Thoughts on the old year and the new

So, that photo up there is kinda how I feel about my thoughts on 2016... I've never been good at wrapping things up and when I look back on last year, trying to make an organized collage of projects completed or goals met, well, it's just never that simple is it? I like to at least acknowledge the turning of a new page, but I always think I'm going to be able to wrap up an entire year all neatly and tie it with a bow and that's just never possible for me! 

Last year was a good year for us. My boys are growing and thriving. The business continues to challenge us and allow us to push ourselves creatively. I designed and knit several new patterns last year, most of which won't be released until this year, which I'm really looking forward to. I want 2017 to be the year that I follow through on all my design ideas! I'm so good at conceptualizing a design, knitting it, heck, I'll even sit down and write it all out. But then it sits there, stuck in my computer until I finally muster up the energy for the final push. This year I'm going to get better at following through. Promise. ;)

I'm going to try and implement a bit more structure into my work days. With the kids at home/work with me so much these past few years I've been in survival mode when it comes to work. I'm ok with that, you do what you gotta do to keep everything moving and to keep everyone happy, but this year, now that the boys are both in daycare 3 days a week I'm going to try and organize those three days better. In 2016 I started getting dressed, putting on makeup and even making my bed every morning. So that's already huge win right!?

I'm excited for 2017, but to be fair to 2016 let's do a quick run through the highlight reel shall we?

In 2016 we launched 4 new TFA exclusive PureWash bases. In 2017 you'll be seeing a lot more of them a lot more regularly as they merge onto the website permanently. They are our TFA staples and we can't get enough of them!

2016 also saw us take on our first full time employee Sam! Sam has made a world of difference in our lives. We consider ourselves very lucky to have found such a great match. 

I knit 2 beautiful Fly Away baby blankets this year (the one pictured above and this one). I really love them both but that one up there holds a special place in my heart not only because it was knit for my best friend but also because it was the jumping off point for our new TFA logo (seen here hanging above our studio doors and here on our notions branding.) I love that the design is clearly crafty and colourful, without being overtly knitterly. It makes me happy. 

It wouldn't be right to look back on the year without mentioning our foray into dyeing speckled colourways! This is where dyeing yarn goes from a pseudo-science to a real art. We've always been a bit relaxed with our approach, but speckles take it to a whole new level of wild experimentation. It's been fun!

Honourable mentions: 

  • I really enjoyed participating in Slow Fashion October this year. It was a new type of challenge for me to commit to a weekly blog post that involved so much forethought and critical thinking. I'll be the first to admit that most of my blog posts are more along the lines of "check out these cool socks!" so having to sit down and really flesh out my thoughts on the subject of slow fashion felt good. I'd like to do more of that.
  • Being a guest on the Woolful podcast. That made me feel like a star.   
  • KAL's! We did a few KAL's last year - the big one being the TFA Summer Blanket KAL - and I hope to do lots more this year. There is nothing like the comradely of us all knitting together to make a project really feel special!
  • Kits! Kits! Kits! - Thanks to lots of help from Sam we were able to offer more custom yarn packs (palette's, mitten kits, mini sock yarn skein sets) then ever before. They are so much fun to put together and everybody loves a good mini skein set so we intend to continue making more and more forever and ever! I'm also really jazzed that this year we were able to put together Weaving Kits (some still available!) and a pretty awesome Gift Bundle featuring loads of customized TFA notions that I love. Now that the Gift bundles are sold out I'm looking into alternate ways of selling the notions. Would you be interested in buying them separately? Or all together as a set?   

Wishing you all a wonderful 2017! I can't wait to see what the year has in store for us. 

Happy stitching!

Tanis xo