I’ve been thinking about what to make my first post of 2015 about, and as I start this I’m still not settled. This is what I’ve been thinking about, and I’ll end up relating it to your knitting, but bear with me while I wander in that direction.
Directions for 2015
I made a commitment to myself in the last quarter of 2014 that I would try to figure out what makes sense for me–what I refer to as being sustainable for me–to do around my business and designing going forward in time. Of course making the commitment and getting there are completely different things, but the whole thing became a little easier when Wendy decided that having a second child was something she needed to focus on, so she would need to quit working for me. Although I regret losing her, it did change my equation and makes it more plausible that I change my plans with respect to being a knitwear designer. Wendy left me with a procedure manual so I can
fill her shoes do the things she did for me as needed. In fact one night Mitch came home and asked me what I was doing and I said “Wendy’s job.”
But my goal is to not do in 2015 what I was doing in 2014 and the previous 13 years. The thing is, I don’t know what this should or will look like, so this isn’t a reveal of a grand new plan. I feel like beginning in 2001 I climbed onto a train going someplace that wasn’t clear, but that somehow got going pretty fast. I spent the next 10 years working on a business that ended up being not very satisfying or lucrative for me; when I shifted to Jill Wolcott Knits in late 2011, I kind of just kept doing what I’d been doing because it was what I knew how to do and really, what is a middle-aged knitwear designer supposed to do? I love designing. I think I’m really good at it, and the time I’ve spent working at it over the past however many years has made me better, given me new ways to challenge myself, and is generally what I want to do most days. Sadly, it doesn’t pay the bills.
The 2015 View
A large part of what I do is figure stuff out, try it, explain how to do it, and write instructions (sometimes do a video or teach a class). But it is all couched behind design. So I’m going to try to focus on the instructional part of what I do. Write classes, write tutorials, write manuals or books, create videos and online instruction, I’m not completely sure what all. But I’m going to focus on that rather than putting out new patterns. Not that those won’t come about, because I’ve got dozens I’ve never released, and I do love to do them, but that is not going to be my focus.
This is what I know:
- I’m going to work on my drawing skills;
- I’m going to continue Jill Wolcott Knits;
- I’m going to explore some things that interest me;
- I’m going to read the pile of fashion/business books I’ve been buying; and
- I’m going to see if any of what I know is valuable enough for me to share.
The 2015 Opportunity
For you this should present an opportunity to get in on the ground floor as I share what I do. I think I have the ability to help people become the knitter or designer they want to be–including myself. There will be new things–I love new things, so stay tuned and find out what I find.