Friday, 1 March 2019

Cross roads

I've come to a crossroads in my life.
Do I follow my career as a designer fighting for success or do I sit back and enjoy a stress free life?

I've been part of the wool world for nearly 20 years. During that time I built a successful hand dyeing business and became an author of several successful books, but even though I've be successful its never been easy I've had to fight every day to earn a living.
We are blessed with 3 beautiful creative children and 33 year old happy marriage, but the rest of life hasn't been kind to us. We've struggled from one disaster to another, redundancy, losing our house, being homeless for a year, another redundancy, moving into 5 different rented houses in 7 years
I've finally reached a point where I have succumbed to mental exhaustion, I've lost my ambition, I don't want to fight anymore.
I think its because I have reached a happy place. I'm live in an amazing, beautiful, unspoilt part of the country in a tiny flat with a tiny courtyard that I love, I have one grand baby and another due in a couple of weeks, who live in the flat above us.

I need to stop looking at my contemporary's and their successes, which will stop me feeling like a failure the whole time. Reading about everybody's CAL's and exciting crochet ventures makes me feel inadequate, so I need spend less time social networking.
Looking at photo's of yarn shows makes me sad because I'm not there. I used to love shows, spending time with our woolly friends and  meeting our lovely customers, but I hated the worry of whether we would sell enough yarn to cover costs, breaking down after the show, being exhausted from standing on your feet for 9 hours, so really I don't miss them at all.

Over the years I have been repeatedly told not to worry about everyone else's success and concentrate on my own, its very good advice if only I could of put it in practise.
I want to put it in practise now, and only do the things that make me happy.
I will never stop obsessively making art (blankets) and creating books which are a part of the process.
But I want to stop feeling guilty because I'm not social networking every day, chasing publicity, chasing wholesale possibilities, trying to compete with the competition.

So I've chosen to take the path to relax and enjoy what I do guilt free, sit in the sun, drink cocktails by the sea, play with my grandbabies and run my dogs on the beach.
I have a new motif project planned for later in the year that I'm so excited about. Once my grandbaby is born I can get a bit of head space back and do some serious designing and planning.


  1. I'm glad you have chosen the healthier, happier path. Look after yourself and enjoy the creativity without the other outside stressors spoiling it all. Enjoy your family, be content. Breathe the good air in, and let the tensions float away. You don't need to compete.... what you choose to do is enough. Take care.

  2. I totally understand you, dear Amanda !
    ENJOY your rest to the most, this is so important…
    Wishing you the best, and thanking you for the constant inspiration you've been up until now :D

    In stitches,

  3. I love your work and the beauty you make out of yarn and color. I am so grateful for the thoughts and ideas you have shared, and I'm truly sorry that sharing has imposed such a steep price on you.

    I will read whatever you write, and be interested in whatever you design whenever you've got the emotional bandwidth to share. Enjoy those babies!!

  4. I completely understand. From now on look at your arty stuff as a hobby not a job and you will enjoy it more. Do what you want to do not what you think others might want from you.

    The whole social media thing pushes people into thinking they have to compete because everybody else is doing better. It's not true. Did you see Casey's statistics the other day? He said that 10,000 people sold patterns on Ravelry in January and only 300 of them made over $1000. That's 300 people across the whole world including some very big names. I know income isn't just from patterns but I think that is a fair indication that some of the impressions we get might be completely wrong.

    Enjoy your 'retirement'.

  5. Good for you! So many people are taking a step back in their lives and going forward with what truly makes them happy. I'm not a designer, but I still get caught up in the constant flow of new patterns almost daily! I want to crochet all of the pretty things - LOL! - and sometimes I think I need to take a break from the internet and spend that time actually crocheting something beautiful, instead of looking at the newest patterns or yarn or whatever. I hope 2019 is full of babies, beauty and peaceful crochet for you!

  6. Makes sense to me do what you love enjoy where you are now in life and count your blessings, time to relax and let go. Best wishes.

  7. Other people may seem to be more prolific, have higher social media profiles or more yarn packs. No-one else has your talent. You have a very special gift. I hope you will be able to care and nurture it on your new path, and learn to enjoy it without looking over your shoulder at what others appear to be achieving. You are appreciated just as you are.

  8. I know exactly how your feeling. I have had a long break from social media and its my most creative time. I will no longer compare myself to others because it takes away from me. Enjoy your family and your life...the rest of it will always be here.

  9. Dammed good choice. Enjoy life. Endulge and notice not dash and miss

  10. Hi Amanda, I have just bought your book "Rainbow Crochet Blankets" and discovered your blog. What pleasure! :-)