I’ve been reading “Coming Up Roses” by Cath Kidston the last couple of days, the book about how she started her business. It is so inspiring! I really love that she took something she loves – vintage fabrics – and then she followed her dream, opened one little shop and now she has shops all over the UK and Asia. She even had to supplement her first shop by doing interior design, a lot of hard work but it definitely paid off.
On the back of the book it says: “When you’re self-taught you always worry that you will be found out.” That is so true! As you may know, I was taught basic knitting – how to knit and purl – by my Nanny, but then I learned how to follow patterns, how to knit lace, how to do cable and so on by myself. I made a lot of things in my teens and really got to grips with patterns, making garments and lace but there is so much I have learned since starting my business and am still learning now! I definitely feel that one day someone is going to come along and say: “you don’t really know what you are doing, do you, you’ve just been pretending all along!”
Anyway, self doubt aside, I thought it would be fun to show you my pattern book. I used to just jot things down on scraps of paper as I was working but then I found that if I wanted to make more of the same item or in another colour that I had to hunt all over my flat to find all these scraps of paper and hope that I could find the one I needed! So obviously I needed a notebook and that worked quite well, until the back cover tore off and the back pages started falling out – the notebook wasn’t full but it was falling apart as it had been used so much!
So recently I started a new one, this one is sturdier and a lot bigger and has useful features like pockets to put loose bits of paper in. I love copying things from one notebook to another, probably sounds a bit sad but something I’ve always enjoyed, so it was no hardship to copy over what I needed from the old notebook – some things I don’t make any more so they have stayed in the old one and will be stored on my bookshelf just in case I decide to resurrect them.
It’s all a bit handmade and scrapbookey but that’s what I wanted so that’s good. I feel like I’m showing you my diary! You are privileged to see this, even my husband hasn’t seen it! Not that he’d really want to, it would be gobbledegook to him lol.
I’ve made sure I only write on the right hand page and then I can stick photos and samples of the yarns on the left. I like doing this, but I wish I could find a better way to stick the yarns on without having to use sellotape, it looks ok when you first do it but doesn’t look good after a while. I’ll have to have a think about that. Let me know if you have any suggestions! Not got any photos in here yet, but am looking forward to sticking a few in and I have some double sided tape to stick them in.
It’s got nice pockets so I can put in things like the motifs I’ve designed for the tea cosies, this is the heart motif I designed. I’m a bit paranoid about loose bits of paper falling out so have used a gazillion paper clips to hold everything in!
I’ve also put in useful things that I know I will need to refer to quite often, so that I don’t have to keep looking them up! Buttonholes are a good example, I’ve got to grips with this method so want to have it in a place I can find it easily.
And not all of my designs are written! I designed this scarf ages ago for a custom order, I should make it up again and actually get it into my shop! Believe it or not, all these different stitches go across the width of the scarf, not the length, I know it looks long but the scarf is only 40 stitches wide. Was fun to make – a gentleman asked me to come up with a great gift for his grown up daughter to wear while walking her dogs and it was well received along with two hats in different styles but in the same yarn!
Well, I hope you enjoyed seeing my knitting notebook. I like having different sections – one is for custom orders and the back section will be for me to just jot down notes and then I can copy them neatly into the front section so that I can make things again if necessary.
I love that Cath Kidston followed her dream, she was so successful and we all know her name these days. I don’t have dreams anywhere near that big, but I do have some small dreams of making a living from my knitting business and perhaps becoming a knitting designer one day. I mainly want to specialise in accessories – scarves and wraps are my favourite things to make and I love the thought of people coming back to me for matching hats and gloves and then when they go to a wedding or special event asking me to make them a luxury wrap or shawl to match their dress. Colour matching is so fun!
So those are my small dreams, and I view my knitting notebook as a symbol of that, if that doesn’t sound too pretentious! Maybe one day I will be dipping into it to publish some of the designs in there, and putting them up for sale! Perhaps it might even become a proper published knitting book one day that people would use to make their own projects! I must take my own advice in the title of this post and Follow My Dream!