Putting it Down and Walking Away


This year so far has been one of change and upheaval on all fronts, both good and bad. Most of the time things feel like too much to write about, or even talk about. There is one big change that I need to share, though.

Back in the spring, Kim persuaded me to go to the Summer TNNA Show with her. It took some time for me to make the decision to go, and I almost bailed for financial reasons. In the end I went, I roomed with Kim and Julie Holetz, and nothing could have prepared me for how much fun I had!


I met a ton of wonderful people, many of them other designers with whom I’ve had online contact. I had a great meeting with Amy and Jillian about the fall issue of Knitty. It was so awesome and useful, I wish we could meet like that every issue. AND, I made some really exciting contacts with dyers, yarn companies, magazine editors… in short, all the kinds of people you want to meet in this industry if you want design work.

And so, I am now working as a designer in both knitting and crochet. I spend a lot of time swatching, sketching, taking notes as I work on samples. I have designs that will be published soon in magazines! I’ll post here when new designs are available.

The next one will be a self-published sweater pattern that will be available Monday. It’s the new-and-improved version of this sweater. Looking back at that blog entry, it’s embarrassing to realize that it’s taken me more than 2 years to get around to completing this.

I’m working harder than I can remember ever working before, and I have more energy and excitement to put into the work than I can remember ever having. Although I have had a number of designs published in books, I have resisted making design work a major part of my life. My stated reason was that I didn’t want all my knitting/crochet time to become work time, that I liked having these activities be things I did for pleasure.

Really, though, I think I was just afraid to commit, and afraid of not succeeding. I had an experience this year which made me realize that I’ve been pretty consumed with fear of all kinds for a long, long time now, and that I could just put the fear down and walk away. Bits of it are still clinging to me, but I’m also making a lot of really positive changes in my life. This new career is one of the most wonderful things to come out of it so far, and I kind of feel like the changes are only just beginning. I’m looking forward to the future now in a way I haven’t done in a long time.

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  1. Visa Lisa
    Posted July 17, 2009 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    I smiled my way through this post! I'm extatic that you're designing more! I miss you.

  2. Posted July 19, 2009 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    Yay for you! I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed meeting you at TNNA – that instant raport was a definite highlight of the trip for me! And I owe you a beer – come visit me soon

  3. Posted June 25, 2010 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    yey! I’ve followed your work so this too makes me smile- plus the picture at the beginning of the post is uber-gorgeous and you should frame it and hang it in your house! (It also is compelling me to continue my project 365, which I sadly have been neglecting as of late!)
    It makes me so happy to read your posts and I will be makin the dorflinger tee very soon! Continued good luck and huge successes!

  4. Posted July 12, 2010 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Hi Mandy!
    Ha- I have exactly 2 pictures in mine (on my iPhone) but if you want to see a ton of roller derby pictures of me and my teams my flickr id is Burnin Helen -!
    Looking forward to the new knitty then! I can’t wait!!
    I do think I WILL try to do the 365 though- I had an excellent opportunity yesterday when I was running on the bike path and this TURTLE was right there- but I was running on the couch to 5k app and had no idea how to switch out, sigh. Story of my life!

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