Saturday, 2 April 2016

New beginnings

image credit: Woman's Weekly Knitting and Crochet
I started the year with great optimism and January was a positive month, which saw the start of my Crochet-A-Long Blanket for Woman's Weekly Knitting and Crochet. You can read all about it here, including a free video on how to make the central flowers, by the talented Freddie and Monika from the Woman's Weekly team.
But then I have to admit that February and March were rather too hectic for my own good. I could say I'm not sure how it happened, but that would be a little white lie. It happened because I don't like saying "no" to clients I've been working with for such a long time. Often their proposals sound really exciting and spark my own creativity, but for the sake of my own health and family, I realised I needed to scale down a little and give myself a little bit of breathing space. And I soon realised that this doesn't mean that I have to say "no" all of the time - just some of the time. And the result? well I now have breathing space to think, plan and work on developing my own brand as well as maintaining great relationships with my clients.
I have a sketch book full of ideas which I'm mulling over and planning out, plus I have hundreds of patterns on my computer which I need to share with you all. I've been organising my stash, sorting out yarn for projects and have borrowed a light box from a kind friend. So with my new branding and artwork, I'm good to go with my own designs. I have one pattern for sale in my new pattern template, and many more in the pipeline. Plumley Penguin cuts a lonely figure in my Ravelry shop here, so he needs a few friends for company.
That said, I do have a couple of really exciting things to share with you. There are 3 things in total but 1 remains a secret for now.

Firstly, I was delighted to be asked by editor Hugh Metcalf to write a one-page column for his new magazine Crochet Now - sister magazine to the fabulous Knit Now which is edited by the lovely and equally talented Kate Heppel. 

The theme of my column is my use it or lose it campaign, which involves mooching around in my stash and making something lovely out of the yarn oddments that are lying around in The Woolnest. My column is called Stash Diaries, and I'm honoured to be part of Hugh's fantastic new crochet magazine. So far, I made bowls, washcloths and a purse for the column and I had some great feedback from Hugh, which is always a relief (as well as rewarding). I'm looking forward to designing more quick projects for those odd balls of yarn that we all have lying around. You can read all about Crochet Now here.

My second exciting news is the launch of a new crochet podcast called The Crochet Circle, presented by myself and good friend/yarn-mad colleague, Fay Dashper-Hughes.

I taught Fay to knit and crochet about 18 months ago and we've enjoyed a great friendship ever since, which is one of the benefits of teaching. Fay has recently started a new company that will sell craft-related products that have been carefully sourced. I'm really excited for Fay and her products are really charming as well as useful and beautifully made.  In our first Podcast  we introduce ourselves, talk about Erika Knight's gorgeous new yarn called Studio Linen, talk about this month's crochet magazines and much more.
We interviewed the vivacious Erika Knight recently at a Trade Show and Erika talks about sustainability, her new Studio Linen yarn and collection, knitting British, Manufacturing and her experiences in the fashion and yarn industries. Erika is such an interesting and lovely lady, and this interview will always remain one of my favourite moments from my own yarny adventures. You can read all about Erika's new Studio Linen yarn and collection here.
We also interviewed Sara Mulvey from Black Sheep Wools on Yarn Shop Day and we recorded our third episode last week. So if you'd like to listen to Fay and I chatting about crochet, you can find our podcast episodes here (note - the interview with Erika was recorded at a very busy Trade show so there is some background noise):
We'd love to hear any feedback, especially if there's something specific you'd like us to chat about.
In the meantime, happy crafting and see you soon,
Lynne x