My October teaching tour is now finished, and I have to thank the folks of Bath and Inverness for their hospitality! I got to see some beautiful parts of the UK and share in the love of knitting techniques, especially that of circles and knitting sideways.

 
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I fell ill over the weekend at Lock Ness Knit fest and I'm still in bed trying to shake this lurgy. I got back to the bus 2 days ago and have barely moved from this spot, and it's confirmed that I need to slow down with teaching, and maybe even grind it to a halt for a while.

Don't get me wrong - I love teaching. I love sharing what I know and seeing that knowledge spark new ideas. But I've been through teacher burnout before, when I used to be a full time teacher in schools, and I promised myself that I wouldn't let that happen again when I started teaching privately.

I don't teach often - during this season I'll have taught a total of 23 x 3hr workshops (or 12 full days) across 6 venues, with a weekend spent at each. That's a lot less than many teach but it's too much for me right now. Given how easily I get exhausted and how painful it is trying to travel with two frozen shoulders, I've decided to not teach at all during Autumn/Winter 2018. Travelling is also difficult with a specialist diet and I get such anxiety about eating out (fear of being dosed again) and it'd be nice not to worry about that, too. After I'd completed my year end accounts I saw that financially, I could afford to teach less and indulge in more creative studio time (which is where most of my income is generated); thanks to Elemental, this year is going to be even better and I'm going to use that to buy myself some time off.

(who am I kidding? I'll still be in the studio, working. But I'll be buying myself some time off from travelling and planning and preparing for workshops)

So, that's my plan. From May 2018 until Spring 2019, I'll not be teaching anywhere. I won't stop teaching altogether; I've retired a few workshops that I no longer enjoy teaching, and added a couple of new ones that I know I'll love. I've updated my T&C to be kinda to me, which was really hard as it feels less kind to small shops, and I'm hoping they'll understand.

Internet access was limited whilst I was travelling and the SquareSpace blog app decided not to work (or at least it keeps crashing as I try and write a new post...) so I'm way behind with emails and stuff to share! Be prepared for an onslaught of posts ;) 

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The photo above is the crown shaping swatch for Circled 2. It's one of my workshop samples for Art of the Knitted Circle and Turning Sideways classes, and will also form part of the new Advanced Kitchener class. I've been thinking about circles a lot lately (more than usual, at least) and I'm really excited to have some studio time in the near future. It feels like such a luxury to have this to look forward to.

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Before I go, my November teaching tour kicks off in just under 4 weeks, and you'll find me at the Devon Sun Yarns retreat in Lyme Regis and at Purlescence for a whole weekend of knitting sideways! See you there? Otherwise, the only other places you'll be able to take a workshop with me for the foreseeable is Edinburgh Yarn Festival and the Woolinn in Dublin.

Posted
AuthorWoolly Wormhead

I thought perhaps you'd like to see how the Elemental Hats look from the top, with their crowns as circles?

They're as beautiful as you might imagine them to be :)

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We're getting close to release time now! Remember to either sign up for my newsletter, follow along on Instagram or keep up with the blog (or all three!) to know as soon as Elemental is published.

Posted
AuthorWoolly Wormhead
3 CommentsPost a comment

I'm a little late sending out the newest wholesale catalogue and newsletter, and I thought I'd ask for some feedback on printing options?

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As you'll know, my wholesale is managed through the (wholesale) newsletter and printed by Magcloud. Magcloud have printers on the continent so shipping and turnaround time is pretty reasonable, but being a US based company everything is priced in $$ and given the exchange rate as it is, I know that's a barrier to my UK (and EU?) shops.

And so I'm researching digital printing options in the UK and checking on prices. I don't know what's involved time and cost wise to have the book reformatted from US letter to A4 but I'm willing to look into it if there's enough interest?

To qualify for a wholesale account you don't have to be a shop - you can be an indie dyer or maker of other fibre related goodies. I have no minimum orders either through Magcloud, though if I have a small print run done I may need a 2 or 3 minimum. If you'd like to be added to the wholesale mailing list or would like to know more, drop me an email.

There are a couple of reputable digital printers in the UK and printing costs leave a reasonable margin for wholesale, but I'm not keen to hold printed stock hence I used Magcloud, as they drop ship and have a store front, which the others don't.

Please do let me know if you're interested - leave a comment or send me an email if that's easier. And hopefully I won't be too tardy with the next wholesale newsletter! 

(I'm blogging from my phone and I can't add hyperlinks - find the email contact form from the drop down menu above :) 

ps/ this is in the queue for translation into German! I'm looking forward to launching wholesale for the translated patterns towards the end of the summer. 

Posted
AuthorWoolly Wormhead

Some time early last year, probably about a year ago now, I started swatching and developing an idea that felt fresh and clean and made me feel, well, as if my brain was fully functioning again. The concept made me feel like I'd broken through the fog, and working out the technical side made me feel clever.

Strong words, huh?

What I was aiming for was a perfect marriage between my love of circles, and my love of sideways knitting and grafting. And I achieved it.

Then the need to work on some other things kicked in, and Painted Woolly Toppers for Kids became a thing and then the trapped nerve and frozen shoulder was a thing, and I wasn't able to work and develop this is much as I wanted to. This is what happens when what you do isn't just about the creativity, but also about keeping the roof over your head and food on the table. And sometimes it's hard, not having the luxury to follow your creative dreams.

Towards the end of last year, once PWT4K was safely published, I finally had some time and brain-space and switched this project on fully. And it's been keeping me busy ever since. (my shoulder hasn't fully appreciated working at such fine gauge....). As I travelled around for my teaching tours during October and November, these swatches and Hats kept me company. It felt so good to be able to focus all of my attention on them again.

 
slipped stitch spiral swatch

slipped stitch spiral swatch

 
grafted slipped stitch spiral swatch!

grafted slipped stitch spiral swatch!

 

Naturally, having developed the grafting method 8 months previously without any practice since, it took a few swatches to get the method right. If I was going to see this through I needed to be absolutely certain that I knew exactly what I was talking about.

And it wasn't just the lack of practice that made me rusty, either. As time went on, and as the project felt further away, my confidence dropped with it. Every opportunity I had to talk to another knitter or designer, I managed to squeeze this into the conversation. I'd talked it up so much that I was at risk of abandoning it and having my failure complex tell me it was right all along.

 
swatching for the new grafting method

swatching for the new grafting method

 
completed graft - slipped stitches over garter stitch

completed graft - slipped stitches over garter stitch

 

But I didn't let myself down.

 
Circled Hat #1, the first to be released from the collection

Circled Hat #1, the first to be released from the collection

 

And so, the Circled collection is a thing. The photo above was one of my favourites from our photoshoot last week. It's unedited and straight off the camera; I'm still unable to manage much photography, so I styled and directed and Tom took the photographs. We don't make a bad team, huh?

Now that I've broken the ice and spoken out loud about this collection, I feel free to talk about it more. I'd gotten myself so anxious about the risk of getting all excited and blogging about it only to have my confidence/health/lack of time let me down that I'd decided not to say all that much publicly until I knew I could pull it off.

The photoshoot is done. The single patterns are through their first round of tech editing. The photos and content are with the layout designer. Circled is very much a thing, and it's coming very soon!

(bonus: all 4 patterns use 4ply/sock/fingering. And they'll be perfect for your handpaints)

Posted
AuthorTom Paterson
6 CommentsPost a comment

Indeed you can pop over and listen to myself and Nadia chatting about all sorts!

We recorded the interview in the magnificent ballroom that I taught in, which does give it a bit of an echo, but don't let that put you off. We had a good laugh whilst recording, and it really was a fun thing to do.

(shall I confess that we sat on the floor inside a large wardrobe unit within the ballroom to reduce the echo? We tried sitting in every part of the room, and it was really the only room available to us! It's certainly a day to remember ;)