January blues

I’m in a bit of a slump. It’s probably all down to January blues, the miserable weather, the big come down after so many celebrations. Everything feels a bit blahhh at the moment. It’s very hard to find any sort of motivation to do anything. Even looking forward to what exciting things the New Year might bring seems like a bit of a struggle at the moment. My get up and go seemed to have gone up and went. 
It could be that I’m actually missing 2017. I haven’t really registered its gone. Every year seems to pass so fast now, 12 months just pass in a blink of an eye. Happiness, sadness, love, beauty, tears, heartache, achievements, drawbacks…..all of this just wedged into 12 breathless months. I feel almost guilty for not appreciating every day to its fullest.
2017 has been really good to me which I’m failing to see at the moment because I’m too busy mourning it. I’m notoriously hard on myself and refuse to give myself any praise for a job well done. I rarely look at a new design with an adoring eye but more of an eye of criticism and the nagging feeling of what could be improved. Don’t get me wrong I do love my designs, otherwise I wouldn’t be making them, but it’s far too easy for me to just overshadow that with my need to better everything.
I feel I lose the importance of my knitting and crochet achievements, not because I don’t enjoy them but because I don’t allow myself to fully submerge in the happiness that they bring. 
The same can be said for my nagging feelings of not enjoying every day of the passing year to its full potential. It just all seem like an endless cycle of work, sleep, eat and repeat, but it really isn’t. There are wonderful moments and events that bring incredible happiness but do I again overshadow them with the everyday life? To be honest the wobbling political situation is really not helping. We live in a world of uncertainty.
Dave suggested that I write a list of all the things good things that happened in 2017 to really give them the praise they deserve, so here it goes:
I have truly loved working with Crochet Now, Women’s Weekly and Amirisu magazines. 
The delicate Arvia shawl was featured in Amirisu, I have adored this magazine for a very long time and it was such an honour to be featured in it. 
Crochet Now published few of my crochet designs that have been greatly received, for which I’m very grateful. These are just two that were included in the booklets. The Energy mandala and Bryony shawl for West Yorkshire Spinners. 

Women’s Weekly featured my Summer in the bag pattern, which saw me use by favourite Fair Isle knitting in the round technique.

I was also one of eleven designers to collaborate with Martin’s Lab on the Stillness collection. The stunning De Anima shawl is part of the collection.

2017 saw me also collaborating on with Ange from GamerCrafting on Yrden shawl. Beautiful triangular shawl knitted on the bias with Mosaic border. Ange is an amazing friend and an incredible yarn dyer, not surprising then there will be more collaborations coming in 2018 so watch this space. 
This is a little taster using Ange’s mini skeins.
One more collaboration was with Rooster yarns. I have design Essie for them, which is worked from tip to tip with an asymmetrical “spine”. Essie was a joy to design and knit.

I have published some designs. Some were brand new, some were published in magazines before, but because the rights have reverted back to me I was able to publish them independently: Nerida, Annis, Love in Every stitch blanket, Yrden and Bryony 

One of those patterns was the Energy Mandala. I’ll donate every penny from the sale of this pattern to the St.Thomas Hospital in London, the doctors and nurses there took such a good care of my mum in her final hours, I’ll forever be grateful to them. Thank you all for your support and helping me raise the money, we have so far raised £284!! An amazing amount. Thank you all so much.
I have also designed my first garment. This is Dyppetcardigan which is part of the Anthropology collection for LoveKnitting.com. Dyppet is a sweet child’s hooded cardigan for ages from 0-3 years. It was a really a tick on my design list. I wanted to design a garment for a while. 

I love teaching and this year I have been very busy with new classes and new shops. I have met so many incredible people and saw them fall in love with knitting and crochet. I was teaching at some fab places: The Yarn Dispensary, Sew Over It, Craftyangel, The Yarns of Anarchy
I have also published two free patterns. One for flowers for the incredible Jenny and one for crochet Christmas baubles with embroidery details.
My second book, 20 to Make; Crocheted Flowers to Wear, was published in November by Search Press and I couldn’t be happier. I have worked hard on this book to design every flower not only to be individual but to bring joy when crocheting. It’s a book full of colour, happiness, interesting techniques and of course gorgeous flowers. 
Being on Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas on Channel 4. I took part in the Christmas wreath making competition and it was one of the most surreal experiences of my live! A true bucket list moment. I have crocheted my delicate wreath in 3 hours in wire and yarn and my poor fingers did not thank me for it 🙂 I have been absolutely overwhelmed with your incredible response. Thank you all for every comment and all the love, I truly appreciate it.

And of course, the best moment on 2017 was when my soulmate and I said I do. Marrying Dave has been everything and more. He is my life and I love him more than words can ever express.
I have all the pictures back so can finally write a blog about it soon. 
When you put everything in a list and see all the big and little achievements it really puts it all in prospective. I haven’t really wasted all year, I have progressed and achieved good things it just sometimes it’s hard to see them in the hum of everything.
I don’t ever make new year resolutions, but maybe this year I could start. More goals than resolutions I think:
1. Write more blogs – I have really let slip with my blogs, don’t write them as often as I would like. This year I would definitely aim at more.
2. Finish the square joining tutorial – do you remember the little granny squares I crocheted out of all those tapestry threads? Well I do, they are constantly looking and me. I was supposed to write a second part of the blog that was published last year, all about joining the squares, well this year I definitely will!!
3. Publish a cat pattern – every year I publish a pet pattern for my cats’ birthday in March. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage it last year and I think Ollie and Brick resent me slightly lol. This year I definitely will crochet something just for them.
4. Get more organised with my time – I sometimes feel like I run around being constantly busy but achieve nothing. I must get more organised with my time, choose priorities over silly things that can really be done later.
5. Deadlines! – This goes with number 4. I have been truly busy which caused me to miss two deadlines, it has been around the time of my wedding, so it’s kind of understandable, but time organization is the key here.
6. Publish more design – I have lots of ideas brewing for lovely new knitting and crochet design and I’m planning on publishing all of them this year.
7. Teach – I love teaching and sharing all that I have learned, I want to continue to teach and I also want to expand my knowledge, not only, in knitting and crochet, but sewing as well.
8. Travel – Dave and I have not been on nearly as many holidays and weekend aways as we would like to. This year will be a year of adventures. 
Hope you all have an incredible 2018!!
Anna xx