The light at the end of the tunnel


Hello, the internet. Long time, no see.

Well, it's funny how things work out, isn't it? Back in December I was all, "I'm not going to worry about making money! I'm just going to enjoy my low-stress day job and make things that excite me!" Soon after that, the Yarn Harlot featured the Paul Atwell socks and a bunch of lovely people came and bought that pattern. Which was awesome! Money after all, and widespread enthusiasm for the project! And then...the day job. It became not-so-low-stress. In fact, it became very high stress.

It would be unprofessional to get into details, so I'll just say that, due to a perfect storm of transitions that all piled up at the same time, and despite the honest best efforts of myself and everyone else involved, things have been rocky for the first four months of 2011. The day job has pretty much taken up my entire emotional energy, and I haven't had any left over for design work. I've still been doing a bit of therapeutic knitting here and there—mostly other peoples' sock patterns—but I just haven't had the head space for dealing with sizing spreadsheets, test-knitting coordination, pattern formatting, and so on.

In addition to which, my camera has slowly become more and more broken over the course of the last year. It's always done this weird thing where the shutter hangs up when the batteries get low, and the battery life has been gradually decreasing for some time, despite my efforts to reverse this trend using magical thinking. The final camera-related straw was when David and I tried to do the photo shoot for the Gilberte Wrap: we found the perfect spot, started taking pictures...and the batteries died. We replaced the batteries with the ones we'd had the foresight to pack...and five shots later, the camera died again. We drove to the store and bought two more sets of batteries...and got about seven shots out of both packs. At which point we stomped home in disgust. (As an "extra" to this story, I was wearing mascara for the shoot and somehow got a particle of it in my eye; the next day my new boss, who is a registered nurse, had to make me an ersatz eye patch with gauze and surgical tape. It was sexy and professional!)

So, I've been kind of discouraged and exhausted, and feeling generally incompetent at life. But starting this week, I think I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Some of the transitions at work are getting sorted out, and we're in the process of hiring another person to share/reorganize the work that I'm currently doing. Today my boss and I had a meeting that I left feeling quite encouraged and recognized. I took my camera in for repairs, paid the quoted price, and am looking forward to getting it back. I've noticed now and then that I have enough energy to emerge from my hole, blink around a little bit, and occasionally do something a bit creative, like finishing up the cherries dress I was working on, and which had languished mostly-done for months. Most exciting of all, David and I have our trip to France to look forward to: we're leaving in just four short weeks!

So maybe things aren't so bad after all. Maybe I can even get a few shots of all that therapy sock-knitting, once the camera finds its way back home.


  • Ah, I'm sorry you've been feeling wrung out! But three cheers for the light at the end of the tunnel—and I am really looking forward to seeing the finished Gilberte wrap; the in-progress pictures you posted were tantalizing.

  • This has been a hectic year for me, too. Maybe there's something in the water... I hope things look up for you soon. :)

    • For you too, Maria! I think you may be right about there being something in the air; lots of people I know are going through big life transitions of one kind or another (some good, some bad, but all stressful).

  • Great to have you back and happy to hear there's light ahead! I've been popping in here every now and then, looking forward new and fascinating projects by you. I'm also looking forward to seeing Gilberte finished!

  • Occasionally when we think things are good, the real world likes to smack us around. Sounds like you've earned that trip to France the hard way, enjoy it!

  • I'm sorry it's been rough; it has for us over here, too. I'm keeping on thinking positive, though, and I'll do it for you now too! You're not coming anywhere near Amsterdam, are you? I'd love to show you around!

    • Aw, I will think positive for you too, Cassandra. And sadly no - we actually tried to work Amsterdam into this trip but became overwhelmed by all the things we wanted to see just in France! But thank you so much for the offer - we will definitely look you up when we do get around to Amsterdam, which is high on my list! :-)

  • Awww just nice to have you back Emily. Life is life and it takes us all sorts of places ... up and down and around ... at least you're living it, hey :)

  • It must be something in the air - I can't tell you how many people I know (myself included) who have had crazy, nose-down, just-get-it-over-with-so-life-can-go-back-to-normal springs.

    I was just talking to a co-worker, and we both have had these epiphanies lately, recognizing and identifying that precise moment when we emerged from "survival" mode, and back into a more normal way of being.

    Welcome back - there are sunny days ahead!

    • Haha, welcome back yourself, lady! I guess it's good to know that there is some kind of crazy karma and it's not just me. And it's always nice to come out of a funk around the time the weather is clearing up - I'm psyched for our Labor Day plans!!

  • I'm so sorry things have been tough. I also appreciate your honesty about the fact that real life isn't always one long creative party. Having said that, I have a friend who's loved making the Paul Atwell socks recently, and I myself am enjoying knitting my second version of the Antonià shawl - so your patterns keep creating happiness for others. Have a wonderful trip to France!

    • Aw, so glad you continue to enjoy Antonia, Christine! And hopefully, even though life is not one long creative party, the challenges are good for building life skills that will come in handy later on? That's what I'm hoping, anyway. :-)

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