I find myself a little ahead of myself. Usually during New Year’s I end up reflecting upon the last year, I am amazed at the 12 months that have past and all the things that have happened and been accomplished. I am not sure if it was caused from my cleaning up stacks of paper, that long ago should have been filed away, or my kids turning pages of their photo albums (yes, I still print photos off and place them in albums), that caused me to begin my reflection this week.
It is a little surreal to look back as it sometimes feels like a lifetime ago, or just last week. So over the last 12 months I have self-published 10 designs, bringing my own design line of Linda Dean Crochet to a total of 35. In addition I completed 16 designs for Freelance contracts, work that is in magazines or websites for yarn companies. This is slightly less than the year previous, but I have undertaken and expanded another portion of my business, teaching.
In 2016 I taught weekly at my local yarn store, with a total of 77 students taught over the year…that is 530.5 student hours. I have to admit, it is a highlight for my week. Everyone is so eager to learn and so friendly with everyone in the room. It has often been expressed to me by the store owners that my students seem to have so much fun, as the laughing and smiles spill over onto to store floor.
My tour of Charleston, SC
In addition I taught on the national level for the first time, at the Crochet Guild of America’s (CGOA) annual conference this last year in Charleston, SC (I just learned that I will be teaching again at this conference in 2017, this time in Chicago). Here I taught an additional 63 students, with 189 student hours, in my four classes.
I served on the CGOA Board of Directors, served as a co-chairperson for the Masters Committee and Social Media Committee, as well as working as a Master Program Reviewer (the Master’s Program is a program that offers some instruction and tests your crochet knowledge and skill). I also undertook the challenge of creating a new, more educational based Master Program that I hope will be available later in 2017.
Locally I served on the Board of my Hangtown Fibers Guild, I worked at ensuring that there was a program at every monthly meeting, as well as arranging workshops from nationally recognized instructors.
I also traveled quite a bit in 2016…January found me in San Diego (the National NeedleArts Association (TNNA) Summer Show), February I was in Santa Clara, CA for Stitches West; May in Pasadena, CA for Vogue Knitting Live; June to Washington DC for the TNNA Winter Show; and July in Charleston, SC to teach at the CGOA conference. This was much quieter than the year before, but this is only the travel and commitments for my work in crochet.
My kids are always busy, and without the support of my husband I don’t think that I could have accomplished anything. The kids kept busy with TaeKwonDo, 4H, and band. I do not think that there has been a single weekend where we were able to sit back and relax at home.
Looking back really does help me keep things in a perspective. On any given day, I don’t feel like I accomplish much…maybe because in prior jobs I could see the stack of paper, emails and phone calls that I completed daily; crochet has a different flow, it is more artistic, and I do not have the same instant gratification of work completed. Taking stock of the work I have done, does help me to understand that I have been productive, I am contributing.
2017 is already shaping up on becoming a bit busier. This is an interesting journey.