Monday, 4 January 2016

Happy 2016 & good riddance to 2015

Good morning 2016, I'm so glad you are here, I've been waiting for you for so long and stupidly happy that the 2015 adventure is over at last....

2015 was a difficult roller-coaster year.
It started with our announcement that we were closing NDS.
We were so busy, Daisy and I spent 4 months struggling to keep up with demand for the last NDS skeins from retail and wholesale customers.
Both of us were emotionally and physically drained and didn't have the time to appreciate why and what we were doing.
The last dye bath and update were heartbreaking. I loved my business and had grown it from a a couple of skeins on ebay to 30 kg last update.
Although you can't see it in this photo I was crying so much I could hardly see what I was doing.

It had looked after me and my family in times of need and defined me as a person for so long it was difficult to imagine life without it.
I felt like I was discarding a precious friend and still haven't really had the time to comprehend what I have done.
And then it was all over, we'd cleaned the last dye stain, packed the last package, painted the floor, handed the keys back and walked away.

I started my new life as a designer with no idea what to do next, I knew I had to finish the book, but that was all.
I stumbled about doing anything that came my way, I felt naked without NDS behind me and thought no one would know who I was, so that I would need to start building my career from scratch.
My first major project was the Love Crochet Summer CAL, which was a massive learning curve, I really enjoyed the designing bit, and there seem to be lots of lovely Summer CAL blankets appearing, so even though there were a few Facebook hiccups it seems that most of the lovely CAL members enjoyed making the blanket.

Getting to Yarndale became a massive mountain I didn't think I could overcome.
Without NDS I struggled to find the funds to print patterns and buy the fuel to get there.
But The Knitting Goddess came to my rescue, she was my knight in shining armour and I am eternally grateful.
I still didn't have enough patterns and had sold out by lunchtime of the first day, so next time I will make sure I take enough for everyone.

And then 3 weeks ago I finished the book!
I woke up the next morning smiling, feeling proud I had actually finished and a little bit sad it was all over.
I've taken 2 whole weeks off work over Christmas and even though 2015 had one parting shot to throw at me in the shape of flu I'm ready to tackle the world!

Years ending in 6 have always been good to us.
In 1986 we got married, bought our first house, had our first baby.
In 1996 Phil had a massive promotion we moved back to the country, although I did develop epilepsy, but in hindsight it was no where near as bad as it could of been.
In 2006 NDS moved to its own premises and started to grow into a proper business, we also had the best holiday I can remember, we drove the Zoom through Europe over the Alps on a adventure, ending up on our 20th wedding anniversary sitting in a posh harbour side cafe in St Tropez eating Soupe de Poisson and drinking Cote de Provence.

So 2016 is going to be a good year
I've already got lots of very exciting projects and collaborations in the pipeline.
In February I'll be exhibiting my blankets in a gallery setting at Unravel, which is one of my big ambitions.
Some time in the early spring Landscape magazine are running a feature about me and my blankets.
And the book will be launched at Yarndale in September.
I'm also planning on building a new website and selling some of my blankets, I'm not sure if they will sell as they will be expensive, but you never know..... :-)
We are also thinking about having a party to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary, we didn't celebrate our 25th due to NDS and other commitments, so we are owed a celebration, 30 years is an achievement we are very proud of.

And who knows what else, but I'm really excited to find out.......


  1. 2016 is bound to be great. Looking forward to seeing you again at Unravel & getting to see your blankets as a collection. 30 years is definitely worth celebrating - enjoy! xxx

  2. Oh Amanda! I had no idea things were so awful for you last year and I'm really sorry it got so shitty. It never came across at Yarndale except for the sadness that you felt to be parting with your last NDS skeins. I bought 4 and one of them I used in my Westknits MKAL, The Doodler. I LOVE IT!! I'm waiting to come across extra special patterns to use the other 3. It was a pleasure to meet you and bring you my Drops summer CAL squares to show. I'm currently continuous-joining row 11 so very nearly there and then I can give it as a very, very late Christmas present. I've learnt loads doing it, so thank you for contributing so much to my crochet learning experience ☺ I hope 2016 brings you much joy and peace in knowing you did the right thing last year and congratulations on your 30th wedding anniversary - that's some achievement! Onwards and upwards!

    Love, Helen xx

    (P.s. internet trolls? What internet trolls? Ignore those suckers. They don't get one breath from you)

  3. Go girl! 2015 was a terrible year for so many, including me, so I feel your pain, but we all have great hopes for a fabulous 2016 and I wish you every piece of luck I have spare :) x

  4. Your work has always been inspirational and no doubt will continue to be so. As Helen says, ignore the trolls, they are like that through jealousy because they can never match you. Best of luck for 2016 and all the treats coming your way. Looking forward to buying my copy of your new book as well.

  5. Happy New Year to you and yours Amanda. Thank you for your beautiful patterns, your enthusiasm and talent!!! Last year was hard for me too, and your crochet patterns helped get me through .. since August I have completed my beautiful Zodiac blanket which I am snuggled under at the moment, my fantastic and vibrant summer CAL which makes me smile and feel ridiculously happy every time I see it! Mum got and adores her Lulu scarf for Christmas (just!!) and I am now happily working on the Harlequin blanket.
    You are the best as a designer and NDS wool remains my favourite (I have the wool for Ermintrude and can't quite bring myself to start it as I love the wool so much!!)PLEASE don't listen to any one who says different.

    Sammi x

    PS Can't wait for the book!!

  6. Amanda, Just wanted you to know that the kaleidescope rug is my 13yo sons comfort and worth giver of choice in the cool mornings and evenings here in Sydney Australia. Hang in there and believe in yourself; your work and inspiration extends to all sorts of places all over the world.

  7. Happy New Year I just wanted to tell you that your pattern book triangles would be on my desert island list along with my hook & yarn of course. I admire your bravery & I cannot wait for your new book I will definitely be first in the queue to buy. I love your designs.

  8. Just to reassure you once more for Unravel Amanda: mi casa es tu casa as your home-from-home for the duration of the show!

  9. Happy New Year Amanda and keep on smiling. I would look back on 2015 as a year of great achievement for you, not only did you take NDS to a place where everyone could enjoy your more than beautiful yarn and can continue that with your patterns but you also finished writing a book which is no mean feat. Added to that you did a CAL which I loved and so did many others... if only I had achieved half of that I would be pleased as punch. So celebrate knowing you have accomplished so much. Thirty years of celebration on top of that means you have earned a much needed special treat. Take care because we care. Cheers and happiness xx

  10. Oh Amanda I am so so sorry 2015 was an awful year for you - and as for those 0.1% on the FB group for the summer CAL - I am so sorry they got to you - I felt like shaking them myself at the time. Your design work is a riot of colour and inspiration and it is happy. I hope it can make you as happy as it makes us making up your designs. I look forward to the book - I hope your blog will continue and keep us updated when it is published. Happy New Year to you my friend and if you have an anniversary party have a truly wonderful time.