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It’s New Year’s Eve and traditionally the time for decrying all the disasters and misery of the past year and making promising about slinking into the next year with perfectly coiffured hair, two dress sizes smaller, speaking six new languages whilst simultaneously completing an MBA and running an ultramarathon.
I’m not entirely sure whether to write 2016 off as a year of disastrous underachievement. There are still five billion works in progress that haven’t really progressed as much as they should, there are still projects and designs that haven’t made it off the pages of sketchbooks and the stash monster looks like it may be making territorial gains.
On a more positive note, 2016 is the year I started studying with the Royal School of Needlework and have also done some amazing day classes with them. I passed my Level 1 exam with the Japanese Temari Association. I’ve discovered the joys of DSLR photography and some really fun Craftsy classes to help me on the way. I’m the proud owner of a loom of my own and have even managed to finish, mount and frame one piece of embroidery!
For 2017, I have two main goals. The most urgent is to complete my pieces for the Level 2 exam with the Japanese Temari Association. I had hoped to do it last year, alongside Level 1, but life/disorganisation/laziness got in the way. The other is finishing at least my Jacobean module with the Royal School of Needlework.
2017 is also going to be the year I finally learn to tat. I succumbed to temptation and ended up with a few more Japanese tatting books for the shelf and my fine lace collection is getting out of control. Tatting classes seem to be hard to come by but as I’ve only had limited success learning from books, I have purchased a Craftsy Shuttle Tatting class to see if that helps. I’ll let you know if it works out! In the meantime, if you want some really gorgeous tatting inspiration, head over to Snowyground’s blog.
As well as a lovely fabric haul from Japan and Taiwan, I’ve also got some exciting new kit to play with. I’ve been putting off buying wool combs and a hackle mostly due to the expense, but when a fellow spinner lent me some to play with I was a convert. As so much of spinning relies on fibre prep, more options are never a bad thing. If you’re a UK-based spinner, looking for Valkyrie combs/hackles, head over to Pipps and Co. Their customer service is absolutely fantastic and, if you’re local, they even offer courses to help you make the most of your shiny new kit.
With shiny new kit though, you need shiny new ideas and my Christmas present to myself was ‘The Big Book of Fibery Rainbows’ from the very talented Suzy Brown and Arelene Thayer over at Fiberygoodness. If you have ever had your colour tastes described as ‘vibrant’, ‘bold’ or less flatteringly, as ‘eye-bleeding’, ‘lurid’ or ‘questionable’ this is the book for you. I’ll be posting a full review of the book over the next few weeks but if you’re looking for some fun and funky fibre preparation ideas in quite literally all the colours of the rainbow, this is the book for you.
I’ll be going into 2017 with plenty of new ideas, I’m just hoping I’m going to be able to find to achieve them all. This is going to be a year of substantial professional challenges but that just makes finding the time for a spot of sewing all the time more important. I will be sharing tales of my recent travels and even some updates on my Jacobean crewelwork very soon.
Finally, I’d just like to thank everyone who has been reading, commenting and supporting the blog this year. It has been absolutely awe-inspiring to see the work of my fellow bloggers and I really do appreciate everyone who has taken the time to share their words of wisdom or just leave a kind comment. I hope you all have a magnificent New Year and 2017 brings you plenty of time for new projects and some magical new additions to the stash!