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Thursday, September 29, 2011

While I wait

With the book writing process now complete what do I do with myself  while I wait for the book to arrive from the printers? Changing your work/life pattern after two years of working day and night to complete a project of this size has proven difficult. Basically my system has crashed and I am suffering from both physical and mental exhaustion. Not unusual or unexpected after a creative project of this scale, but debilitating non the less. Once a couple of other smaller deadline projects were completed, I couldn't even think what to knit next. I desperately needed to rest but there was a nervous energy that wouldn't allow me too. So really I have needed to hit the bottom so that I could begin to build myself back up and over the last week or two I've got there! Good food, lots of rest, no stress, fresh air and exercise is what is prescribed, so I'm trying my best.  I have to announce that because of this I have had to withdraw from The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace this year but I will still have a stand at Harrogate in two months time though as this gives me time to recover. I'll also be doing some book signings and trunk shows from November.

Gavin and I have introduced some new regimes for ourselves - nothing complicated but things like allowing ourselves time for a lunch break rather than eating quickly whilst working, stopping work at a reasonable hour - and understanding that, no, 5am is not a reasonable hour, and probably most significantly having some time each evening where checking emails is not allowed. We have decided that if we are eating or watching a film we will put our i-phones away and not look at emails until the meal or the film has finished. We need to do this for our sanity and our physical strength, as its one thing being a 24 hour business for trading purposes, but its another completely when the two of you as man and wife are dealing with emails etc for 18 hours or more every day. I genuinely didn't use to think that this separation was needed but now I do. I feel such guilt if I don't check my emails the moment I wake up, even before getting out of bed, or at 1am in the morning if we've just finished working, in fact I feel guilty every moment I'm not working, and that guilt is causing great stress which is making me ill and so has to stop. So from a certain point each evening, we are going to go offline and actually have some down time.

So with all this new found 'spare' time what am I doing?

I am spending a great deal of time, reading and re-reading from my own black and white manuscript of A Stitch in Time Vol 2. Only printed on 100gm paper it is thinner than the finished book will be, but it is still huge  in all its 400 page glory.

copyright Susan Crawford 2011

It thrills me to look at it but like you all, I am so impatient to see the final results. the firm we are using is incredibly thorough and as keen as we are for the book to be as perfect as possible. Colour matching has been a big part of the pre-print process and I am excited to see how closely the finished results match the real thing. It will be with us in a few short weeks and will hopefully be as magnificent as I am expecting it to be.

I am also knitting from my draft copy.

Copyright Susan Crawford 2011

 This sneeky peek is of a new colour way of a design in the book that is in my size (for me!) using Excelana in French Rose as the main colour, with a Fair Isle design which also uses Ruby Red, Nile Green, Alabaster, Powdered Egg and Persian Grey. I am hoping to have a good selection of the garments available in two sizes for when I start visiting stores and shows.

Another very exciting development is that we have finally collected the keys to our new studio space. It is in a tiny village only 5 minutes from home and is a former coaching house.

Copyright Susan Crawford 2011

The ground floor will be predominantly for storage and an office but the large upstairs room will be my studio.

It will be great for photography purposes with good natural light and lots of floor space - I can't quite believe how much floor space actually. The building is in need of quite a bit of TLC internally as you can see, but within the next 12 months we hope to get it just how we want it. We may even be able to do open days in the future.

And finally, with the launch of this year's Poppy Appeal in aid of The Royal British Legion I am delighted to announce that my knitted poppy pattern is again available to purchase through the knitonthenet website with a donation for every sale going to the appeal.

Many people are knitting numerous poppies and selling them on to raise even more money for the Poppy Appeal. There have even been poppy auctions. Why not join in and make this the year you wear a knitted poppy?

for now