30 before 30


Little Grey Stormclouds is my 30th design, according to the Ravelry database. That's not a significant number, except for one thing: I have a birthday coming up next month.

29 felt so expectant. Unfinished. Ever since my knitting mojo returned last year, that big '29 designs' has been staring me in the face, mocking me. What kind of an awkward, incomplete number is 29?

I set myself a goal that was simultaneously modest and unthinkable: release a new pattern before turning 30. Just the one. Just one simple, tiny, insignificant little pattern...

...and hours of knitting and re-knitting...
...and scraps of paper filled with notes and math...
...and a camera refresher course...
...and months of photo editing practice...
...and learning a whole new layout program...
...and getting over my anxiety to coordinate with a tech editor and test knitters...
...and speaking of anxiety, what if no one likes it? What if I make a hundred mistakes? What if this is the moment that will finally reveal how much of a talentless fraud I am?

It was so long since I'd been through this process. And it's still an awful lot of work! But, it's enriching work. I feel very fortunate to have the energy and headspace now to devote to this creative work.


My day job is about 5% satisfying, fulfilling accomplishments, and 95% mindless drudgery. It pays the bills, and it doesn't make me actively miserable. But one week is much like the next week, which is much like the next, and I'll probably spend the next 4 decades caught in this cycle without anything to show for it. If I want to leave something behind, I have to do it on my own time.

I didn't create at all during my darkest mental-health times. I started doing better, and my knitting mojo started to return. And I was very happy to make things only for myself for a while, but the more I sunk into it and experimented, the more I wanted to do the design thing again. To create something I could share with others.

As soon as I committed to designing again, ideas came flooding in. Hell, there are a couple nearly-complete patterns from years ago sitting on my hard drive that I never released. So I'm working on a whole handful of other patterns, and we'll see how many actually see the light of day. I'm working slowly, but enthusiastically, and I'm excited to keep going.

So bring it on, 30, and let's see what you have in store for me.

~Joyuna

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