So lately, I've found myself stepping back a lot. I don't have time to Tweet much any more. My blog is neglected. I struggle to make it to craft markets. I can't spare much time for my mafia buddies and have had to take a big step back there, too. I feel a little out of touch. My contact lens prescription was filled wrongly recently, and for a while everything felt fuzzy and out of focus. And the effect reached beyond just my eyesight.
I recently sold my flat in Glasgow, which had been on the market, untenanted, for two and a half years. It needed a bit of work prior to selling, so we made a loss, but having chipped a substantial amount off the mortgage when I was single, it wasn't all doom and gloom. This had been taking up a lot of my time, and energies, so I'm looking at it as another weight off my mind and maybe a little more free time.
Up until I had my daughter, two years ago, I was always a lists person. Much in the same way that I was always a watch person. Living to someone else's schedule for a while put paid to that, but maybe it's a habit I need to get back into. I do love a good list. I'm also trying my best to declutter, and to focus my efforts when it comes to making.
I still love to knit best of all, but it's a huge investment to spend hours designing a pattern, sourcing lovely yarn that does what I need it to do, structurally as well as aesthetically, knitting it up, waiting an eternity for good light to photograph the results, and getting it out there while the colour, shape and fit is season-appropriate. Not to mention adjustments to the pattern, quality-checking, making sure no-one out there is doing anything too similar, making the design recognisable as 'mine'. All these things are hard work, and take time.
And then there are the paper goods. I was recently informed that my prices are too high for the product I offer. As much as I love making them, I need to be paid for the time that goes into it all. I can be competitive on material costs because of the nature of some of the supplies I use as they are often upcycled, but I refuse to pay myself less than UK minimum wage for my time to make paper goods, which need precision, skill, patience and experience to make. I also don't like to massively undercut my competitors just for the sake of being cheap, it does none of us any favours in the long run.
And now I'm finding that I really love to sew. But that's more for me, my main challenge is to not let piles of fabric take over my life.
So aside from the business with the flat, where have I been? Drafting and submitting knitting patterns for a book which may or may not be out soon, working on a new zine, which I must finish this month as it's actually meant to be a wedding present for some friends, and wishing for an end to the daily rain. I've also been blackberrying, making a few batches of the Hairy Bikers maple syrup scones and composting this year's failed crop of back garden vegetables. And planning a holiday, we're going away for the first time in three years and I am very excited about that. Maybe they have better light on the Wales/England border and I'll have some lovely photos to show you later in the year.