Reading over the review of 2012, at the beginning of last year I was trying to reduce deadlines and go with the flow. 2013 turned out to be a more difficult year than 2012 and the sculptural and experimental ideas I had still, for the most part, haven't reached fruition. It wasn't all bad though.
Here's a rundown of the patterns published in 2013:
Although there was a delay, Playful Woolly Toppers was published, and I'm glad that despite all the hurdles I was able to bring it together. I keep meaning to sit down and write a proper blog post about the idea behind this book, and my feelings after publication.. maybe time will be kinder this year.
And looking at the individual patterns:
From top left we have:
Trio of Hats - Beanie, Thrifter Beanie, Houndale, Mister Hat, Ruislip, Ridgeway - Beanie, Pinion (The Great Adventures Hat), Erica - Peaked, Ridgeway - Beret, Trio of Hats - Pixie, Forest Imp, Trio of Hats - Square Top and finally Erica - Beret.
Although that's a total of 13 new designs, there's really only 9 new patterns, as some are variations on a theme.. 2012 saw 27 new designs;. 2011 saw 35, 2010 saw 34, 2009 saw 14, 2008 saw 24 and 2007 also saw 35, with 2006 at 30. (2005 only saw 4 but hey, that was the first year!)
With both the new book and the self published and magazine published patterns together, 2013 saw a total of 17 new patterns published. But I don't think we need to compare to previous figures to see that 2013 wasn't all that productive.
Without a doubt though, the most successful release we saw in 2013 was Hatopia!
With the help of so, so many fantastic woolly people, we raised a serious amount of cash to help cover our legal fees. As much as I regretted the need to do that much work, the fundraising experience reminded me just how much I value both my living community and my online woolly one. I'll forever be grateful to all of those who helped.
Besides publications and designs, one other big work event of 2013 was the annual trip to TNNA. Timing was very tricky and I found being sociable and interacting difficult. Thankfully most of the yarny friends that I really only get to see once a year understood that, which helped a lot.
Probably the biggest thing I took away from the show was the acknowledgement to myself of what I don't want my business to be. I guess when you're faced with a bunch of hard life decisions you think past all the fluff and maybes and get to what's really important.
There are no great plans for 2014, only to continue with the same philosophy. Deadlines will stay reduced; the stress just doesn't play nice. Now that virtually all commitments are done and completed, I'm going back to those experimental designs that I've been talking about for an age. Continuing along the lines of my post TNNA thoughts, there'll be further changes to the structure of how I sell my books and patterns. The business needs to change, and that means simplifying and reducing stress. It means a sleeker, subtler way of doing things which will give us the flexibility we need. It might also mean a reduction in earnings, but that's a compromise that I don't think I have any choice over any more.
This year is also unlikely to see me flying across to TNNA. It's a hefty trip, in terms of money, time & headspace, and I don't think I can spare all three for the time being. On one hand I'm pretty sad about it, as I'd love to be there and see folk... but on the other hand, I'm already feeling lighter about not going.