It has been a long road (originally published January 2021)
In April 2016, I realized a long standing dream by quitting my job to devote my attention to my fledgling business, The Purple Raven Boutique. I spent from June 2016 until February 2018 as an artisan at The Quidi Vidi Village Plantation, on the outskirts of the provincial capital, honing my craft and learning how to run my small business.
In February 2018, I moved back to my home studio and was working towards joining the Economusee Network and developing a studio/shop that would be open seasonally to the public. My plan was to expand the wholesale side of my business, and work more based close to home.
At the end of August 2018, my life was irrevocably changed. I suffered two spontaneous coronary artery dissections, and several resulting heart attacks which culminated in emergency open heart surgery. I was left with congestive heart failure and long convalescence filled with complications. My business came to a sudden halt. I finally closed off the books at the end of 2019 as it didn’t look like I would ever be well enough to go back to the way things were.
And that hasn’t changed.
But in early 2021, I realized that while my physical healing had plateaued, my emotional and mental well-being was still a work in progress. My sense of self was still in pieces and I was still coming to terms with my new reality. I missed my creative identity and having a stronger connection to the craft community. I missed the connection I used to have to knitting, both in wire and fibre. There had to be some way of getting back at least a piece of what I had lost.
So I did some checking and discovered that I am able to earn a little each year without jeopardizing the disability income I depend upon. I knew I couldn’t pursue my passions the way I once did. Frankly it wouldn’t be safe for me. So I decided I would do what I could, in the virtual world, and set up a new web page, and The Knitted Raven was born.
My website/online shop will be my sole outlet for the foreseeable future. I will make what I can, as my health allows. And if I hit the allowable income threshold, I will have to evaluate what to do next.
But in the meantime, I have become immersed in the making process again! I am working on a new direction, on some new products and on refocussing my jewelry line. I have no illusions about having sufficient stamina to be a production craftsperson like I was before. My focus will be on creating a limited range of jewelry and accessories made of quality materials, that show the simplicity and beauty of the hand knit stitch.
To those of you who stuck with The Purple Raven long after she was grounded, thank you for having faith that I would rise again. Your recent encouragement on social media has been utterly heart warming. To those of you discovering my work for the first time, welcome to The Knitted Raven.
Like the Rod Stewart song says, it has been a long road, getting from there to here. But it is my time now, however much I have. And for as long as I have it, I will honor it with my craft.