return to after a two-year break. I launched a whole new workshop programme for Yarn Festivals, which reflected the shift in focus my creativity has taken since North Child: I taught around the processes involved in lopapeysa construction – knitting in the round, magic loop technique, grafting, yoke pattern design, stranded colourwork – because these processes had filled my head so intensely while I was working on my children’s lopapeysa designs. It is very true that if you want to properly learn how to do something, you should teach it; my lovely students brought a whole new dimension to my understanding of the design process.
And something else kept popping up, although it had never really gone away; thanks to a request from Loch Ness Knit Fest, I began again to teach Waldorf doll-making. Preparing workshops for Yarn Festivals resulted in a brand new doll pattern, and then two variations – and eventually, written and photo tutorials and doll-making kits, which are now in my shop . . . more of this coming up on my Dolls page!
It was wonderful to have these “Tibby”doll kits leaving the shop in the run up to Christmas, and to know that some little people would be getting special handmade gifts!
But that was weeks ago – and Christmas already seems long gone, although there’s plenty of fresh snow and the mountains are white to ground level. It’s a new year, and I have new plans for 2018 which are keeping me busy and excited for the Spring and beyond; I’ll be posting an update here as soon as I can.