Whew, it’s been a tick, hasn’t it? Since the release of A Sign of Spring in fact.
I’ve been knitting away, but mostly on other designer’s patterns. In 2019 I went hard with the design releases, and that was a really fun challenge to set up for myself, averaging out to 1 pattern every 3 weeks! But this year I knew I wouldn’t be able to sustain quite that level. Designing is an incredibly fun, challenging act for me. The act of dreaming up something, and then doing all the technical work to get it to a living project. It’s something I take seriously and I’m very proud of my patterns, but at the end of the day it’s essentially a hobby. There have been a lot of other designers that have discussed how except for a very select few, nobody is making a livable income off their designs. I’m certainly not.
But I do run another business with my husband (something completely unrelated to knitting, spinning, or fibre) and that does take up most of my time. And especially over the past 2-3 years we’ve seen a lot of growth, which is awesome, but that also means it does take time away from designing.
Don’t worry this isn’t a “I’m giving up designing” post. Because I love designing, and I couldn’t imagine my life without it. It gives me an amazing opportunity to flex my creative and technical skills. But it does mean I probably won’t be releasing 13 patterns a year again, despite how fun it was.
I have a few designs in the works right now, a couple of which are my Hand Spun/Hand Knit patterns, which are really a passion of mine. I’m hoping in the coming 12-18 months to really re-focus on these (although I won’t be completely abandoning projects using commercial yarn).
Of course, these kinds of patterns take a lot longer to create. Not only does the pattern and knitting itself take time, but so does the design and creation of the yarn, along with the dye recipe (all three of which are included in the pattern PDF). So instead of dreaming up one thing and making it a pattern, I’m dreaming up three things and making it a pattern. It’s triple the work, but it’s such valuable work to me.
I’m hoping to stay comfortably in the 6-8 releases a year timeline, although I might fall a little bit short of that this year. Only because of the timelines involved in creating those Hand Spun/Hand Knit patterns, I need to play catch up a bit to get on a regular schedule again.
In the mean time, it’s back to spinning and knitting. I have a book full of ideas, and I’m very excited to share them with you over the next year.