The Thanksgiving holiday is almost upon us here in the US. Amongst the mayhem of preparing to have guests for dinner at our house, I have been thinking about all the wonderful blessings in my life this past year.
Warning – This post may become a bit mushy for those of a less sentimental nature.
The last 12 months have been an amazing whirlwind of growth for me as a designer and a small business owner. Opportunities that I thought would be years down the road have come far more quickly.
So I think it is very fitting to give some public “Thanks” to those who have helped me find my way into this amazing career path and are my continuing support system. I’ll try to keep some order to this list, but no promises (after all, I’m generally typing quite late at night for these entries).
First on the list must be my Mother. I’m sure she never imagined that putting a crochet hook in my hand all those years ago would eventually lead me to become a crochet designer. Though she has commented many times that I never followed patterns in my crocheting or sewing efforts. So I’m guessing she really isn’t that surprised.
The slew of friends that have stuck by me over the years, despite a propensity for drama and other growing pains. Particularly on my mind tonight are my friends, Terie and Melodi. They have both known me over 20+ years and somehow held fast despite some real stupid times on my part.
My wonderful family. My dear husband, who has never complained about my incredible expanding yarn stash or the ever-growing collection of crochet books, hooks and knitting needles. My 2 kiddos, who have an insatiable curiosity about mom’s yarn and have learned that they need to wait til the end of the row to ask a question.
The talented Doris Chan and especially her book “Amazing Crocheted Lace”. I find myself still very inspired by Doris’s take on design and the lovely pieces she keeps cranking out. When I met Doris in person it was a joy and each time I see her at conferences I am still delighted.
My good friend Tessa who introduced me to the world of online resources that eventually led me to Ravelry. Tessa doesn’t crochet or knit, but is an encouraging and loving friend that tolerates my obsession with compassion.
A very big Thank You to Jess and Casey Forbes for creating Ravelry, since everything else that has happened was because of connecting with other crochet and knitting enthusiasts on their wonderful site.
Laurie Wheeler of the Crochet Liberation Front. Laurie’s group on Ravelry was a revelation and reward all in one. To converse with others who loved crochet and yarn like myself was a freeing and joyful experience and one that lead me on to other groups on Ravelry that would change my Life.
Jenny Dowde whom I met thru Ravelry as well. Her FreeFormations group was a fun place to learn and explore the world of Freeform stitch work and opened my eyes to using fiber arts in my other artwork in ways that I will be exploring for the rest of my life. Her 3 books on FreeForm techniques are still favorites on my shelf.
It was also because Jenny was coming to the US to teach in Portland that I discovered the CGOA and attended my first ever Knit and Crochet Show.
The Lovely Sarah, who has become a cherished friend and one of my most staunch supporters in my efforts to create a career path that matches my ethics and creativity. Getting to meet her at that first show in Portland after having met her on Ravelry was a real treat.
My dear friend Pam, whom I first met in Portland in one of Jenny’s classes. Her grounded approach to life has been my rock when I feel like I am flailing about in my life roles. Whether it is the challenges of being a mom and self-employed, or just deadline madness…she always has the right words to help me find my sanity again. Pam also was the one that told me about Mary Beth Temple’s podcast “Getting Loopy”.
Dear Bonnie Pierce, who adopted me at the Portland Knit and Crochet Show. Her generosity in including me in all the madness with the FreeForm group that was represented there was so kind (plus she introduced me to “Moonlight Chocolate”). The further invitation to join the online FreeForm Yahoo group has also been a blessing and inspiration.
Then of course, is the talented and dynamic Mary Beth Temple. Listening to her podcast I heard about her class, “Designing for Print Publication”. I took it in March 2009 more out of curiosity than anything else. It was online and only 3 weeks, so I figured I could fit it into my life.
As part of the class Mary Beth had us create a design proposal and submit it. I sent mine off fully expecting to be rejected, so it was with some amazement that I sold that first design. She has cheered me on every step of this mad journey.
Zoomie, who I meet in the “Getting Loopy” chat room. When I found out she lived in the Denver area we made arrangements to get together. Now, we see each other once a month and go play at one of my favorite yarn stores The LambShoppe.
Thru Zoomie I met all the lovely fellow yarnies at the LambShoppe’s monthly Pajama Jam. Many have become good friends and we get to have other yarn adventures together like going to the Estes Park Wool Market. They are also great about cheering me on in my design adventures and have even offered to help me with my knitting attempts (unsuccessfully so far, but that is a reflection on my failings as a student and not their’s as teachers).
My official CGOA mentor, Karen Ratto-Whooley. Karen has been so generous with her time, advice and encouragement. Our time as mentor/mentee is drawing to an end, but our friendship will last a lifetime. Sometimes the most help has just been the laughter we share at the craziness of living the busy life of designers and moms.
Janet, another fantastic acquaintance from that first Portland show. Over a year later we ended up rooming together at the Chain Link show in Buffalo. We had such a lovely time being roommates that we vowed to do it again. So we shared a cabin at the recent CLF Retreat. It probably isn’t legal for friends to laugh so hard and long, but we sure enjoy ourselves.
The fun and sweet Cozy. So talented and entertaining, as well as very understanding about the madness my life is. Someday soon we have promised ourselves to meet in real life. Meanwhile online, email and the telephone will have to suffice.
All my other fun online friends, especially those on Ravelry. Whether you know it or not, all of you lift my spirits with every post and message. Having a chance to share ideas, encouragement with learning new techniques, or just drooling over yarn is so much fun.
Thank you to all these friends and more. I’ve likely forgotten to name someone who should be on this list, but you are all in my grateful heart this Thanksgiving Day.