Another year, another dozen Hats or so?

2016 was a strange year, in that health (yet again) knocked me sideways and stopped me from doing a whole bunch of work. Thankfully I'd almost reached an even keel and the set back wasn't too catasrophic. (thank you, frozen shoulder)

collage of Hats designed and published in 2016

collage of Hats designed and published in 2016

On the single pattern front things were *busy*. From top left we have:

Cannetella, Aerial, Armley Beanie, Armley Slouch, Fabales, Pinua, Muratura, Armley Beret, Caterpiller Slouch, Scrapalong, Aileron, Dutrieu, and Adiantum.

And of course, we have Painted Woolly Toppers for Kids!

Painted Woolly Toppers cover

Painted Woolly Toppers cover

Painted Woolly Toppers for Kids collage

Painted Woolly Toppers for Kids collage

From top left:

Swinton, Wychavon, Modbury, Mobberley, Chesser, Kelvinside, Hadleigh, Kilbride, Gorton and Allerton.

So, 2016 saw 23 Hats in all - a busy year indeed compared to the previous few! Most of these had been designed the previous year ready to go, or at least written and knitted before my frozen shoulder kicked in.

2015 saw 20 new designs, 2014 saw 14 new designs, 2013 saw 17 new designs,  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 saw 4 which was the first year... almost 12 years ago now)

Despite not being able to knit or work at the computer much, I was able to get out and teach, and there was an increase in workshops taught compared to previous years. It's still only a very small percentage of my turnover (less than 10%; closer to 5% methinks.. I'll know for sure when I've finished my 2016/17 accounts ;) and honestly, I don't want to increase the amount I teach by too much. I enjoy it as it is, and if teaching becomes a major part of my income then I know I'm on the path to burnout again (or rather, I'll be accelerating along that path) and that'd be a bad move.

I also wrote several articles about Hats - construction and design - although they haven't all been published yet. The first of those was the Crown Shaping Masterclass.

I didn't attend any trade shows this last year, and since exhibiting at TNNA in 2015 solo, I've taken a long hard look at wholesale. I'm still keeping that door open, and print wholesale is still available, but that side of business isn't what it was. I don't think it is for anyone, and I'm not convinced that it's worth throwing £2,000 upwards to attend & exhibit at TNNA any more... I'd sooner pay that money to Tom to develop more tutorial videos, or invest it in translations.

2016 also saw me delve further in getting patterns translated, although once the frozen shoulder kicked in, it also became the year I pressed the pause button on this side of things. Once I'm back to usual computer work flow, I'll be straight back on it.

2017 sees me entering my 12th year of designing Hats, and that feels somehow like quite a milestone, although I couldn't say why! We sat and worked out last week that I'd passed my 10,000 hours of Hat design a few years ago and now I feel all grown up but also a little older. Meh.

This year will be the year when I hope I finally get to put into place the last of the changes I started to make way back when. Back-end things are smoother, and I've out-sourced a lot of the things I can't do, and that has eased the pressure a lot. I'm starting to feel more in control now and freer headwise, which is most welcome.

Onwards and upwards, right?

AuthorTom Paterson