Taking stock

It is the week of our annual stock-take here at KDD, and there’s a lot to do. Tom and Ivor (who very kindly pitched in to help) have been hoiking loads of boxes around the warehouse, and I’ve started work on our year-end accounts. These are onerous, but satisfying tasks, and I generally enjoy this time in which we (by necessity) pause and take stock of the past year’s activities, and think about how we can do things differently, or better, going forward. There will be change, but it’s all good!

This is also the point where we really firm-up and finalise our plans for the year ahead. I’m very happy with the projects we have lined up in coming months, which are all very different from each other, and each of which is engaging and fun in its own distinctive way. There are some exciting collaborations, some brand-new glorious yarn shades (and accompanying designs), three new books, and quite a lot of travelling and walking around Scotland (which I am really enjoying at the moment).

March is definitely a good time of year for drawing lines under completed projects, for tying up loose ends, and for tidying up much more generally. I’ve also found myself gripped with the urge for a massive spring clean around the house. This is definitely a sign that I am feeling better than I was – since cleaning and household reorganisation are definitely not things I am drawn towards when I’m below par mentally. And I want to say thanks to all of you who got in touch with your kind thoughts during my recent depressive phase. Depression is not something I find it particularly useful to write about while I’m stuck in it, but I might have something to say about the past few months at some point.

Anyway, I need to get back to our accounts – but here are a few recommendations to close:

Sea Cyanotype, © Anne Whitehead

My dear friend Anne Whitehead (who you may remember from this post) recently finished a wonderful project on which she’s been working for some time, about her sister’s death by suicide, and the long aftermath of grief. Anne sent me her book a couple of months ago – but as I was really struggling with suicidal thoughts at the time (and despite my best efforts, kept encountering films and books which focused on suicide and mental illness to a point that was almost absurd) it was something I knew I had to put to one side for the right time. I’m happy to say that I’m now looking forward to reading Anne’s beautiful book, which I know will have a lot to say about the humanity of things and the thing-ness of the human. You’ll get a sense of Anne’s writing, and her careful, creative approach, to this difficult topic in this essay she wrote for her publishers, Bloomsbury.

Also on my to-read shelf are two books about time and temporality: Jenny Odell’s Saving Time: Discovering a Life Beyond the Clock and Richard Fisher’s The Long View: Why we need to transform how the world sees time. I’ll be listening to the latter as an audiobook this weekend, while absorbed in the slow, temporal rhythms of my current knitting project.

Finally, on the subject of knitting, have you signed up for Yarnadelic Remixes 0.1, Felix and Muriel’s love letter to tunes and textiles, patterns and play? I am very excited to have enrolled for this project – which strikes me as both truly original and deeply creative in its mingling of the material and the sonic. I have no idea where we will be going on this particular journey into sound (and knit) but with Felix and Muriel at the helm, I know it’s going to be impeccably put together and F.U.N. If you need any more encouragement, I suggest you check out Felix’s video about the Componium – the instrument she and Muriel used to create their Yarnadelic patterns and tunes, before heading over to Teachable immediately to enroll.

Thanks, Tom, for the photos, which include one of the amazing night when the aurora was visible all over Scotland . I’ll pop back in soon to share some photos of a walk Tom and I really enjoyed recently near Poolewe – until then – enjoy your Friday!