Tuesday, 19 January 2016

16 in 2016

Hello there, and welcome to The Woolnest.

After Reading Rachel's 16 in 2016 here, I decided to take up her invitation of joining in and make a list of my own 16 things to do in 2016. I'm not very good a keeping up resolutions, so this is more a list of general things to aim for during the year. Here we go:
1. Don’t buy any more yarn.
I decided that this should be top of the list. It should be in big capital letters with knobs on!!! NO MORE YARN. I have yarn coming out of my yarnpits and I need to keep up my USE IT OR LOSE IT campaign in order to reduce it. You can read more about my campaign here.
2. Keep a detailed diary of each of my commission projects – sketches/swatches/notes/progress/photos/time taken.
This is something I almost always do. But sometimes, when I'm rushed with a deadline, I don't always make a note of things as I should. Then, when I'm asked a question - I can't always remember, which is a little embarrassing. I've started as I mean to go on with a new Note Book and new systems.
3. Re-write my patterns for sale in my new format.
In 2015 I re-branded business. I was delighted with the results and now I need to re-write all my older patterns and update them into my new pattern format. Then I need to write up the many older patterns that I have on my computer, and get them up for sale too. I've made a start with my cute little penguin pattern. He's here on Etsy.

4. Spend less time on social media.
I do get a little distracted by all of the social media platforms, so I just need to break my habits and log on less frequently.

5. Work on my Fairisle KAL – published last year in each issue of Woman’s Weekly.

In 2015, I designed a lovely KAL for Woman's Weekly. I ordered the yarn in an alternative colour scheme and really need to move it along in 2016, as I've only knitted 2 of the plain and 2 of the fairisle squares. You can read about the blanket here, which uses Rico Essentials Cotton Aran. 

6. Finish my Mother-in-law’s cable blanket.

I started a Red version of my Travis Blanket for my mum-in-law for Christmas, but didn't finish it in time. April is her birthday so fingers crossed I'll finish it by then.

7. Finish my Spice of Life CAL blanket.

I started Sandra Paul's lovely CAL and need to move it along in 2016. I can't believe that some people made about 4 or 5 blankets, whereas I've only done the first 2 sections!!!
8. Make myself lots of scarfs.
I have a very stylish knitty friend who always compliments her lovely outfits with a hand-knitted accessory. She receives lots of compliments, which are well-deserved. I really need to make myself lots of scarves and neck cosies too, so that I have something to match my (not so stylish) outfits too.
9. Knit myself a jumper.
In 2015 I designed a few jumpers. This is a new departure for me, and it's set to continue in 2016, as I already have 3 or 4 commissions for garments. My aim is to knit myself a jumper and I've already cast on to make Rosee Woodlands stripey Jumper from Knit Today issue 121.

 10. Finish my tweed granny square blanket (started about 4 years ago!!!).
Need I say more. It's such a waste to have gorgeous yarn sat in a bag up in the Woolnest (Debbie Bliss Donegal Tweed), so I'm going to get this one finished and use it in the house.

11. Bactus – unravel or persevere???
I'm not sure that I like my Bactus scarf, so I need to decide whether to unravel it or just finish the last few rows and wear it. Decisions, decisions.
12. Finish my socks (started about 3 years ago!!!).
Years ago I made one sock. I still have the single sock and remaining yarn, although I've lost the pattern. I think I can remember how many stitches to cast on, so I should be able to make a second sock that looks the same.
13. Continue with my “Use it or Lose it” campaign.
Go through books and Magazines and continue to clear out the things I won't use. I really need to keep on top of things in the Woolnest, so drastic measures are absolutely necessary.

14. Improve my website.
I spent some time revamping my website in 2015, but there is still a lot to do. Time is usually my constraint, so fingers crossed 'll find a few hours here and there between commissions to develop things further. You can see my website here.

15. Blog more regularly.
I always intend to blog more regularly, but before you know it, another month has passed by - without a blog post from me. I'm really going to try to change this in 2016. 

16. Aim to be more “green” in my crafting.
Use natural yarns, support British yarns as much as possible, use up my stash before buying new yarns and recycle and reuse yarn and notions where ever possible.

Have you made any resolutions or aims for 2016? I'd love to hear about them if you have, so please leave a link if you decide to compile your own 16 in 2016. In the meantime, I'll let you know how I get own with my own list.
Happy Knitting, Lynne xxx

Monday, 4 January 2016

A Little Look Back - My Top 10 from 2015

2015 has been exciting, challenging, exhausting, and at times frustrating, but above all, rewarding. The best thing is that I've made so many new friends along the way. It's quite difficult to choose between all my achievements, but here are a few of my highlights:

1. I designed a gorgeous fairisle blanket for a Woman's Weekly Knit-a-long. Each of the 12 pretty, fairisle squares were published every month in their popular Knitting & Crochet Magazine. You can read more about it here.
Photo credit: Woman's Weekly
2. My second book was released earlier in the year, by Search Press, called "Once Upon a Time in Crochet. I'm delighted that it seems to be doing consistently well in the amazon charts, in the category Toys and Dolls. If you're interested, you can buy my book on amazon here.
Photo credit: Search Press
3. I had great fun teaching with the Woman's Weekly team at their LIVE Event in Manchester. It was a pleasure to work with the lovely ladies in the Knitting and Crochet team.
Photo credit: Woman's Weekly

4. I had the pleasure of visiting both Wonderwool and Yarndale. Both were amazing, enjoyable and above all, inspiring.

5. I signed a new book deal with Search Press. It's a small book with 20 projects and will be published in October 2016. I can't wait to get started.

6. I designed lots of lovely projects for lots of different Magazines. Many of these made it to the front cover, which is always a proud moment.

 Photo credit: Let's Knit
Photo credit: Art of Knitting

 Photo credit: Woman's Weekly
Photo credit: Woman's Weekly
 Photo credit: Knit Today

  Photo credit: Knit Today
 Photo credit: Let's Get Crafting
7. I proof-read some amazing crochet books by some very talented designers, including Kerry Lord's second amigurumi book, "Edward's Menagerie: Birds" and Sarah Shrimpton's books, "Beginner's Guide to Crochet" and "Extreme Crochet with Chunky Yarn". All published by FW media.
 Photo credit: FW Media
 Photo credit: FW Media
8. I started tech-editing for Simply Crochet Magazine. I had to apply for this job which was quite nerve-racking - but I passed with flying colours - yippee. I've worked on 3 issues so far and I'm looking forward to more in 2016.

9. I've taught lot of ladies to knit or crochet during 2015. It's always a pleasure to teach a new craft or skill to someone and see them take it forward in their own way. In total, I estimate that at the various classes, workshops and events during 2015, I taught almost 200 people to knit or crochet. Fantastic!!

10. I was featured in various magazine articles, with either an interview, top tips or providing knitting or crochet advice. There'll be more of this in 2016, so watch this space. 
Photo credit: Knit Today
These are just a few highlights of my year and I hope you've enjoyed some crafty highlights too. Maybe you've tried a new craft or technique? I'd love to hear about them.

Whatever you get up to in 2016, I hope it's creative and crafty.
Happy New Year, Lynne xx