I am writing this in my Amsterdam home studio mere hours from the last of the year and from the start of another. The fireworks have already been going off all day but now it is dark they are certainly more frequent, prompting me to reflect on 2017 and all the adventures it brought me.
As always, a huge part of why 2017 was good was in large part to you all, the curious, creative dreamers out there who support my unexpected knitwear label either as much appreciated customers or as cheerleaders and ambassadors. And my goodness it has been a marvellous year for Wool & Water - here are just some of the highlights for me:
- The Wedding Shoots: With both old & new friends, we captured beautiful imagery in London and Amsterdam and I couldn't have done it without all the people who volunteered their time, input, openness and enthusiasm.
- The Trouw Plannen Beurs Utrecht: This was not only super fun to meet so many nearly-weds and become part of making their wedding day so special but it was a bit of a personal achievement for me. 2 years ago I did the same Wedding Fair and to say I was unprepared would be putting it kindly, my display was basic, my understanding of what people wanted minimal and so I wanted to return proving to myself that I and my business had learnt and grown. This year came together exactly as I had been planning so meticulously for months and I enjoyed every moment! I hope to be back in March 2018 and look forward to carrying out more tweaks and improvements.
- The Interviews & Press: This year W&W made the papers & magazines, plural!! I was interviewed by Monsak for their blog, The Tijd Magazine (Trouw, a Dutch National Paper's Saturday supplement), The Antropofosie Magazine & featured in the Evening Standard's Christmas Gift Guide! It has been incredible and introduced so many new curious, creative people to what I make and learn about my acting to knitting story behind the stitches.
- The Curious Interviews: This year I have been lucky enough to feature & chat with some incredibly curious and creative people such as; Bortusk Leer (artist), Matt Henry (Actor, Singer & MBE!), Ryan Sampson (Actor & Writer), Petra Benach (Artist & Activist), Gareth McLean (Writer & Broadcaster), Prano Bailey-Bond (Director) & Mike Pelletier (Artist). The Interviews will be back next year, less frequently but just as special and will start with not only an incredibly exciting talent but a reveal of a new aspect of your Wool & Water experience...interest piqued?
- My Knitting Students: I love teaching people how to knit, I've been doing it for over 10 years and yet every single new student is a joy, galvanises me, inspires me and delights me, so thank you to all of you who let me into your homes and lives and let me share this knit addiction with you! Keep knitting not knotting! If you fancy learning in 2018, drop me a line.
- All your Orders! There were a lot this year, more Bespoke orders than ever before and each one was wonderful to make to order for you, your events, friends and/or family. Thank you for allowing me to spend so much time knitting unexpected knitwear!!
- The December Markets: After a year of essentially staying in the W&W Studio (other than the Nijmegen Market & Wedding Fair) I was nervous about getting out behind a table again. Online sales and the new stockists have kept me busy but nothing beats getting to meet people who choose to buy the pieces I have made, learning who they are for and what occasions they are destined to be worn at. Thank you to everyone who came out and supported through buying, compliments or simply stopping by to say hello and tell me how much you have enjoyed wearing the pieces you bought from me this or last year - every single interaction was hugely appreciated and kept this tired girl going!
Thank you to every single one of you who helped make 2017 such a dapper year for Wool & Water and by proxy, me! So many of the opportunities and adventures that come my way are because of you and your support, thank you so very very much! I have more plans for 2018, new designs, new ideas and cannot wait to share them with you all.
Wherever you are I hope you bid a perfect farewell to 2017 and welcome 2018 with open, curious arms. See you on the other side!