I'm planning to do a review of 2012 but I thought I'd talk about my goals for 2013 first. There are some things I didn't do last year which I'm determined to do this year.
- Write & Submit A Book Proposal
The main one is to write and submit a book proposal. I'd like to say my goal is to get a book deal this year but in reality all I can do is write a proposal and submit it. Even if I do my best work there is no guarantee it'll get accepted but I am hopeful.
I've been thinking and talking about wanting to do a proper book for years now and occasionally I'll swatch for a design and put it away for the book proposal. Then a magazine design submission will come along and I'll submit the idea instead. I've also changed my mind about what I'd like my book to be about several times.
I have now finally settled on a theme/type of book I'd like to do and I will do some work on it and submit a proposal. I'd like to submit a proposal at some point in the next 2 months. With a five design deadline next week I won't be starting work on it quite yet.
- Self-publish More Designs Regularly
sneak peak of a new design coming soon. Photo copyright: Kat Goldin
In 2012, I self-published designs as and when I had one ready. One of my aims last year was to self-publish more designs which I did but there wasn't any method to it.
This year I'd like to self-publish more designs but be more methodical about it. So my aim is to self-publish at least one design each month. Some months there may be more. January will be one of those months.
This is something I'll need to plan ahead a bit to make sure I have a stream of self-published designs ready. It may mean putting off publishing some designs to avoid publishing several together and then having a long break with no new designs.
- Design More For American Magazines
I'd like to have more designs published in American magazines. Now the reason here isn't that I think American magazines are better than British ones, because I don't. But the American market is much bigger than the British market. American knitting magazines sell a lot more copies than the British ones. I think in order to really make a good living out of being a freelance knitting designer you need to break into the American market.
I've been published in Interweave publications such as Knits, Knit.Wear and Knitscene and I've got designs conming up in a Soho Publications book soon and I'd like to continue to submit to those magazines but I want to look into some other American magazines too. There is one in particular that I'm deserpate to be published in.
- Teach More
I love teaching workshops and I taught at some new venues last year. I've already got a lot of workshops booked this year in Devon and Oxfordshire and I'd like to add yet more venues to that list. If you would like me to teach in your area, ask your local yarn shop or knitting group/guild to book me. I'm happy to travel anywhere in the UK. I'd even consider travelling abroad.
I'm also planning to expand my online workshop programme and record some new workshops.
- A New Yarn Venture
For much of last year I was considering a new yarn venture and I nearly took the plunge last summer but for some reason I didn't. But I will this year. I struggle with yarn dyeing at the moment because of my design workload and my neck/back injuries. I will continue to dye yarn for the Lace Lovers Club and for shows but there won't be regular shop updates of hand-dyed yarn. You can still join for Jan to Mar by the way but there are only a few spaces left now.
But I will be launching something very exciting soon.
- Health & Fitness
I am very overweight and unfit at the moment. I'm the heaviest I've ever been and 2012 wasn't a good year healthwise for me. The issues I had weren't cause by my weight but I think I'm getting to an age now where I could start experiencing problems caused by being overweight such as high blood pressure. I could say i want to loose weight but I have an underactive thyroid and although I'm on medication I struggle to loose weight. Before my thyroid failed I lost weight when I attended Weight Watchers. Every time I've joined since my thyroid problem was diagnosed I've lost no or very little weight even when I've stuck to the Weight Watchers programme.
So this year, I'm not going to join a diet club or aim to loose a certain amount of weight but I am going to focus on eathing healthily. Since I had my gall bladder removed and while I suffered from gall stones I could, and I still can't, eat a lot of fat. If I eat food too high in fat I get an upset stomach the next day. I suffere a lot from this while we were in Norway as my Mum cooked all my favourite foods and we had cake every evening. My Mum's cakes and cooking are very good and she always cooks way too much and it's so difficult to say no. So I will try to eat healthily most of the time and cut down on fat.
I also want to get fit. I avoid walking as it aggrevates my neck and back but i will aim to walk the dog at least 3 times mid-week and join Simon and Em on dog walks at the weekend. I will also start doing pilates again. I used to enjoy pilates classes but I pushed myself to hard and came home in pain every week. So now I'll take it easier. I know the basics of pilates and have a couple of good pilates DVDs which I'll use.
We have an exercise bike and cross trainer in the garage. We used to have them both in the lounge but they've been in the garage for a few years now and ofcourse they don't get used out there. But our plan this week is to bring one of the machines back in to the house and both Simon and I want to use it. I'd prefer to get the cross trainer back in use but it will depend on which machine will fit our space and whether they're both still working properly.
- Spin & Knit A Garment For Myself
I got back into spinning in 2012 and I'm starting to spin yarn I would be happy to knit with. My aim in 2012 was to spin enough yarn to machine knit myself a garment. I didn't get this done but I want to do it this year. I have two lots of fibre whic hare more than enough for a garment in my size. The reason I'm planning to machine knit it instead of hand-knit it is the time factor. I can machine knit a garment for myself in a few days (i could even do it in a day if I could sit at the machine all day but I can't) whereas it would take a long time to hand-knit a garment in my size and I don't have that amount of time.
The challenge with machine knitting the garment is that the yarn has to be spun finer and has to be more even. But I can now spin yarn fine and even enough to be used on the machine.
Last year I did a lot of spinning over the summer while we watched various cycling tours: Tour de France, La Vuelta Espana, Tour Of Britiain. I'd spin for an hour ever night while we watched the highlight programme and that worked really well. This year I may try to find a TV programme which is on either daily or weekly and dedicate that time to spinning.
- Learn Double Knitting
I bought a Lucy Neatby Double Knitting DVD a year ago and I still haven't watched it. But I really want to learn this technique. As a designer and knitting teacher it's always useful to learn new techniques.
- Design More Crochet Patterns
'Becky Falls' coming soon. Photo copyright: Kat Goldin
I'm already working on this one. I have a crochet deadline at the end of this month for an exciting new venture. I've also been invited to submit to the new publication from Future (who publish The Knitter, Simply Knitting and Mollie Makes) Simply Crochet but so far i haven't had time. The first issue is out this week and I'll write more about that when I've got my hands on the first issue but reports I've heard so far are very positive.
I've also got 2 crochet designs about to be self-published with a third one on the way too. Watch out for two of them later this week.
So what are your goals for this year? I'm not talking about silly resolutions that we'll break next week but definite goals that you are determined to carry out this year. Do share your goals in the comments. I love reading them.
Want to lear something new this year? Check out my list of workshops and book your space now!
- New Shawl Pins
Yesterday I had shipment of new shawl pins from Nicholas & Felice. This lovely American couple make the most gorgeous metal shawl pins. I have a selection of lightweight aluminium pins as well as some little, cute brass and sterling silver pins. All the pins are very lightweight with no sharp edges which make them perfect for delicate lace shawls but also strong enough to wear with the rest of your knitwear too. Why bother with buttons on your cardigans when you have use this pretty pins. Order yours now!