Well it's been a strange year this year. I wasn't sure what I was going to expect when the bells rang in the new year, it certainly wasn't this.
Since writing last, I have started a new job as a carer in the community and love every minute of it. I have also been doing a quite a few commission pieces for various people.
My first one was a few months ago and I made a lopi sweater for a lady who lives a few miles from me. When she first showed me the colours I thought oh no, but they looked rather good together. The main color was a marled pink, sort of an old rose colour with flecks of red and white in it. The main contrast was a deep claret colour and the highlight was a natural cream. I was really pleased with the outcome and so was she.
The only downside to making the sweater was that I broke one of my Denise flexi cables tips. I didn't know what to do, so I wrote to the company asking if I could get a replacement from somewhere. I received a lovely email back from Emily Krag saying that the needles were guaranteed and that they would send me a free replacement. I gave her the size and my home addy and sure enough less than a week later my replacment arrived. I call that excellent customer service.
My next project was a bit of a bolt from the blue. I've been a member if a custom knitting web site for a while, but don't have many hits per year, so was surprised when I received an email asking me about my knitting. I almost deleted it without opening, but something stopped me. When I did read it I had to read it again to make sure that I wasn't dreaming. The email was from Jean Moss Handknits and was written by Philip Mercer, in it he was aksing if I would be interested in helping them out and making an item for them. Would I ring them if I was interested. I promptly sent off and email saying that I would be interested and attached a picture of the christening dress I made earlier in the year. After a week or so the yarn for the new project arrived and the pattern came a few days later. I can't say much about the pattern other than it is for a new book, but i can say lots about the yarn. The yarn is called Jaeger Trinity and is a blend of cotton and silk with polymide. I hate the feel of it, the way it knits up and everything about it. I'm a very neat and even tensioned knitter, but this stuff makes it look like an amateur had done the knitting. The stitches are all over the place and every so often there is a hole that is bigger than the rest. It also has the tensile strangth of a pat of butter. It takes no effort to snap the yarn, just one swift tug and it snaps. I wouldn't want to spend almost £4 per ball on something that is likely to snap with the slightest effort. At the moment the project is on a back burner because there is a problem with the pattern and I am waiting for a reply from Jean.
My next project came only a few days ago. I got and email from Shilasdair asking me if I would be interested in making a jumper for them. I was going to say no, but I thought what the hell, and am going to do something for them.
The pay isn't a lot for any of the items, probably less than £1 per hour, but that's not the point for me. I know that the Jean Moss thing will be photographed and put in her new book and that will be there for ever. The other stuff is just something to pass the time and for that I'm happy and looking forward to 2006.