My Designing Journey (Part 2)

Photo of Tea Time, my design for an 18th century doll dress

So there I was, having designed a few patterns for doll clothes and selling them on my Ravelry shop. Then I branched out a bit and wrote patterns for a scarf and a shawl. It was fun to see people posting photos of projects they had made from my patterns. I began to think that I really enjoyed this, and that someday when life slowed down a bit, I might like to start designing full time.

But in the meantime, I was very busy homeschooling my daughter and working at my business designing data collection forms for the pharmaceutical industry. When I started that business 23 years ago, the forms were printed onto 3-part NCR paper and filled out by hand. Over the last 15 years, the industry has been moving towards electronic forms that are completed online. So I knew that it was only a matter of time before my services would become obsolete. With that in mind, I kept writing patterns and began to prepare for a career change.

Last year I started working on the Master Hand Knitting Program© from The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA) to become certified as a Master Knitter. I am currently working on the third (and final) level. My goal is to finish in March 2015, which would make it exactly 2 years since I started. I will be posting my progress through this final level on this blog, so now that this has been publicly stated, I had better get it done!

Last fall things changed for all of us in our household when my daughter started to attend high school, and for the first time I am not her teacher. It has been an adjustment for all of us, but she has transitioned very well. And throughout this past year, I have seen quite a drop in business, so it seems that “someday” has arrived a bit earlier than I had hoped it would, and now is the time to really get serious about starting a new design business.

Whenever I have been faced with making a life-altering decision (such as starting my first business, getting married, buying a house, having a child, etc.) I have always felt like I was preparing myself to jump off of a cliff. I do everything I can to gather information, make decisions and set things up for success beforehand, but it always comes down to that last moment when I know I’ve done everything I can to make myself ready, and the only thing that’s left to do is to gather my courage, take a deep breath, and jump off that cliff. It is a leap of faith that I will glide my way to a soft landing. I’ve done it successfully several times now, and it does seem to get a bit easier each time. But it’s never easy. Or fearless.

So here we are–it’s mid-2014 and, with the enthusiastic support of my family providing additional lift, I’m jumping off the cliff again. Wish me well on a soft landing.