And just like that, it’s January. We’ve managed another successful journey around our star. By nature I’m the type of person that looks backward. Hell, I went to uni for four years to get a History degree, so I’ve always been inclined to reflect on the past. For whatever reason this year however, I’m motivated by the future like never before. Personal pursuits as well as business are inspiring me to jump out of bed each morning. Tired of the usual new year resolutions, this year I’ve decided it shall be the Year of Me. I’m going to take up a new sport (tennis), learn a new skill (hello sewing machine….again) and reach new business goals, up, up, UP!
Before the Christmas break I took myself on a little business trip, yes Chunky Needle hit the road. For awhile now I’ve been following The Sewing Loft in Brugge, Belguim along with their workshop guest, Kelly from Coconknits. I adored the ottoman made in Kelly’s “Poof I’m in Love'“ workshop and was determined that I had to go and learn for myself. So after some convincing, I dragged, “Mr. Chunky” along with our twinnie boys to Belguim, three days before Christmas. It was an easy arm twist, as who can possibly resist Europe at Christmas?
So off we went for two nights, three days. Home just in time for Santa Claus to arrive. The workshop was held in the coolest workshop space I’ve seen yet. Housed in an industrial space, the workroom has touches of loft-room chic woven into its design aesthetic. Run by Magali, The Sewing Loft is full of creative energy. Entering the space was sort of trippy as I’d viewed it so often on social media, that actually being in the room was kind of awe inspiring. Isn’t it funny how Instagram can make usual spaces, people and places extraordinary?
After taking it all in, I knew I was in a place of comfort. Just four of us ladies were taking the class so close to Christmas, and both Kelly and Magali made us feel most welcome, not to mention the most darling shaggy haired hound at our feet. The sun was shining, Christmas was coming and the energy was fantastically special. Most of the class was spoken in Flemish/Dutch but every effort was made to include English in the tutorial. I felt most welcome. I introduced myself and explained that I was from England and had a small business called The Chunky Needle. The ladies, including the other students, were most interested and we all shared business cards, etc. I explained that I often run arm knitting workshops here in the UK and Kelly was happy for me to show a little demonstration on how I cast on. Kelly showed us examples of her chunky knit blankets (she uses merino wool too) and we shared ‘industry chat’ on wool suppliers, felting processes, etc. I felt so inspired by my three hours with Kelly, Magali and the other ladies. Kelly and I agreed that it was a nice experience sharing best practice with another in the industry.
In the future The Chunky Needle may be able to produce similar footstools but in the meantime, I can’t thank Kelly at Coconknits enough.
So despite my 2019 energy to look forward, this blog is looking ever so slightly backward at an amazing morning of industry best practice, sharing and professional development, not to mention meeting new friends on the continent. Thank you Kelly and Magali so much, and Happy New Year.
So as I sign off, for this, my first blog of 2019, I want to wish you, those that read this, a very happy new year and all the best for a prosperous start to 2019. I’m not going anywhere and I can’t wait to share more of The Chunky Needle with you in the coming months.