Like the rest of the world, I tend to spend some time in this dead week between Christmas and Hogmanay look back on the year that is nearly over. And for the first time in 6 years it isn’t all doom and gloom!!
For a start, this year I have neither moved house nor had the shadow of moving hanging over me. I have had a whole year back in my house, and am beginning to get it the way I want it. No, it isn’t finished yet, but it is very definitely getting there!!
Work-wise it has been a busy year, with a couple of teaching trips south – both very enjoyable and both leading to other things. I have continued my work with Yarn Forward magazine and with ColourMart, and have done more stuff for Jamieson and Smith. (This is beginning to sound like an advert – sorry!!)
Behind the scenes, I have had a new computer and a new camera. The computer is very fast indeed (don’t tell son Ben – it is faster than his!!) and that does make a difference when you do as much work on it as I do. Photo editing is probably half as fast again – it might not seem much, but that can mean an extra hour a day to spend knitting or spinning rather than in front of a screen.
The camera is still very new. As an ex pro, I have been very much missing my SLRs, but my hands cannot cope with the weight. My new beastie is a type known as a bridge – it has most of the features of an SLR, but it doesn’t take interchangeable lenses. That means that the weight is kept right down. I only got it a couple of weeks before I went away, and have so far only done one proper shoot with it, but those results were excellent. (I didn’t take it away with me – brand new Leica optics and dessert sand don’t mix!!)
As well as new patterns, I have brought out the series of CD-roms. The impetus for this was a combination of Ravelry Day and folk wanting more pix of places like North Ronaldsay, Fair Isle and Unst. The results are selling well, and one of the jobs when I get home is to arrange for another batch of all five titles to be made.
Another new venture, and one only in Orkney and Aberdeen so far, is stitch markers. I just love making these, and I have been selling loads through the shop across the road. I mount them on cards, and some folk are just buying them as cards. In the house, I also sell them on key rings and stitch holders. I have got as far as taking some pix for putting them on Etsy, but haven’t had time to get any further – they just keep selling!! But this winter I hope to build up a stock…
Away from work, the new man in my life arrived in February. A friend noticed him advertised in the paper and that was it. When he first came to meet me, it was clear that he had a very sweet nature, but was totally un-disciplined. But he learnt fast and now is a pleasure to be with. Scottie and I do find him a bit bouncy at times: he MAY calm down after his second birthday – we will see.
And then, of course, the year ended with my first proper holiday in nearly 4 years. I do love the Middle East… Hopefully I might get back there before too long…..