Finally got back to my knitting this week. The cold in Chicago is quickly moving in and Faye’s little red, frozen hands at the park the other day really lit a fire under my butt to finish up the Another Pair of Mittens pattern that I started who know’s how many weeks ago. And in the process I seem to have started a new knitting needle obsession with my daughter. Every day she has to get them out (and give me a ton of anxiety about eyes being poked out and such but its hard to say no to total enjoyment and fascinated interest in your 15 month old). I also pulled out the grey knit bonnet I started last winter which was, thankfully, much too big then and just right now. I had originally intended to write up the pattern but it got so hopelessly complicated that I’m pretty sure that any attempt on my part to make something intelligible out of it would be incredibly frustrating. Maybe a project for the future…provided I experience a spontaneous increase in patience and problem solving skills before then.
My panic started with the terrible, nagging feeling that I didn’t have any time, no time to sew for myself, read a book, read the news. I’ve had all the ingredients for trying out a batch of vegan sugar cookies for over a month in my cupboard! No time to think about the relentlessly persistent question of “what is for dinner?” or where I see my business going. Over this last year I have been making and selling one-of-a-kind rag dolls that are now selling as quickly as I can sew them. Which is GREAT! I’m beyond excited that people care about what I make and want to take some of it into their lives! Over the moon excited! really. But dang am I tired! I do all of the LSNW production myself plus working at my old job part-time and Faye is not in daycare. It’s a lot. And I’m fading hard in the worst possible moment! Now is when I’m supposed to be working all night, like a little elf in the dolly department of Santa’s workshop! But all I can think of is how much I want to sew up a pair of harem pants from my new Wiksten pattern for Faye’s Thanksgiving outfit. Or break into the liberty print and red wool I have waiting to be made into a special Christmas coat.
This week I had the rare treat of a few hours of childcare to go over to my sister’s nearby studio for some creative time all to myself. I sat silently for a while trying to figure out which of what fells like a million projects should take priority. But instead of finishing a shop update of doll clothes or embroidering a new face I started an entirely new pattern, one that has been on my mind for a while now. And I will say that Lakeside Needleworks may be shifting gears in the near future. I love making dolls and I have no intentions of stopping any time soon but meeting the ever-present deadlines when you are making only one of each thing and trying to keep up with demand and interest is unsustainable for me at this point in our family’s life. Because I don’t just want to think about Christmas coats and cookie baking or all the things I would make if only I “could find the time.” I don’t want to resent doll making as a thing that takes me away from time or emotional presence with my daughter and my husband. And so something needs to shift, however slowly. I’m calling it Evolution of my work. I’m choosing to look at it as bringing things into Alignment with who I am and what I value.
I can’t wait to share more of what I’ve got coming down the pipeline here and across the other LSNW social media platforms. All of which I am currently working to get up to speed! It’s been nice to have some production-free hours to actually think about what kind of impact I want to have as a maker. And more and more I am craving opportunities to share this process of sewing and toy making that I love so much! I hope you’ll be as excited as I am about the changes ahead. Always feel free to send me a message or leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts as I work toward this deeper sharing.